The Wonder Theory
A different approach to informative illustration.
Learning through wonder was named as one of the top 10 emerging movements in education by the 2019 Innovating Pedagogy report. It’s about time - from Aristotle and Plato, to Rachel Carson and Carl Sagan, many philosophers and scientists throughout history have spoken of the importance of wonder.
Wonder motivates learning, creativity, and a deep engagement with the realities and mysteries of the world. Wonder goes beyond curiosity, as it is not just a longing to know the unknown, but is able to revisit prior knowledge with fresh eyes, as if it were the first time.
Jennifer’s aim is to not only communicate scientific and social truth through her illustrations, but to evoke a sense of wonder - to open the doors to deeper engagement with ideas and concepts.
Using a combination of the tactility of traditional media and the expansion of creative possibilities through digital software, Jennifer’s stippled drawings and textured collages attempt to evoke the wonder of the macro and microscopic: a starry night sky, but also the atoms we are made of. A geological landscape, but also the layering of tissues and cells. Jennifer sees her own wonder and engagement, with both subject, and the creative process, as an essential part of making work that inspires such in others.
Jennifer N. R. Smith
Illustrator & Animator
Jennifer is an award-winning illustrator and visual artist based in Bristol. Her work, spanning multiple forms of media including traditional drawing, digital animation and interactive design, has a focus on evoking the wonder response.
Graduating from Camberwell College of Arts, UAL in 2015, Jennifer received a first class Bachelor's degree in Fine Art Drawing. At this time she co-founded Artist Collective 'Perhaps?', and began widening her practice as both a fine artist and an illustrator.
In 2020, she completed her training in Medical Illustration with the Medical Artists Education Trust, receiving a distinction for her work, and became a fully certified member of the Medical Artist's Association. WonderTheory was launched shortly after, to deliver an approach to informative illustration that resonated with her own experiences of learning and engagement.
She has worked with clients such as Thames & Hudson, Headline, Little Brown Book Group, The British Library, Penguin Random House, Lenny Letter, Nursing Times and First Look Media.
For more information on Jennifer's work or to contact her about freelance opportunities, please feel free to get in touch.
V&A Illustration Awards, Shortlist 2022
World Illustration Awards, Longlist 2022
ABCD Awards, Shortlist 2022
Barbers Bursary Tuition Award, 2020
Whitaker Award of excellence 2017
HIX Award, Finalist, 2015
Clyde & Co Award, Shortlist, 2015
Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Art - Distinction
Medical Artists' Education Trust, 2016 - 2020
BA Drawing - First Class with honours
Camberwell College of Arts
University of the Arts London, 2012 - 2015