GREEN Point’s Stephanie Holm has taken her love of Australian flora and fauna and used it to create a colouring-in book for adults.
The 26-year-old is currently doing a PHD on Natural History Illustrations at Newcastle University.
Combing her field studies from university with her creative flare, the young illustrator has brought together 85-pages of beautiful drawings of Australian wildlife.
“The book partly came about due to my studies but I also have a passion for Australian flora and fauna,” she said.
“A lot of my field studies and drawings over the course of my degree have fed into creating the book. My field studies have taken me to places like Booti Booti National Park in the Great Lakes as well as several other places around Newcastle.
“If someone had said to me I’d have a book published by the end of the year I would have laughed at them."Author Stephanie Holm
“I feel the book is a more realistic style than those that are on the market at the moment. There’s a range of animals in their natural habitat. I really wanted to capture the personalities of each animal.”
Stephanie said she has her mum to thank for encouraging her to go ahead with the book.
“I was talking to my mum, who is a school teacher, one day about how art therapy books have become really popular,” she said.
“I had noticed it had become a bit of a trend and I had been following the Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford’s work before she even brought out a colouring-in book.
“My mum said to me ‘you could do one of those you know’ and after I thought about it I said ‘yeah, I think I could too.’”
Miss Basford’s books Secret Garden, Enchanted and Lost Ocean have topped the Australian and International book charts with millions of copies sold worldwide.
Miss Holm also has an interest in creative writing which meant she was aware of publisher Allen and Unwin’s ‘Friday pitch’ – a day which gives writers the opportunity to send through their manuscripts and have them viewed by an editor.
“I ended up sending them six pages that I had drawn up,” Stephanie explains.
The publishing house was quick to respond and before Stephanie knew it she was being headhunted by Murdoch books.
“Literally six months from the first contact with them it all came together. It’s all happened really quickly,” she said.
“It took about 12 full weeks for me to complete the book. I was doing long hours. It was an intensely creative period but I enjoyed the pressure in a way as it forced me to be creative.”
Miss Holm has also included a spotters guide in the book for those who would like to know more about the animal they are colouring in.
“I thought it would provide people with some knowledge about them and it also raises awareness,” she said.
“Australian animals are so unique and I guess I didn’t realise the great diversity of them, especially the birds and how interesting they are until I started doing the course.”
Since the books release on October 19, Stephanie has already sold 2,300 copies.
“I’m over joyed that people have responded the way they have to it,” she said.
“If someone had said to me I’d have a book published by the end of the year I would have laughed at them.
“I always wanted to create a book I just didn’t know it would be a colouring-in book. This has gone above and beyond my expectations.”
Stephanie’s book is currently available at JuJu’s Collection on Wharf Street, Forster or for more information visit www.stephanieholm.com
RESIDENTS are invited to attend a launch of Stephanie’s book, Wildscapes, in Forster on Monday, November 16.
The launch will take place at Great Lakes Library on Breese Parade from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.
For more information phone the library on 6591 7256