Computer ArtsInterview

My folio highlight: Janine Rewell

How the Helsinki-based illustrator turned a painful holiday experience into a great poster

With her distinctive style, Janine Rewell has won a slew of awards for her work in advertising, including a Cannes Lion. But it was a personal experience that led to this inspiring piece…

What made you pick this project as a highlight from your portfolio?
This poster was created last spring for the exhibition to celebrate Agent Pekka’s new office launch in Amsterdam.

What do you love most about it, and why?
After working in advertising for many years, illustration can sometimes feel quite pointless. In making this piece I realised how much more meaningful the process feels when I use my own life as inspiration.

Where did you draw your inspiration for this piece?
I travelled to Isla de Ometepe last year. It is an island formed by two volcanos rising from a lake in Nicaragua, and in the middle of the island there is a beautiful jungle lagoon. I suggested my boyfriend and I take a canoe trip, but the minute we began paddling my inflamed Wacom hands started aching. Regardless of my complaints, turning back was out of the question. This was followed by five hours of arguing, silent treatment and painful out-of-sync paddling. It was the worst part of the holiday! When I returned to Finland, I wanted to make up for the bad memory by illustrating the scene in a beautiful poster. Now, every time I remember the bad experience I also recall the awesome illustration it inspired me to create. It was my form of therapy and I’m proud of the end result.

What’s the most unusual, unconventional thing you’ve ever been inspired by?
Few years ago I was very inspired by the laws of physics and wanted to visualise each one through a narrative poster. I read physics for weeks and took private classes from a maths professor. Gravity is quite easy to grasp, but after moving on to thermodynamics and quantum mechanics I realised I was in over my head.
 

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