engaging with wonder.
Jennifer N. R. Smith
Illustrator & Author
WonderTheory is the illustration studio of Jennifer N. R. Smith.
Jennifer is an award-winning illustrator and author based in Bristol. Her first children's book, GLOW, was published by Thames and Hudson in 2023. So far, the debut has been translated into 8 languages, including German, Italian, French, Greek, Chinese, Spanish, Polish and Dutch. It is the first in a natural history series called Wild Wonders.
Originally fascinated by it's many interdisciplinary uses, Jennifer studied Drawing at Camberwell, UAL, and went on to become a qualified scientific illustrator, using her creative and technical training in tandem.
In 2020, Jennifer completed her training in Medical Illustration with the Medical Artists' Education Trust and became a fully certified member of the Medical Artist's Association. WonderTheory Studio was launched shortly after, to deliver an approach to informative illustration that resonated with her own experiences of learning and engagement.
She was recently a silver award winner in the 2023 Junior Design Awards, a distinguished merit winner in the 3x3 annual illustration show, and was shortlisted in the World Illustration Awards, V&A Awards and Communication Arts Awards.
For more information on Jennifer's work or to contact her about freelance opportunities, please feel free to get in touch.
Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration, Nominated 2024
Junior Design Awards, Silver Award Winner 2023
3x3 Illustration Award, Distinguished Merit Winner 2023
World Illustration Awards Shortlist 2023
AOI Members Award Shortlist, 2023
Huion Innovation Award Shortlist, 2023
Communication Arts Awards Shortlist 2023
World Illustration Awards Shortlist 2022
V&A Illustration Awards Shortlist 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
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.