Lily Kroese BA (Hons) Illustration with Animation

Lily Kroese

Led by a love of gentle storytelling, Lily’s work seeks to connect with people in quiet ways. Using colouring pencils and watercolours, she hopes to create handmade tactility in her work, connecting the viewer to her process. Her practice varies between picture books, paintings and animations.

Inspired by her research into the function of melancholy in children’s books, Lily wrote and illustrated Bird Girl, a picture book about finding home and belonging in new circumstances. She sought to create a story which would help children deal with loss, and to cope with sadness and confusion before finding community and hope. 

Like most young birds, Bird Girl is small and fragile. Like most young girls, she is very brave. When a strange wind blows her out of her nest and into the city, Bird Girl begins a journey to find out what home really is.

Depicting melancholy in children’s books requires a lightness of touch. It asks the picture book maker to give care, attention and tenderness to their work and to their readers.  It demands hope — not idealised optimism but real, concrete hope that can stay with and sustain children throughout their lives. 

Lily is currently creating an animated response to research conducted by sociologists at the University of Cardiff. The project explores how wild swimming affects the way people feel about themselves and the natural world. The film will be a watercolor animated sensory exploration into how the water hears, holds and heals those who swim in it.