In college, I majored in evolutionary botany, the study of the descent of plant species and how they change over time. Later, my interests shifted to the history of art and architecture. It was somewhere between these periods that I discovered the work of J.J. Grandville, the French caricaturist from the early 19th century.
Grandville is famous for his satirical scenes featuring people with the heads of animals, or flowers personified. His work can be sardonic and sweet at the same time, and this blend made me realize that Grandville's botany of desire was also my own. He was a great inspiration in my decision to open Castle in the Air, where we study paper flowers, have conversations with talking insects, and generally live in a world as fantastic as Grandville's.