Nirupa Rao is a botanical illustrator based in Bangalore. Her illustrations are inspired by field visits into the wild, and are informed by close collaboration with botanists. In 2017, she was named a National Geographic Young Explorer, and received a grant to pursue her work. She has been published in Harper’s Bazaar India, and named in their list of Indian Women to be Proud of; in Chickpea, USA and Medicor (published by the Karolinksa Institutet, Sweden). Her first book, Pillars of Life, with 80 beautiful illustrations of trees native to the Western Ghats rainforests, has been published by the Nature Conservation Foundation and authored by botanists Divya Mudappa and Shankar Raman.