Q+A with Sara Boccaccini Meadows

Q+A with Sara Boccaccini Meadows

Sara Boccaccini Meadows is a British-born artist living in Brooklyn, NY with her daughter. Her work draws on her relationship to nature and explores the environmental contrast in urban and rural landscapes. She uses watercolor, gouache and acrylic to create quirky illustrations from children's books to wall murals. Sara has long been a supporter of climate action and women’s rights and is dedicated to using her art to make a difference.

Sara's books include Things You Can Do, Grow, Glow and soon to be released, Fly.


What first ignited your passion for sustainability? 

The real turning point for me came after giving birth to my daughter in 2014, I was thinking more and more about what her future looked like. Climate change was becoming more prevalent and I started to become more active in protests and rallies.



What was the most surprising thing you learned about the state of our planet when you were working on "Things You Can Do"? 

How climate change affects us all but little steps can make a huge difference if everyone were to do something. 



What sustainable choices did you make when you first became a new mom, and how have those evolved over time as your daughter has gotten older?

I always wanted to do cloth diapers and breastfeed for a year plus like my own mother had... but I struggled through breastfeeding for a few months and often had to top up with formula milk which I'd felt guilty about and we had no washer/dryer in our apartment so cloth diapers were not really possible. So that being said my sustainable choices were mostly vegetarian diet, reusable bags, no plastic water bottles, biking as much as possible and clothing swaps! I've always tried to shop in consignment stores or swap kids clothes with friends. I always try to shop at farmers markets and local grocery stores and regularly attend climate rallies. I found that since having my kid the focus of my work mainly centers around nature and environmental issues.


Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A lot of my inspiration comes from greenery, landscapes and botanicals. Since moving to NYC 12 years ago, I'm constantly looking for a connection to nature and often find myself taking trips upstate or to the beaches and parks around New York. I document these travels and the treasures I find in little sketchbooks that have become such a valuable source of inspiration. 



It's friday night, how are you spending your time?

Haha this changes week to week and depending on the weather. If it's nice and summery, I love taking my daughter to the park with friends and getting pizza plus take out wine for the adults. If I have a night alone then I might treat myself to a massage or go for dinner/see a gig with a friend. I love watching live music! 


There’s a lot to be concerned about these days when it comes to the state of the planet we’re leaving our children, what gives you hope about the future? 

Seeing so many children and young adults involved in events around sustainability is really inspiring and gives me a lot of hope for our planets future. 



What is the most extravagant sustainable act you've taken recently, and the simplest?  

I think sewing up a hole in my yoga pants is the simplest. I bought a new bike (from a jumble) last year..that felt pretty extravagant and I usually take at least one journey by bike per day (I don't have a car so it's either bike or subway).


What advice do you have for new parents when it comes to raising kids sustainably? 

Eating healthy and sustainable food is one of my biggest priorities as a parent. I would advise any parent to encourage their kids to question where the food we’re buying comes from and to find as many ways to get fresh and sustainable food into our diets. I know it’s not always easy, depending where you live and what’s available. Also, checking labels for nasty ingredients! 


What was your fav part about collaborating with Esembly? 

The Esembly team were fantastic to work with and it was a real collaborative effort in choosing the design direction. Once we had decided on the theme for each design I got to illustrate and paint the prints, which is generally my favorite part of any project as I find it so relaxing.



Which of the 3 prints is your favorite and why? 

I'm a sucker for a floral and loved working on all the ditsy plants and flowers in the floral design. 


Which Boccaccini Meadows x Esembly products are your favorite and why? 

I adore the fabric Bowl Caps! My mum has some silicone ones which I was planning to buy as they're so handy at keeping food fresh.. but now I have these cute printed ones that will make my table look pretty when prepping parties!!

(You can shop the Esembly x Boccaccini Meadows collection here)



What's next for you and where can we check out more of your work?

I am continuing working on my Children's Book series 'In Our Nature'. My next book FLY is publishing in the US this September and I'm really excited to have started work on my 4th book. Keep an eye out for that next year! You can also always find me on my instagram.