Two artists with fresh takes on the world’s coolest plants

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I want to showcase some great work by two artists I have come to know through writing my book about fig trees.

Dilruba Tayfun

I met Dilruba Tayfun last year when she came to my talk at the Folkestone Book Festival. She told me how her encounter with a big fig tree had led her to explore the mystery of these plants, their fascinating biology and their magical power to influence humankind.

Dilruba’s dissertation for her degree at Central Saint Martins is a gorgeous illustrated essay called Giving a Fig. I love how she has depicted the strangler fig (above). You can see more of her work at her website or on Instagram.

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Angela Boyle

Angela Boyle produces a periodic natural science comic anthology called Awesome ‘Possum and has just successfully crowdfunded the fourth edition. I’ve had a sneak preview and it is great.

Its 200-plus pages are filled with comic strips whose eclectic styles mirror the variety of life they portray — from ghost slugs and bad-luck lemurs to parasitic plants and a bird with a shoe for a bill. It’s biology broken down into bite-size stories packed with fascinating facts— ideal for kids and adults alike.

Angela previously worked at Chelsea Green Publishing, where she was managed the production of the US edition of my book (Gods, Wasps and Stranglers). I was really pleased to see that she had included a story on fig trees in the new Awesome ‘Possum. Check out some of its panels below, or read an interview with Angela here.

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