Niki Simpson
Botanical Illustration
Spring | 2003

Niki has drawn, painted and loved plants since she was a child and, following a degree in Environmental Science and having a family, got back into botany and botanical art working in the Botany Department at RHS Wisley in Surrey. She now works as a freelance botanical illustrator, based in Guildford, and the QEST scholarship has allowed her to follow her interest in exploring new possibilities relevant to the needs of the 21st century botanist by using digital tools rather than a paintbrush. While her images are heavily based on the accuracy and detail of traditional art, the digital medium allows far greater flexibility, not only in composition and ease of correction but also in the ways in which the images can be used.

Currently she is working on depicting our wonderful native British flora and she enjoys drawing attention to our often overlooked everyday plants, which are often thought of as familiar, but are often fascinating when looked at more closely. Her images are used as book illustrations, but she also designs book covers and creates diagrams and posters. Niki holds a RHS Gold Medal for her work and had had her work exhibited at BGBM Berlin, the Linnean Society, RBGE Kew and the Garden Museum in London as well as at RHS Wisley. In the future she would like to both develop the design aspect of her work for paper and china designs and finally to achieve interactivity for her composite images.


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