Meet Adriana Picker, the Botanical Illustrator
This Lunar New Year, you may see a bit of a difference in two of our most-loved products: Activating Water Essence and Rose Body Oil. While the same nourishing and hydrating formulas are on the inside, the outside has been taken over by hand-drawn botanicals. Red and gold illustrations weave across the bottles, as well as the cartons that contain them, making these limited editions extra special.
Australian botanicals – Gum Blossom and Wattle – are blended with traditional Chinese flowers of Peach Blossom, Peonies and Orchid, which represent prosperity and growth, richness and peace, and abundance, respectively. It’s a rich and multilayered design you could get lost in, revealing something new every time you look at it.
The woman behind these unique illustrations is Adriana Picker, the Australian artist whose lifelong love of botanicals comes through in every stem she draws, every petal she shapes and every stroke her paintbrush makes.
With an upbringing in NSW’s Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley, Adriana has been surrounded by nature and botanicals since her early childhood – something which is evident in her illustrative style (which she describes as “lush, detailed, densely saturated, romantic”).
It’s a source of inspiration that continues to grow, too. After heading to Sydney for university, she now lives on the other side of the world in New York and while that may not be the first place that conjures up images of flowers and nature, Adriana still manages to seek them out.
In lieu of the coast, or her family’s garden back in the Hunter, she often spends her spare time in the New York Botanical Garden, which she describes visiting whilst donning bright dresses and a bucket hat – a stark contrast to the other visitors who, at twice her age, tend to be dressed head-to-toe in that dark New Yorker uniform.
You only need to take a quick look at her past work (she counts Vogue, Gourmet Traveller and T2 amongst her clients – and she can now add Jurlique to that roster) to see that botanicals have played a huge influence in her career as an artist. On top of her work with Vogue and the like, Adriana has illustrated three books: The Garden of Earthly Delights, Where the Wildflowers Grow, and The Cocktail Garden which she cites as a career highlight - “it’s entirely thrilling to stumble across your name on the front cover of a book in a place you’ve never visited before!”
She has also dipped her nib into the film world, illustrating costumes for high-profile productions such as The Great Gatsby, Mad Max: Fury Road and Hacksaw Ridge. But despite her success and name-dropping credentials, Adriana is relaxed, friendly and down to earth. She’s not precious about her work but really enjoys watching how the brands she partners with interpret her illustrations, and in her own words she loves “nerding out” over botanicals (she’s currently enrolled on a course to expand on her knowledge).
Aside from nature, her sources of inspiration extend to other creative women that surround her. “Their career achievements further my ambition and their support pushes me forward. I am lucky enough to count within my close circle such talented women as designer Silvana Azzi Heras, photographer Nikki To, producer Rachel Fung, CEO and founder Meggie Palmer and many more!”
Between juggling clients, drawing and “nerding out”, it’s safe to say Adriana Picker is a busy woman - but she still manages to find ways to unwind in her every day. “At the moment I ride a citi bike to and from work in Dumbo. The path there is along the east river and takes me through some lovely parkland by the water. In the evening the glorious sun sets over Manhattan and I am reminded of living by the water in Sydney. I also really enjoy a nap.”
A woman after our own heart.