Gemma Koomen’s illustrations evoke a sense of ease. Drawn with a limited earthy color palette, she uses gouache, acrylic gouache, ink, and the occasional color pencil, to create simple compositions that revolve around flora and fauna – a sure recipe for mending a broken heart.
Based in Northumberland, UK, Koomen is inspired by nature, nostalgia, and simplicity, with a love of plants, birds, rambling walks, and tea in the sunshine. She also enjoys vintage paraphernalia, old black and white photography, time spent in nature, and conversations with her two young daughters.
“I grew up as a child of two artist parents in south-west Scotland where I spent lots of time drawing and roaming around in nature,” she recalled in an interview with Ballpitmag. “I originally trained in fine art photography and for many years I worked as a photographer and graphic/web designer. But I have always drawn and kept sketchbooks. When I had children I started drawing and painting with them. It felt so good, so much so I began a committed practice of drawing and sharing my work on Instagram. That has gradually led to a lot of engaging work!”
She’s been hard at work ever since, and with more than 70k followers on Instagram – people are clearly taking note. “I am a peace-loving, sensitive person; I yearn for calm, simplicity beauty and connection, which feeds into my work, and in turn makes me look for that all the more in the other moments when I am not painting or drawing,” she says.
Follow her Instagram page for a bit of magic.