Melbourne-based artist Samuel Humphreys Illustration creates exquisitely detailed illustrations of our natural world. To protect the subject matter he holds dear, he plants a tree with CPA for each artwork sold, and offsets his flights with us when he travels, making him this months Carbon Hero. We asked him to tell us a little more about his motivations.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the inspirations behind your brand?
I’m an illustrator, just me, one person. A self-confessed conservation illustrator who attempts to find beauty in every aspect of life. My subject matter ranges from natural history, strict scientific illustration, all the way to figurative art and oriental mythology.
Why is caring for the environment important to you?
The environment; the natural world is the dearest of all my artistic subjects. As it is for many other artists, if not all artists. Whether you paint nudes, photograph cityscapes, or practice dance, the environment is intrinsic to every artistic expression on this planet. So protecting, preserving, conserving and caring for the environment goes deeper than just planting trees. Caring for the environment is caring for any expression of art, it’s fundamental to our existence.
What motivates you to support Carbon Positive’s work in particular?
CPA’s transparency is what initially drew me to their work. CPA has an holistic approach to conservation; sequestering carbon with the planting of native trees that are specific and important to their respective geographical areas, and as a result restoring entire ecosystems. This ecological awareness that CPA possesses is crucial for a flow-on effect of conservation and also an incredibly important attitude to have towards the natural world in general.
Are there any other green initiatives that your organisation is working on?
Depending on the artistic project I’m undertaking, I choose between CPA and the World Land Trust’s ‘Save an Acre’ campaign. They purchase land all over the world in important biodiversity areas and either protect existing land or transform degraded land into conservation areas. With the help of patrons who have purchased my art, and my 20% charity donation initiative, we have saved 4 acres together and extended a cloud forest reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon, not a small feat for an independent artist with no representation.
Do you have any other environmental goals that you would like to achieve? If yes, how and by when?
A larger goal for me would be to eventually purchase some degraded land and transform it into a forest, or at the very least, a functioning ecosystem that supports various species. The dream is to do this with the help of my artwork sales and allow buyers to visit their area, or tree we’ve planted and have an interactive experience of sorts for everyone who wishes to do so. Creating the first forest that has been inadvertently planted by conservation art.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our supporters?
My current ‘Eucalypt’ series will consist of 10 original illustrations celebrating the natural history of Australia and combining an adoration for botanicals, vintage paper and Australiana colours. If you’re lucky enough to own an illustration you will also receive a native Australian tree planted in your name.