Everything Was Blooming is the first in the trio of the Flora Series I created back in 2012. I loved creating this illustration – at the time, it felt like a real turning point in my drawing style. Long before this series I had always been forcibly encouraged by art teachers to drop the detail and to focus instead on ‘scaling up’. The problem was that big paintings in broad brushstrokes simply isn’t my thing.  I would love to create a large scale work, but not at the expense of the small details – and, unfortunately, A level art just couldn’t afford me the time I would have needed to create such an intricate plus-sized work.

Graphite on paper, 297 x 210 mm
© 2012-16 Ella Jackson

Still, that mantra of ‘build big, ignore the small’ stuck with me for the first few years after I left school. ‘Everything Was Blooming’ was the first illustration where I can truly see that I shrugged off the concern that size was more relevant than the details. The details ran rampant. I loved it and the whole process was incredibly liberating.


The title was inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s beautifully vivid prose:

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.

Rainer Maria Rilke

The quotation is restless and almost pained, completely different from the tone of the illustration. I find that I’m often most creative when I’m most stressed, upset or frustrated – and most times drawing is a beautifully cathartic experience for me. It’s the closest state to mediation that I’ve ever experienced. I loose track of time, of self, of concerns, and so the notion of turning the ‘shrieking’ from Rainer’s prose into a meditation of the heart seemed a wonderfully apt title at the time.