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Nicola Howell Hawley

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Nicola Howell Hawley of Howell Illustration

My love of art first began with my Grandad. Everyone said I got my creativity from him, and I can tell you he certainly informed my love of small details, history and nature, which have carried through my degree in Fine Art to my work today.

My love of maps began much later in life, when I was an editor working on Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror books, and where I was exposed to my first illustrated maps, drawn by Emily Faccini. From there my love has slowly grown; I love the history of maps, their inaccuracies, the stories linked with them, the way they tell a story of who we were and what we become, and I love what they have become in an era when we don't physical maps any more: art. I think my Grandad would have loved my work.

And I love that every time I sit down to do a map, my job changes, whether it's a personal, historical, fictional or non-fictional illustrated map, I really enjoy bringing new worlds to life.

I pull inspiration from antique maps, as well as illustrators such as Emily Faccini, Helen Cann, Katie Scott and Jessica Roux. I love making clear illustrated maps and art that incorporate small details you can only see as you look closer.


I have worked with Quercus Books, Jo Fletcher Books, Angry Robot and created animal illustrations for Studio Press, as well as many personal clients. See what they say below!


I would love to work with you to create the map that tells your story, so please contact me at and let's chat! 



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Hello! I don't use social media, but I do have a YouTube channel, a blog, and a newsletter where you can connect with me. Please click the symbol above for YouTube, sign up for my newsletter on my contact page, and join me on the blog - I'd love to see you there!


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“Not only does Nicola have talent and skill, creating beautiful illustrations and maps for our books, she also engages with the work on a level that shows her genuine love for what she is doing. She works intelligently, asking exactly the questions required to get an end result that is correct, stunning and makes for happy authors! Thank you, Nicola!”

Georgina Difford, Managing Editor at Quercus, a division of Hachette, UK

"From the moment we discovered Nicola’s art we new that we wanted to work with her but we could never have known that any collaboration would be this fruitful and rewarding. Nicola’s immediate response to our music and story was so inspiring and the respect with which she treated our ideas fostered a creative trust which allowed the final concept to quickly take shape. Any minor changes as we developed the images were openly received, discussed enthusiastically and ultimately Nicola made the process an absolute pleasure. The final results of our collaboration are far beyond anything we could have imagined while being exactly what we set out to achieve; the perfect visual representation of the music we make and the messages and feelings we hope to convey."

Matthew Racher and Bailey Tzuke, T.I.G.Y 

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