Maisie Mackenzie

Illustration BDes (Hons)

Illustrator and creative from the Highlands of Scotland with an appreciation for nature, colour and attention to detail.


Growing up in a rural area of the Scottish Highlands, I have always been surrounded by nature. The beauty of the outdoors has constantly been an inspiration to me and I always look for ways to create illustrations that engage viewers with nature. I really enjoy looking at fine detail of different species and I love exploring texture and colour. I feel it is important to create work that can provide a new meaning of nature for people, allowing viewers of my work to see parts of nature they may never have seen before. As well as appreciating nature within my work, I also like to take on different illustration or design challenges. As I have an eye for detail and like to be very precise with my work, this works in favour with design as I enjoy visually communicating themes in a creative way. The process of my work always starts with traditionally painting and sketching, where I then scan this imagery and add final touches with digital techniques. A style I have developed involves hand cutting out painted items to then collage and create layers. I love the look of this technique as it adds a sense of depth, appearing more natural. I prefer the method of traditional art as I love the textures and colours that can be created when experimenting with different media. Although using traditional techniques is my preferred method, I have also developed digital art skills throughout my time at DJCAD. Gaining all of these skills has added great value to the way I work and create.

Six Word Memoir - 'Looking down reveals so much more'

Two hands holding a green fern, looking down on walking shoes with grass, buttercups, daisies and bluebells below.

This project was to create a personal six-word memoir. 'Looking down reveals so much more' explains the way in which looking around you at the smaller details in nature can reveal amazing new species and vibrant colours and textures. As a lover of the outdoors, I feel a real connection to nature and I always enjoy appreciating what can be found. Therefore I focused on this theme for the memoir.

'Diary of a Young Naturalist' book cover for Penguin Books competition

A book cover of a box with eight compartments, featuring a butterfly, a fossil, shells, feathers, sea glass and a buttercup. Text is placed in sections of the box. The title reads; Diary of a Young Naturalist, author; Dara McAnulty, quote 1; 'An extraordinary voice and vision', quote 2; 'really, really special', quote 3; 'Winner of the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing'.

This is a front cover design for the book ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ by Dara McAnulty. As McAnulty explains his interactions with nature throughout the book, he describes the appreciation he has for natural objects. Therefore this book cover was inspired by his collection of natural objects he had found throughout the book.

'Seashore Wonders' Non-Fiction Children's book

I have created a non-fiction children’s book which is all about what can be found at the seashore, encouraging the reader to learn about what can be found in different areas of the beach. There are interactive elements to add some fun to the book. I created everything within the book traditionally with different media. The aim of this book is to encourage children to learn more about what they can discover at the beach.

Coastal collections

As I love to visit and explore beaches, I decided to do a project based on what was found at a selection of four of my favourite beaches on the West Coast of the Highlands. I visited each location and gathered natural objects and imagery to then inspire a series of detailed illustrations. Throughout this process I realised that every time you visit a beach it is a different experience from the last time, always discovering something new.

D&AD Chivas Regal Whisky branding and packaging

A rectangular, vertically standing box with a sloped top, which is purple with a gold river illustration running down the edge of the box, sitting beside a purple bottle with a gold top. A gold river illustration also running down the side of the bottle with text aligned to the left. Text on the bottle and box reads; 'Flex Scotch - Chivas Regal - Chivas Logo (gold heart shaped crest) - Blended Scotch Whisky - Aged 20 years - 40% Alcohol - 75 cl'.

This brief was to create a brand and packaging design for a Chivas Regal whisky that was targeted at a young market of 18-25-year-olds. Therefore the design is simplistic yet visually eye-catching. The inspiration behind this design was the history of Chivas Regal, as the original distillery is in the Highlands of Scotland. The Highlands provided the inspiration for the flavours and colours, being heather and honey, alongside the phrase ‘water of life’.

Please take a look at my Instagram page to see more examples of my work. I can be contacted through Instagram or via email