Instagrammer of the Week: Sara Boccaccini

Sara Boccaccini is a UK textile designer and illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, NYC. Originally from the rolling hills of the Peak District, she graduated with a 1st class Hons in Textiles and Surface Pattern, before going on to produce prints for top high street fashion brands, including Zara, H&M, DKNY, Urban Outfitters and Guess. A keen traveller and lover of all things natural and botanical; in her own words, Sara, “takes inspiration from nature and the tiny details in everyday surroundings to create unique and quirky print illustrations.” Follow her adventures, artwork and daily inspirations over on Instagram @boccaccinimeadows

How did you first get into illustration, Sara?

After graduating I worked as a freelance textile designer in an Australian print studio, designing prints for the high street and higher-end designers. I would illustrate every day and then use Photoshop to digitally manipulate these designs for fabric. It was such a thrill to see my creations on random people walking down the street! In the past couple of years, I have developed my own illustrative “style” working on personal work and have had many requests for work other than for textiles. It’s been great to create illustrations for a wide range of products/campaigns and now my personal work is my full-time work!

Pages of illustrator, Sara Boccaccini's sketchbook filled with botanical paintings
Among other things, Sara loves painting plants, foliage and ferns, in particular

What’s your creative process like?

I keep a lot of little sketchbooks and love to document ideas whilst I’m travelling. Last year I kept a botanical journal and would paint and draw in a new garden every month. It’s been a gem to look back on, especially now I have a botanical book in the works! Once I feel inspired I’ll paint on a larger canvas or transfer elements from my sketchbook to digital form using Photoshop. I love to explore and travel and find a lot of inspiration from nature- landscapes, botanical gardens and coastal areas are my favourite!

A Cuban-inspired illustration by UK textile designer and illustrator, Sara Boccaccini
A Cuban-inspired commission complete with sprawling, tropical plants and trees

Tell us about your experience with Instagram…

I started my account just over two years ago as a way to document my creative process and inspiration. There was no plan as such but the response I’ve received has exceeded any expectations. I’ve met some amazing people through Instagram and also enjoy the personal connections I’ve made away from the screen.

Summer skteches by textile designer and illustrator, Sara Boccaccini
Summer sketches

What is your approach to posting images?

I like to document my creative journey through my Instagram posts. If a detail from a cactus is inspiring me I’ll post that then I’ll follow with a drawing or a photo from my sketchbook. The theme is usually botanical with a soft, dreamy colour palette. I try to regularly post in the mornings and use hashtags to help new people find my work!

Illustrator Sara Boccaccini's painting of her home in the Peak District
An ode to Sara’s UK home in the rolling hills of the Peak District

Who do you most admire? 

I love Haarkon (@haarkon) for the lush botanical journey they take you on.

The embroidery artist (@sarahkbenning) is incredible and she’s the sweetest girl!

Anna Bond (@annariflebond) her florals are amazing!

The playful yet quirky illustration of (@monika_forsberg) …Sooo good!

Botanical-inspire d prints by textile designer and illustrator, Sara Boccaccini
A collection of Sara’s botanical-inspired prints

Last but not least, tell us about your relationship with flowers, foliage and plants… 

Nature has a calming effect on me and I find plants and flowers very therapeutic to paint. Ferns are a favourite, especially the smell when you’re walking through a damp woodland. I grew up in the English countryside and love the change in surroundings that each season brings. I’m now in NYC and Fall season is the best, it definitely brings on a nostalgic feeling from my childhood home!

Sara Boccaccini's flower-filled sketchbook
Sara’s flower-filled sketchbook