Bring all the joys of the Cornish landscape to your home with some beautiful hand illustrated artwork from Holly Astle. Based by the coast, Holly is inspired by the Cornish fauna and flora to create her timeless, eye-catching designs.
What made you decide to start Holly Astle Illustration, and what's the inspiration behind it?
I guess my 'brand' started straight out of my degree in illustration at Falmouth University, diving into doing my own thing, drawing whatever inspired me, and discovering people wanted to buy the things I was drawing. As a freelance illustrator, I work between taking commissions and my own products all the time, I guess over time my shop has grown as a thing in its own right, to me it's a small part of a whole on what my work is, but a favourite part, as I get to draw whatever I like.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration largely comes from my natural environment. I love walking the coast path, and am constantly looking at local flora and fauna. I am something of a nature nerd, and love to go out and in search of things. You'll find me often, sketchbook and nature guide in hand, crouched down over some fungi in the woods. There's also something to be said for the large vistas across the sea we get in this part of the world. I'm completely in awe of it, and love to draw the landscapes that surround me.
What did you do before creating Holly Astle Illustration?
Before this, I was an illustration student! I also worked part time at Maenporth Beach Cafe, who have supported my creative endeavours from the get go: they were the first place to stock my work whilst I was still studying, and continue to do so now!
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story on your journey so far?
My biggest challenge and achievement was definitely doing the illustrations for a now published book, 'Planting for Wildlife' - I had a little over a month to complete around 40 illustrations. It was quite stressful but the result was great! It's been so weird to see this book with my name in, in different places all over the country!
How would you describe Holly Astle Illustration in three words?
Natural, inspiring and colourful.
What is your connection to Cornwall?
I moved to Falmouth for university and haven't left since, I completely fell in love with the place the day I came for my interview. I've walked most of the coast path by now and swim all year round. I may not have grown up here but for me it definitely feels like home.
Do you have a special spot in Cornwall that inspires you?
Several! I love Maenporth, having worked there for four years, I have some great memories. I love to sit up on the cliffs at the end of the bay: I sit and sketch or read there often. I also love the Lizard, it all feels so vast and wild.
What's next / any exciting plans?
I've been working on a mural to go up in Falmouth soon, so that's quite exciting! You can expect to see that up soon on Dracaena Avenue as you enter the town, with an important message on ocean plastic. I am definitely leaning more towards environmental messages in my work: as the climate and ecological crises get worse around us, I think it's so important for me to use the platform I have to raise awareness in any way I can.
Shop Holly Astle here.