Leila + Olive is an art brand created by illustrator, gardener, and designer Nicole Rallis. Since 2015, Rallis has devoted her enchantment with the union between nature and mystical transformation into building botanical-inspired works, including four renowned tools of divination: the Pythia Botanica Oracle, the Ophidia Rosa Tarot, the Maiden Oracle, and Viola Lux Umbra.
Created with both timeless and immediate, heartfelt impulses, each Leila + Olive piece, from botanical decks to limited-run illustrated prints, draws on elements near and afar, from the soil to the stars. In particular, mysteries explored among botanical growing seasons and Rallis' Hellenic heritage appear as regular touch points in the work.
Thousands of people across the world, from San Francisco to Paris and beyond, have taken personal journeys with these decks, sharing as they go with readings and musings on their connection to botanical magic. Among other outlets, Leila + Olive's work has been featured in NYLON, Teen Vogue, frankie, The Numinous, and Enchanted Living.
When I grow up, I want a floral life. It wasn't put so well as a kid, waiting knee-deep in Yiayia's garden boots for Papou to meet me at the Roses. But in words and images of youthful whimsy, I remember the seeds of that dream: Sunflowers as tall as my grandfather, rainbow-dipped heirloom tomatoes, dizzying Begonia leaves, Spring Pansies, and my grandmother watering blooms of every hue. My grandparents carved out a brick-lined garden back then, a magical place that defied in splendid, fruitful glory the concrete of a city home's backyard. It was there that I dreamed of a botanical future; of each day renewed with green; of a garden like theirs.
Now I have a garden of my own and Leila + Olive is my garden of art, sprouting up from the illuminations of blooms to growth yet unseen. Each work in my collection is a stop along this botanical journey, a creative moment of transformation, indelibly sprouted from the past while tethered to truths dreamt of a vining future.
In this most cherished part of my world is where botanicals and divination meet, from the garden to the cards.