Carrie May is a Cornwall-based illustrator best known for her whimsical designs and dreamy colour schemes. She has produced artwork for book jackets, editorial features, and advertising with clients spanning from American Express to Piccadilly Press.

Colour and texture feature consistently throughout Carrie's work and add charm, depth, and character to all manner of subjects. Her romantic renditions of the natural world are truly transportive and take you to a place unparalleled.

Growing up in a small village in Herefordshire, Carrie found herself inspired by nature from a young age.

“I was quite an outdoorsy kid; I'd be playing out in the garden often, and we would do a lot of walking as a family. I think just being outside and having a love for the countryside, plants, and foliage feeds into what I find quite nostalgic now. It's just staggering sometimes that nature is what it is. Some things are so intelligent. I've always been in awe and inspired by nature—place, flora, fauna, animals, all kinds of creatures.”

Nature was a big part of her childhood, but it wasn't the only thing that stole Carrie's heart.

“I've always loved drawing. I found it was something that I just had a natural affinity with. I enjoyed the challenge of drawing something from life or making up stories and illustrating them without even thinking. I've always loved drawing and mark making.”

Wanting to pursue her creative abilities, Carrie moved to the seaside to study illustration at the University of Brighton, where she then developed a style inspired by all things vintage.

“I loved vintage and textures and anything that had a little bit of charm about it, vintage colour palettes and things like that: old printed ephemera and lovely old letterpress prints. I also love old folk art and decorative details, I find vintage combos quite inspiring, and that's what catches my eye. I think that fed into what sort of became my style.”

After graduating with a first-class degree, Carrie continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Art before finding herself in Cornwall, where she now lives with her partner and pet Labrador, Remy.

“I'm really lucky actually with where we live. We have a couple of beautiful gardens close by with tree gardens- I can find places on my doorstep to go and sit with my sketchbook and draw plants from life.”

Carrie has found great success with her illustrations and shares her journey on her Instagram under the handle @bonjourcarriemay.

“I pinch myself sometimes. I feel so lucky that I don't hate Monday mornings; I love them. I love what I do.”

Find yourself in a world of whimsy by checking out Carrie May’s full collections here.