Holding the product of your efforts in your hand is always a nice feeling, especially when the project in question has taken up a big chunk of your time over the span of several months. And if it happens to be something that you are really passionate about, then it becomes all the more meaningful.

Such was for me the case with Upplevelser i Stockholms natur (Experiences in Stockholm’s nature), a 300-page beginner’s guide to exploring Stockholm’s rich natural areas, for which I created 28 maps, 59 species illustrations, 13 animal tracks, and 10 symbols.

Dream project

Over the past year I have been trying to have my artwork serve an environmental purpose, to help illustrate, protect, and spread knowledge about the natural world.

Drawing maps for fantasy books and role-playing games is a lot of fun, but I felt like it was time to engage more actively, with my own specific skills, and give something back to Nature, from which we are all too often only used to take.

The dream opportunity was when Erik Hansson – creator of the nature news portal Natursidan and one of the authors together with marine biologist Oliver Karlöf and herpetologist Vide Ohlin – approached me to create the illustrated maps and species for the book.

This project proved to be very important for me, as it enabled me to express my love and passion for the natural environment as a whole, and at the same time for my new home country, Sweden, and the Stockholm area where I live.

Tyresta National Park is arguably one of the most impressive natural areas in Stockholm.

Hemmesta Sjöäng in the Värmdö municipality.

A comprehensive field guide

The volume is spectacularly rich with information and tips about how to enjoy and explore the many different sides of Stockholm’s nature (mushrooms, insects, plants, animals, and much much more…).

On a visual note, the photographs by renowned wildlife photographers such as Marie Mattsson and Jonathan Stenvall, are simply gorgeous.

Some pages from the book. Photographs by Saga-Mariah Sandberg.

To read more about the project, and to see more illustrations, please check out the project page.

The book (in Swedish) can be bought online on Bokus.