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Beautifully Drawn Boy:

An Interview with Lukas the Illustrator 

Close your eyes and picture a landscape reclaimed by nature. A utopia filled with ancient trees, painterly flowers and pristine rivers – all untamed by man and untainted by modern life.

This is how our founders Frieda and Javvy envisioned the Garden of Tomorrow, a concept that has been beautifully brought to life in collaboration with Lukas the Illustrator. Here, we speak to the supernaturally talented artist and designer about his relationship with the natural world – from creating fantasy lands inspired by his local surroundings to sensing real magic whilst on walks in the woods…

 

How does nature influence and inspire your work?

Nature is the source of all my inspiration, in art and otherwise. My illustrations are almost always landscape-based, which makes it easy for me to find inspiration: I need only take a walk through one of the many forests or fields I am lucky enough to be surrounded by, and discover a scene that interests me. I call myself a world-builder because my passion – and what I believe to be my greatest talent – is taking all of these little corners of the earth I have found and stitching them together into the landscapes of my dreams.

My work is all about imagining the world as it was before man, then inhabiting it with a people that would have kept it as it was, protected it, loved it, and worshipped it. I illustrate the world in the way that I wish it was, and the way that I think it still could be.

I have recently discovered a preserve near where I live that is filled with small pools and ancient trees, and streams that trickle over crumbling stone walls, walls which have been so thickly blanketed in moss that in some areas they look like tiny rolling hills. This preserve has been showing itself in my work a lot lately, as is the case whenever I discover a place that looks like a corner of the untouched Earth that I dream of so often.

How do you connect with nature?

I engage with nature through hiking, walking, sitting, looking, breathing, and many other ways. My current favourite is just being in awe; I have always been in awe of nature, but lately I have become more aware of it. I think it is a really powerful way to experience nature and appreciate it in ways you may not have done before. Go for a walk through the woods and be conscious of what amazes you, which, if you are paying attention, will be everything. I think it is so important to be able to understand how incredible this Earth is, and how lucky we are to inhabit it, and to be in awe of that.

Mountain climbing is another way I have often connected with nature, and another one with an incredible power. There is nothing that makes me feel more connected to the earth than putting all of my strength into a climb with the simple goal of seeing it from a higher place. There are also few things more humbling. A more simple way, and the way I have done most often in my life, is to sit by a stream. Streams have always been the environment that I have been most drawn to and most fascinated by. I can’t explain exactly what it is about them, but I have always felt there was a certain tangible magic about streams.

Our ancestors (including the Native American community that were historically based where you live) revered nature. How can we honour the ancient ways and our ancestral lands today?

One of the most important ways we can honour Native peoples and their knowledge is by putting them in positions of power where they can use that knowledge. Deb Haaland is a Native American woman nominated to serve as Secretary of the Interior by Joe Biden, and she is the single greatest hope I have for the United States. When confirmed, she will be the first Native American to serve in that position, which in itself is an incredible sign of changes to come.

Colonial Americans are in no way entitled to Native Knowledge, or to the service of the Native people whose land we live on, so Deb Haaland’s willingness to serve a country that has actively sought to destroy her people for centuries is an incredible gift that every citizen of this country should be embracing with an outpouring of gratitude and an eagerness to learn. Her commitment to protecting this land, despite the country that has been built on it and the actions of its people, is a clear display of the inseverable connection that exists between a people and the land that is theirs. It is not likely that the land that was stolen will all be returned, but it is very possible to put the people who lived here before us in charge of its fate.

Native people need to have control over their Native lands, and Deb Haaland’s confirmation as Secretary of the Interior is the first big step towards allowing that to happen in the United States. I won’t get into specifics of exactly what we can learn from Native Americans, as the knowledge is too vast, I would never do it justice, and I believe that the only way to learn about it is to listen to the people it belongs to. Once we have listened, we can put it into practice, and live with the land, not in spite of it.

“The elders were wise. They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too.”


- Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

What are your hopes and manifestations for this new age and new world that we find ourselves in?

In this new age, I have hope that humans as a whole will start to remember our love of the Earth again. It is well past time for a mass movement to reconnect with Mother Nature, and to rebuild the world in a way that heals and protects her.

I also have hope for the areas of the Earth that are left untouched. There are few of these places whose borders aren’t shrinking rapidly, but in this new age I am hoping destruction can stop and nature can start to reclaim the land that has been taken from her. To put it simply, I am manifesting global re-wilding.

My work is all about imagining the world as it was before man, then inhabiting it with a people that would have kept it as it was, protected it, loved it, and worshipped it. I illustrate the world in the way that I wish it was, and the way that I think it still could be.

 

What ideas and solutions would you like to plant in the Garden of Tomorrow?

The idea I would like to share is that the Earth must be the center of all of our lives. To live an Earth-centric life is to live a life of fulfilment, love, gratitude, beauty, happiness, and health.

Another idea is that the Earth can go on without humans, but humans cannot go on without the Earth. This is not to say that we should protect the Earth to protect ourselves, as this self-important mind-set is the exact problem. It is to say that humans need desperately to be humbled, and to realize how much greater this planet is than we are. I think once people realize that we are not more important than the Earth or any of the other life that lives on it, we will be able to make a lot of change. I would also like people to understand that we don’t need and cannot continue to violently pillage the Earth for all that we want.

Mother Earth will provide us with all that we need, in abundance, if only we would let her. For centuries we have been taking what we would have been given, if only we had asked. Sustainability is not a new idea; it is an ancient one that has been lost to the idea of profit. Finally, I would say that to care for the Earth is to care for life.

INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN
INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN

INSPIRATION

A Corner of Paradise

Be inspired with ideas for how to make our House your own.

Shop Inspiration

INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN
INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook. A snug away from the main action where you can curl up in a comfy chair and hit pause, if only for a moment. In a room where absolutely everything and anything goes, this is truly where the magic happens.

INSPIRATION

A Corner of Paradise

Be inspired with ideas for how to make our House your own.

Shop Inspiration

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

Shop Inspiration

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

Shop Inspiration

@PEARLLOWE

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook. A snug away from the main action where you can curl up in a comfy chair and hit pause, if only for a moment. In a room where absolutely everything and anything goes, this is truly where the magic happens.

Shop Inspiration

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

@PEARLLOWE

A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more worthy.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras, hand-painted porcelain candle pots and treasured keepsakes you’ll have picked up on your travels.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras.

A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more worthy.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras.

Is living in a white-painted box driving you up the wall?

Made from wood pulp sourced from FSC-certified trees, complete with added textile fabrics for strength and stability, our wallpaper is PVC-free and produced using the eco-friendliest methods available.

 

“We will never stop fighting for this planet, for ourselves, our future and for the future of our children and grandchildren.”

- Greta Thunberg, Environmental Activist

INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN

If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

When it comes to furniture (which can also be a scene stealer in its own right), your choice will likely be dictated by the number of family members and friends who will regularly be hanging out here: will a cosy two-seater sofa be enough, or will you also need a chaise longue and a few ‘bottomans’ for your visitors to park their, um, bottoms on? If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, recovering them in a new fabric – be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more worthy.

When it comes to furniture (which can also be a scene stealer in its own right), your choice will likely be dictated by the number of family members and friends who will regularly be hanging out here: will a cosy two-seater sofa be enough, or will you also need a chaise longue and a few ‘bottomans’ for your visitors to park their, um, bottoms on? If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, recovering them in a new fabric – be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

FAMILIAR FRIENDS: THE CAT & DOG BOOKENDS
INTO THE WILD: THE FLOWERS OF AVALON