Talented illustrator Nandina Vines says working on a children’s book during her treatment for breast cancer proved to be a “lifesaver”.
Ms Vines, who was always a keen drawer, enjoyed a long-lasting and fulfilling career as a graphic designer before being handed the opportunity to chase her dreams of becoming a children’s illustrator and author.
Based in the Hunter Valley, she was contacted by publisher IP Kidz to complete illustrations for the latest book, titled Watching through the Day.
A sequel to Sydney author Julie Thorndyke’s popular picture book Waiting for the Night, it follows the adventures of a child who has just received a new camera for their birthday.
The child photographs native creatures and common sights when out and about during the day, including pelicans gliding, geckos lurking in the shadows, and cats dozing.
Ms Vines’ work is heavily influenced by the bushland that surrounds her home and by the coast where she grew up.
Australian native flora and fauna feature regularly, while she also has a passion for illustrating horses, cats, and dogs.
She said working on Watching through the Day was a good distraction after her cancer diagnosis.
“It was a lifesaver for me,” she says.
“It just took the focus off me completely and gave me a goal to work towards.
“I kept working on it all the way through the treatment.
“The illustrations are all digital and were done on a laptop in Adobe Photoshop, so I had the laptop on my bed in hospital and kept working away.
“It took me 12 months to complete in the end.”
Watching through the Day is available to buy online.