Natural World, Digital Lens: At Home With Wildflower Graphics
American Bungalow Magazine|Issue 99 Fall 2019
From a small studio in Greenwich, New York, Wildflower Graphics creates stunning botanical illustrations with little more than a pencil and a computer.
Matt Hormann

Tiles, magnets, wall prints, sandstone coasters, and tempered glass serving boards vividly showcase flowers, vegetables, seeds, and small animals. “Our collection includes over sixty designs,” says owner Richie Bittner. “I use Photoshop and Illustrator to do our illustrations, but they all start with pencil. Everything begins with a pencil drawing.”

Wildflower Graphics offers a handcrafted alternative to today’s Amazonsaturated world. Trillium, poppy, fiddleheads, beans, corn, and beets—paired with authentic Arts and Crafts fonts—are just a few of their unique designs.

Bittner’s studio sits on 18 acres of pristine pastoral land that both comforts and inspires. “I walk outside at night, and I can’t see another light; I can’t see another house,” Bittner says. “We’ve got wildflowers galore.”

The creation of Bittner and his first wife, Lynne, Wildflower Graphics had its genesis in a confluence of varied interests and vocations. Happenstance played a large part.

Bittner and Lynne, both musicians, ran a successful custom cabinetry business and were seasoned professionals at designing and building recording studios in New York City in the 1970s and ‘80s. While designing a studio for renowned sound effects artist Tom Clack, they were introduced to the Arts and Crafts movement.

“Tom didn’t know much about design language, didn’t know what to do,” says Bittner. “Lynne said, ‘Listen, I’ll be down in a couple weeks, and I’ll bring some books.’ One she brought was The Architecture of Bernard Maybeck, who had designed many things in Oakland. Tom was really drawn to the thing, so they both discovered the Arts & Crafts movement at the same time. She really glommed on to the design language of it, and Tom’s room came out great.”

Years later, this knowledge proved unexpectedly useful.

In the nineties, Bittner was persuaded to buy a Mac so he could communicate online. In doing so, he discovered Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator—the benchmark graphics programs of the era—and became an instant enthusiast. “I just immersed myself and was sold,” he says.

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