The Giraffe of the Water of Leith brings together the heritage, nature, art and community of the Water of Leith into a contemporary illustrated map. The winding shape of the river is complemented by the curved shape of the giraffe. Melanie’s design is inspired by many walks and drawing trips along the Water of Leith walkway that runs alongside the river. Throughout the design, you’ll see scenes from popular destinations along the walk, such as Dean Village, Stockbridge, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Leith. Dotted along the map are flora and fauna that can be spotted beside the river. Throughout the design are various plants and flowers including snowdrops, crocuses, prunella, red and white champions, hypericum perforatums and tansies. The giraffe design also features wildlife such as otters, deer, heron and a kingfisher.
Melanie Grandidge is a freelance illustrator based in Edinburgh. With bright painterly marks and a loose expressive line, her illustrations are positive and light-hearted, in the aim of putting a smile on people’s faces. Melanie graduated from Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh with a BA (Hons) in Illustration in 2020. Storytelling and children’s picture books have always been at the heart of Melanie’s practice. She regularly gathers inspiration for her stories and illustrations from exploring the outdoors in her sketchbook. Often in the mediums of watercolour and crayon, Melanie draws from direct observation to capture the energy and atmosphere of a scene.