Amelia Rouse

Amelia Rouse is from Barbados. While she studied civil engineering, her first love is illustration and she produces beautiful work in pen and ink with an emphasis on nature. She’s been illustrating for Where the Leaves Fall since issue #3.

Describe the nature around you?

I'm currently at home in Barbados. Right outside my window are some okra, basil, and tomato plants. The room I'm sitting in has an aloe vera plant sitting by the window. I can also see my neighbour's banana tree from here.

What lessons have you learned from nature?

Resilience and renewal - it sounds a bit cliche but you can always find a way to bounce back from a setback. I remember when a jocote plum tree got chopped down in my neighbourhood and within a few months new shoots were coming out on the sides. Oh also, drink some water, we all need watering.

How can art help us connect to the natural world?

I love observing and drawing. Drawing outside helps me really concentrate on the shapes and rhythms in nature. It also takes you outside to get some fresh air and to look at things around you. It also encourages you to preserve and plant new and interesting things.

Which tree, plant or flower would you draw first on a white piece of paper? Why?

This is a tough question. Maybe a Mango tree. It's a tree I grew up with, in my backyard. Now it's huge and strong. It was supposed to be a dwarf tree, but there's nothing small about that dude. I love it and it gives so many mangoes during the season. It's wild.

Which song, book or poem nurtured your relationship with nature?

I was a Disney kid so, Colours and the Wind in Pocahontas and Circle of Life in the Lion King were core memories.

Name a TV series, film, podcast or documentary that blew your mind.

I still love watching Planet Earth and any slow-motion videos of plants growing are super interesting. But there was a documentary in my geography class at school (when I was like 13) about volcanoes in the Galapagos that I thought was just fascinating also. I have no clue what the name of it was.

Name a place where you feel most at ease.

At Carlisle Bay in Bridgetown Barbados. It's the beach I know the best. I like to swim out and look for turtles at least once a week. But I also like sitting in my backyard under the trees.

Which rituals do you practice to keep you grounded?

I exercise outside every morning and potter about in the garden every evening.

What initiative have you heard of recently and you’d like everyone to support?

Anything to do with Where the Leaves Fall, It's Freezing in LA and and

Could you suggest someone else or other organisations you admire that we could approach for #TheNatureKind?

I've recently been watching videos from Eco.Tok on Instagram and over on Tik Tok I started watching some videos from the spicymoustache about gardening.

You can follow Amelia on Instagram: @thisisrouse

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