Naturama

2016
Naturama is a beautiful large format Irish wildlife book for children, written by Michael Fewer and Illustrated by Melissa Doran (me – before I changed my surname to Culhane), featuring 84 colour nature drawings. Published by Gill Books. It was later accompanied by a pocket sized My Naturama Nature Journal, published the following year.

Task

Complete Book Illustration

  • Design

    Illustration

  • Client

    Gill Books

  • Distribution

    12,000+ copies sold

Number One Bestseller

Naturama
``This breathtakingly exciting new book introduces you to Ireland’s flora and fauna with every changing season. Discover the magic of nature right on your doorstep, from the back garden to the local park and the countryside. Even the smallest garden is a vast canvas of nature with its worms, insects, flowers and birds. Listen to the blackbird’s song, spot an madra rua in your local town, discover why the ash tree is good for making hurlies, count a snail’s 27,000 teeth, watch stags fight and spot jellyfish at the seaside, laughing as you discover the meaning of their Irish name, smugairle róin! With Naturama you will discover the magic of every Irish season. So put your boots on – it’s time to go outside!``
- Gill Books

The first time I got my hands on Naturama!

It was a fantastic experience to collaborate with the writer Michael Fewer to create Naturama and its companion book, My Naturama Nature Journal. He is a beautiful writer and created a gentle and playful introduction to the natural world. My illustrations for the book are inspired by my own childhood, growing up on a small farm in county Leitrim. I kept nature journals (see videos of them below) and drew pictures and wrote stories about everything I saw out in the wild, especially the birds.

As you can see from the videos below – I drew most of the birds and animals for Naturama by hand and then scanned them in and collaged them digitally, combining some digital elements in Adobe Illustrator.

Some links where you can buy Naturama online…

(please support your local bookstore and keep them open)

From Gill Books, Ireland

From Liber Books, Sligo

From Dubray Books, Dublin

From Jiminy, Ireland

From The Flower Press Company, Kerry

Special shout out to Bí Urban shop in Dublin where I had a Naturama exhibition..and to the gift shop in the Botanic Gardens….you can buy both books in both places :)

Or, you could always borrow it from your local library to have a look :)

Preview of Naturama

Preview of Naturama

Interview with Illustrator Melissa Doran on RTÉ 2

Interview with Illustrator Melissa Doran on RTÉ 2
Portrait by Maiden Moose