A nonfiction book illustration and design about the life of Simona Kossak, a Polish biologist and zoo-psychologist. She was considered a witch because she lived in a Białowieża Forest hut with various animals who treated her as one of them.
Simona started out as a neglected and bullied child. Her parents wanted a son, and even as a girl she wasn’t as beautiful and talented to their standards as her sister. Her mother was so distant that it was a huge thing when Simona was allowed to touch the hemline of her dress; so I used the lace as a symbol in the illustrations of her biography. I printed pieces of lace on paper then put it all together digitally with other hand painted textures.
As Simona grew up, she felt even more restricted in the family home with cold and abusive people around her. Luckily at least they had a huge garden where she could roam freely and make friends with all the animals living there. The frottage wood pattern that returns on the illustrations symbolises her deep and honest connection to nature.
When Simona arrived at the remote wooden cabin located at the mysterious and dense Białowieża Forest, she immediately knew that it was the only place she wanted to, she needed to live in. She wasn’t completely alone there: she easily made friends with all the wild animals and not so easily with a human, photographer Lech Wilczek, accidentally living under the same roof. They really became her family instead of the one she was born in and who neglected her. She had a true and deep connection with animals, much stronger than with humans.
Besides biography illustrations I also created three infographics of Simona's three most beloved animal friends: Zabka the wild boar and Agata the lynx who slept in her bed and Korasek, the crow, who liked to harass cyclists.
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