STADSLIV: a city ecology adventure

After moving house and paying the obligatory visit to IKEA, I found myself "reading" one of their manuals. Such iconic style, so recognizable. Can I not borrow this for something?

Sketching out the first version of the storyboard, I remembered something important: that my drawing is like my bowling. Not the worst, but by no means something to brag about.

I was going to need some help.

The IKEA artist

Enter Vincenzo Garofalo, an Italian illustrator and student I met online and goes by Denkishi.

When I messaged him, he was curious and ready to jump to the occasion. Here are some parts of the storyboard I sent to him:


The research

Even if the style of the drawings was going to be cartoony, I wanted the story to reflect the fascinating relationships between organisms you might see every day.

Drawing from non-fiction (most notably A Buzz in the Meadow by Dave Goulson and Wilding by Isabella Tree) and a course on wild bees, I selected some interactions that had hooked me when I heard about them for the first time.

We were learning about the ecosystem we sought to describe and how to tell its story without using any words.

STADSLIV is the result of an ongoing foray into life in the city and visual storytelling.


Join us in figuring out how the different part make up your neighborhood ecosystem.