Successful Scottish Artist reveals how she discovered her signature style


A renowned Scottish artist who has sold millions of books worldwide has revealed how she discovered her signature style in Dundee.

Johanna Basford, was awarded an OBE for her services to art and entrepreneurship after selling over 20 million copies of illustrating books worldwide.

The 36-year-old graduated from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) in 2005.

Johanna, returned to her alma mater last month to see how students’ preparations for this year’s Degree Show were going.

And it was during her time at the Dundee art school she discovered her unique style of intricate, black and white hand drawn florals.

Johanna said: “I discovered my style at Christmas time in my fourth year.

“I thought I was going to specialise in bold silhouettes but around that time I did one drawing in a studio in DJCAD that just suddenly changed everything.”

“I had discovered a kind of work that just lit my soul on fire.

“It became all I could think about and it became what I was drawn to. I developed it here at DJCAD and honed my craft to become better at what I do.”

Johanna Basford, OBE, finished her art degree in 2005

Johanna from Auchnagatt, Aberdeenshire has created illustrations for world leading companies such as Channel 4, H&M, DKNY and even for the V&A

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and Architecture Degree Show is always a highlight of the city’s cultural calendar.

This year’s exhibition will for the first tie be held in the V&A Dundee, 18-26 May representing Dundee’s biggest week of art and design to date.

Last year’s exhibition attracted a record attendance of 16,000, generating in excess of £1.5 million for the local economy.

Around 300 students will once again be showcasing visually stunning art and design that seeks to solve some of society’s biggest problems.


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