Worlds out of Pencil | Illustration by Josephin Ritschel
As soon as I saw one of Josephin Ritschel’s illustrations I knew I would be seeing more incredible things, and I did. In Josephin’s illustrations, fine lines, dark lines, little lines, lines on lines, and a few blocks shading all build up to make these incredible images full of life. Whether its spooky or sombre, funny or lonely, the scenes she creates have a real sense of energy and all tell their own, often bizarre, story. Because I always want to know more , I asked her some questions, which she graciously answered.
>What made you focus on drawing, over painting or photography or any other art practice?
Its the way I have learned to express myself. After a year of studying I decided to invest my time in drawings and improve my techniques. I continued illustrating because it´s a lot of fun and this way of expressing myself worked better and better. But I really like painting and taking pictures as well. And I am really inspired by photographs.
>Do you tend to make stand alone drawings or series of comics most? Or which do you prefer?
That’s hard to say. After doing some illustrations I am looking forward to the next longer story. And after I finished a comic I just want to make single drawings. I guess I really like both.
>In your single pictures, there’s so much life and energy; they’re stories in themselves. Can you explain a little about your interest in narrative and story telling in your art?
I really like to tell stories in pictures. I want to show more than just decorations. A story conveys more feelings and emotions and you can look much longer on them. But actually I am just doing it because it’s more fun for me.
>Many of your pictures are references or representations of real people/place/TV shows that people can specifically relate to. Is this a conscious attempt or is this more down to the briefs and requests you’ve been approached with? (The Fresh Prince of Belair work, for example). There’s also strong surreal themes running through your work, can you tell us a bit about this?
I draw the things which interest me. My inspirations are often based on childhood memories, which seem to be more mysterious for me. Thats why this series came out. Anyway I really like mystical stories, houses, people. For me it feels right to draw this, thats why I am doing it.
>Do you prefer working in colour or black and white?
Somehow its much easier for me to work in black and white. But I am very happy when I finished a coloured one.
Eileen Gray with her house E.1027 for book “The Who, the What and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Accomplices of History“.
>Do you ever write without pictures?
I never have, but I want to try that soon. There’s supposed to be a project with Paul Paetzel, also an illustrator, where one of us will write a story and the other one will illustrate it and the other way around.
>What do you hope people get most from your work?
Hm feeling inspired would be great.
Thank you! And below is a selection of images from Josephin’s book Solitude.
Josephin Ritschel lives and works in Berlin. Her website is Meva Meva, where you can purchase her work.