I imagine some people, on sitting down to begin a new blog, find that when the moment comes, they wonder where to start, but not so for me. I simply have to open by recording my sincere thanks to those who supported me right from the start. In those days I was working in the RHS Botany Department managing the RHS horticultural database and also, like many others, using computers for spreadsheets and word processing. Picking up a paintbrush to paint in watercolour began to seem incongruous. I remember feeling that the possibilities of digital plant illustration in scientific work needed to be explored, to move botanical illustration forward into the digital era, in line with the other digital technologies already in use by botanists in their work. This was back in 2002, and that time, the very idea of digital illustration of plants seemed remote, futuristic, and even laughable. Without the backing of RHS Wisley botanists, Peter Barnes and Alan Leslie, who kindly agreed to support my applications for funding, my endeavour would never have got off the ground. Several places turned the idea down, but I was delighted in 2003 to receive an award from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, for funding some image software and photographic training to ‘investigate digital techniques for the purpose of botanical illustration’. What a turning point that proved to be, and I would like to gratefully acknowledge their support.