In Conversation With Lucila Perini - Ordinary Habit

In Conversation With Lucila Perini

In Conversation With Lucila Perini - Ordinary Habit

Spring is here, and so are little signs of life: sleepy buds on trees, wet soil from a recent April shower, shy tulips slowly opening up toward the sky. These simple scenes remind us of the season’s many gifts and beg the question: How can we become better caretakers of the earth? For Buenos Aires-based illustrator Lucila Perini, it starts with paying attention. “I firmly believe that art is a powerful agent of change,” Perini shared in our interview below. “Through art, we can learn and connect more with important issues [regarding] our society and see new world perspectives.” Perini’s inherent curiosity lends itself well to attention and art-making. “Even though I studied graphic design, I’ve always had a strong passion for art and painting,” she explained. “Illustration has allowed me to combine these two worlds.” Bright colors are a mainstay in Perini’s work and add liveliness to scenes that often depict interactions between people and the planet. Take Water Lily Girls, for instance, a vibrant 100-piece puzzle from our latest collection.

Whether through books, stickers, editorial work, or puzzles, Perini’s art activates our senses—and, at the very least, reminds us to engage with nature more intentionally. 


When did you first realize the connection between creativity and nature?

I’ve always been very curious and have developed skills in many different areas, which is definitely reflected in my profession and interests. I think that anyone who seeks it can find a connection between nature and creativity. Plants have taught me about shapes, the beauty of imperfections, the vividness of colors, and their organic behavior. By observing and being present, you can’t help but be inspired by the world around us.

How do you engage with nature outside of your art practice? What has nature taught you about yourself recently?

Well, my relationship with nature is always present in everything I do. I prioritize staying connected to it as much as possible because it really is a balm for my mind and an incredible refuge. Even though I live in the middle of the city, I’m surrounded by over a hundred plants that I care for and relate to individually. It is an act of love that I consider reciprocal, as they keep my space alive, they gift me incredible flowers and leaves, and I learn a lot from this bond. I like to walk in parks, recognize their trees, and discover if they are in flower or fruit season; it’s a way of understanding time. I also keep a nature journal in which I write about the air, the shape of the moon, changes in temperature, and anything related to nature that happens in my day. These practices have taught me to be present and sensitive to my surroundings, even if I don’t understand them. They have shown me the true scale of things in the world and taught me to care for myself as I care for my environment.

Tell us about your creative process. How do you like to work? Do you brainstorm a piece or dive right in? Do you prefer working in silence or with music playing? How does the light in your space look? What excites you? What overwhelms you? What keeps you going?

Ideally, I like to start my work by setting up a special place to sketch, with sunlight coming in through the window at my desk, something nice to drink, and maybe some instrumental music.

I like to dedicate my time and concentration to the beginnings of projects and keep my environment inspiring. For example, if I’m sketching something related to nature, I might order exotic flowers or take a walk to observe the trees in my neighborhood. Once I’ve generated some initial ideas, I proceed to sketch out the most effective ones and experiment with different color palettes using thick brushes to avoid being concerned with the final outcome.

Finally, I refine the design with a more relaxed approach, taking pleasure in adjusting details and considering last-minute tweaks to textures, elements, and perspectives. The more I immerse myself in the design, the more I enjoy the process. It keeps me excited to tell the story of the piece and explore my identity as an artist.

What themes, scenes, or moments did you want to explore when conceiving Water Lily Girls? Did you encounter any unexpected creative discoveries when crafting the artwork for this puzzle?

It was actually inspired by Monet’s beautiful Water Lilies. I had the pleasure of seeing his work a few days ago and was absolutely blown away by the textures and colors. I knew I had to incorporate that feeling into my next piece.

When I created [the artwork], it was very warm, and I thought about how amazing it would be to be in this oasis of plants, water lilies, and giant vegetation. I wanted to convey the feeling of refreshment and refuge that nature provides in such cases. Its shadows, its breeze, its huge leaves that act as an umbrella.

I also wanted it to [portray] a strong feminine feel: different women having fun, enjoying themselves, connecting with nature in a relaxed way. I love to use my illustrations to talk about community and to convey a message of enjoyment and togetherness.

In the artwork blurb for Water Lily Girls, you say: “All I could think about was being surrounded by plants that would provide me with their freshness and protection.” How do you believe art can inspire more conscious or sustainable thinking regarding the environment?

In addition to surrounding myself with plants and flowers and dedicating myself to their care, I’m absolutely thrilled to promote people’s connection with nature and its knowledge. Most of my illustrations and books are designed to educate and inspire people to learn about our planet in some way.

I firmly believe that art is a powerful agent of change. Through art, we can learn and connect more with important issues [regarding] our society and see new world perspectives. I’m thrilled to see how my work can inspire people to discuss nature and its inhabitants, connect with one another, and appreciate our environment. It’s such a privilege to live surrounded by so much abundance and life.

Lucila’s Spring Habits

What plants or flowers do you like to sketch during springtime? Anything with super vibrant shapes and acid colors.

What three books or stories are on your spring reading list? Mariano Blatt’s poetry, some of Hebe Uhart’s stories, and Federico Falco’s Los Llanos.

What is your favorite spring habit or indulgence? Watering my plants barefoot with the hose when the sun goes down.

What is your ideal spring day in Buenos Aires? Riding a bike to a sunny neighborhood corner, having a cool drink, and eating delicious food.

What is your go-to spring color palette? Citric acid, yellow-green, vibrant pink, white, lilac with hints of light blue.

What do you hope to notice more this spring? For years, I have been following the blooming time of the trees and plants in my city. I love to visit them when they are in their splendor and enjoy their perfume and shapes.

What is your ideal spring puzzling environment? A warm vacation surrounded by nature with friends, sipping rosé wine, and putting together a puzzle at a giant table under the trees. I would love for my cats to be there, too, haha!

What Ordinary Habit puzzle do you love? Snakes in the Garden by my dear friend Josefina Schargorodsky, and I deeply love Himawari by Asahi Nagata. It’s so beautiful!

What spring journaling prompt would you give to the Ordinary Habit community? Choose a tree or flowering plant near your home and write about its transformation throughout the season—how does it flourish, transform, change its leaves, or move with the changing weather?