Based on Portland, Oregon, the forests and fields of the Pacific Northwest are a great source of inspiration for Peggy, and wildflowers and ferns are some of her favourite subjects. She’s an artist who likes to try new things, experimenting by combining different media, celebrating the little imperfections that give art its humanity. As well as illustration, Peggy is a successful author who aims to make learning and creativity more accessible to people.
Peggy works with a range of media, from sketching on her iPad through to getting messy with brightly coloured gouache. Bringing ideas and concepts together and seeing how they work is what excites her, leading to something fresh with each project she works on.
Thriving on bright floral compositions, with the flowers neatly arranged and each given its own individuality, Peggy’s style has a relaxed and happy vibe to it. She loves adding in little animals and is equally adept drawing urban scenes and creating modern calligraphy.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator? Peggy: Mental health. I desperately needed to change my coping mechanisms so I sat down and without thinking, started creating. I completely changed my life and the way that I approach and think about things.Question: Did you study illustration at college? Peggy: Nope! I'm completely self taught all by accident!Question: Where did you grow up? Peggy: I grew up and still live in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon is my home. While I don't love the rain, I do love the greenery it provides. I can't leave because I love the temperate climate and the green forests.Question: Describe your studio for us Peggy: I wanted to make sure that my studio was nice and bright, but also offered a ton of color. I balanced these two aspects by bringing in light flooring, light office furniture, and painting a bright, colorful floral mural on one of the walls.Question: Do you have any studio pets? Peggy: I sure do! I share my space with my sweet, old lady pug named Lucy. I've also got my little mini schnauzer Billie running around with my cat, Little Edie.Question: How do you get your ideas? Peggy: Ideas spark from all over for me. Most often from items in nature or when unique colors show up together. I also love seeing different types of architecture, the colors used, the materials, the unique structures.Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Peggy: I love traveling. I love immersing myself in other cultures with open arms to experience life in someone else's world.Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed Peggy: In filming an online course to be released in 2020, I promote experimentation and I was able to apply abstract ideas in a series and I felt so free while I was painting. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Peggy: I'd love to work with Rainforest Alliance, Humane Society, WWF, really any nonprofit helping the protection and preservation of wildlife.Question: Why is illustration such a powerful medium? Peggy: There is a lot we can't say with words. I think that illustration is like music in that way. We can pour a lot onto a page and into sound to evoke feeling. We crave connection and when something speaks to us through emotion, there's nothing like it.Question: What is the best use of illustration you have ever seen? Peggy: Anytime illustration can be used to spread a message that matters, I think an artist has done their job. I'm personally extremely invested in animal rights so when I see art surrounding a cause to raise awareness, it's speaking for those who don't have voices.Question: Who is your art hero? Peggy: James Richards is a brilliant urban sketcher with a heart of gold. I admire him because he really takes time to show up in his art, taking in the full experience to be present in his surroundings. Question: Who is your musical hero? Peggy: Brandi Carlile. Enough said.Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Peggy: Easily an educator. I'm already an educator and unconventional learning is my main focus, but if I wasn't freelance, I would be interested in showing up for middle age kids.Question: Would you still illustrate if you were stranded alone on a desert island? Peggy: YES. I'd find unique ways to create pigment and use found objects for tools.Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Peggy: We can't control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to it.Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet and why? Peggy: Pablo Picasso. I have mixed feelings about him and I'd really love to have a long, fireside chat to figure him out a bit more.