Desmond Bovey was born in Whanganui and in 1982 he moved to eastern France, where he would live for thirty years, acquiring French nationality in 1991. After finishing his university studies in Besançon he became art director in communication agency, gradually specialising in the field of ecology and environmental interpretation, before finally becoming a freelance nature illustrator, working with municipal, regional and national services, as well as ecological organisations. His work has appeared in sites of natural interest in France, Switzerland, Monaco, Germany and the Reunion Islands, and his art has been exhibited in France and Switzerland.
Upon his return to New Zealand he has worked on various environmental projects, notably for DOC, Forest & Bird, and local councils. He lives with his partner in Whanganui.