Rosie Johnson is an excellent artist who lives down in Devon. She specialises in portraits and art with brilliant social commentary. Go check her out now.
How are your New Year resolutions going Rosie?
Well, I haven’t learnt a new language or run a marathon or figured out crochet properly. Other than that, I’m sticking to last year’s resolution of saying yes to trying new stuff. Last year it lead to me writing a pantomime (Oh no it didn’t. Oh yes, it did), which was a really enjoyable experience and I’m hoping to write more again. It turns out puns and slapstick are my jam.
What projects have you got lined up for 2018?
I’m completing a book about happiness for children, which has been a great project. I’ve written three children’s books of my own. Well, I’ve finished one and two of them have been hovering around two thirds completion since August. Shit, where’s that to do list… I want to try and avoid the adult propensity to preach to children. It’s really hard not to end up doing the book equivalent of the end of He-Man. I’m also working on expanding my line of merchandise, including subversive exercise wear! I have a growing line of iconic women portraits. I am passionate about politics and feminism and think that making both of them accessible through art that is a bit funny is how I’m going to change the world. Shhh. It might work.
If Angela Lansbury called you up to do her official portrait, 1) would you say yes, and 2) what style would you paint her?
Yes! Of course! Although she might need to clarify her victim blaming stance first. I think she should be immortalised in a massive oil painting, the likes of which she might have encountered in the mansion house of an ill-fated millionaire back in the Murder, She Wrote days.
How did you become an illustrator?
I was a Primary School teacher for 15 years but have always played around with writing and illustrating stories. I’ve always loved picture books, comics and graphic novels. When I bit the bullet and left teaching, I started painting commissioned portraits – still a big part of my business, and never looked back.
Where can we see more of your work?
If you head to sunny Exmouth in Devon in March I’ll be exhibiting at the WooHoo humour in Art exhibition. You can find merch, prints, cards and shiz on my website and social media Instagram, and Facebook.