The up-and-coming London-based illustrator and artist discusses her love of mixing things up in her artistic work, and the importance of challenging yourself creatively
Illustration graduate Rosanna Webster explores creative experimentation in her body of work. The Brighton University alumni and emerging artist uses a range of mediums including film, photography and collage to explore diverse themes and ideas ranging from exploring modes of 'play' to shamanism. Initially starting out drawing and sketching Webster decided to dabble in collage and photography, which in turn led to working in film and projection. Here she discusses what creative lessons she has learnt from her studies and being influenced by the likes of Viviane Sassen and Jeff Luker.
Dazed Digital: You experiment with a number of artistic disciplines for your work, how does this effect your creative processes?
Rosanna Webster: Photography, collage and film have all kind of intertwined. I don't see them as separate at all, I play back and forth and I suppose it means creatively things stay fresh and I think it's definitely more fun.
DD: Do you have a preferred discipline to work within and if so why?
Rosanna Webster: At the moment I'd say film, but it's still pretty new to me. I think it has so much scope and potential. Film is just really instant and emotive. In a 30 second film you can really effect and move people, I think in a way that images maybe cannot. I have some friends who are experimenting in similar ways and we're hopefully thinking about starting some projects together. Further, I also found projecting collage work really interesting too, creating images in a way to fit to the body and face almost like costume and making the projections move through creating animations, I think this is something I'd really love to push further.
DD: What has been the greatest creative lesson you have learnt whilst studying?
Rosanna Webster: Keep your eyes open, look at everything, and find inspiration in unexpected places, go on long seafront bike rides, and also friends are good to you - if you ask nicely they will let you paint on them and the like. But other than that I think I found that sometimes you can become a bit precious about the work you are making, and stuck into this tight way of working because it's safe and you can predict how things will turn out. It's maybe obvious but I think it's important then to keep asking yourself how you can push what you are doing and keep challenging yourself.
DD: And what are your plans now you have graduated? Are there any new projects that you are currently working on?
Rosanna Webster: I don't have a plan, but I just want to keep myself busy. Fingers crossed a friend who studied photography and I are going to do some things together, we have lots of ideas that we think could be really interesting. Aside from this, I've just started interning at a magazine; I'm just wanting to see how it all works with art direction of shoots and making film work on a bigger scale. When I've got some money I want to get away on a trip somewhere nice too.
DD: Who inspires and influences you creatively?
Rosanna Webster: I really like Viviane Sassen, she has an incredible eye for composition, and amazing colours too; Jeff Luker's work is so beautiful, in a much more intimate way, you really want to be there in all of his photos. I saw a really great Leila & Damien De Blinkk short film the other day which was so well considered and finished, and then CANADA are awesome too. More so I'd say that being around the talented and really great group of people in my class has been a big push; everyone just worked so crazily hard this last year.
DD: Are there particular themes that you seek to explore throughout your work?
Rosanna Webster: Not really consistently. But I started reading about shamanistic and primitive beliefs last year and there are so many fascinating and funny stories, this really spun out and it's something I'm still interested in continuing. Other than that projects have been really varied, and some have been purely about experimenting visually. And I also just like taking photos everywhere I go; I have a terrible memory so I like to think of it as an investment.