Colourful handmade shapes come together to form enchanting creatures and inventive fairy-tale settings in the signature illustration style of Gina Rosas. Using a whole range of techniques from paper cut to digital and even Aquatint printing, Gina has forged her own unique method of image making, but what excites clients even more is the way she’s able to apply it to such a varied range of briefs.
Born in Colombia but now based in Germany, Gina’s artwork feeds off her native culture. She’s inspired by the traditional folk music of Colombia and Latin America, as well as the natural environment in her homeland. With experience working in an advertising agency, she understands the creative process and knows what it takes to turn a brief into an intriguing new piece of art. Gina studied visual arts in Colombia and is working on a BA in Illustration at the University of Applied Science in Hamburg.
Everything begins with a sketch, and then Gina decides which media to use for the best final execution. Cut paper, pencil, ink, paint, etching, lithography, Aquatint printing and digital are all within her repertoire.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator?
Gina: It started way back in my childhood, I loved drawing and painting, it has been my favourite activity since I can remember.
Question: Did you studio illustration at college?
Gina: Yes, University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg
Question: Where did you grow up?
Gina: In Bogota, the capital of Colombia that is located 2600 meter above the sea level.
Question: Do you have a childhood memory relating to drawing/art that you hold dear?
Gina: My aunts have always been very talented, I remember sitting next to one of them to imitate her and draw exactly the same as her.
Question: Where do you live now and what drew you there?
Gina: I live in Hamburg right now, I came here because I wanted to formally study illustration and there is a really nice school here. I found not only my path but also many adventures and a very different culture, from which I've learned a lot.
Question: Describe your studio for us.
Gina: It is actually very simple, a table with a good lamp, many folders with colored and patterned papers, a shelf with many materials, a scanner, some plants to make it cozy and a colorful hammock, that is the best part of it!
Question: Do you have any studio pets?
Gina: Unfortunately, I don’t have any, but I'd love to have a dog
Question: Describe the view from your window.
Gina: My view is a very quiet street in western Hamburg, there are many trees and nature.
Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration?
Gina: Colombia, nature and the daily life.
Question: How do you get your ideas?
Gina: Drawing, travelling and reading.
Question: Do you collect anything?
Gina: Stationary from museums around the world.
Question: Do you keep a Scrapbook?
Question: What are your interests outside of illustration?
Gina: Travelling, cooking and sustainability.
Question: What is the first record you bought?
Gina: The first Shakira Album “Pies descalzos"
Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed.
Gina: I made a series of illustrations for the Young Philharmonic of Colombia, which were used during their concert tour in Austria. I loved the format in which they were used, behind the musicians like a movie projection.
Question: What would be your dream job/commission?
Gina: Any project that involves new surfaces for me, like an illustrated collection for a fashion brand or large-scale illustrations for an event.
Question: Why is illustration such a powerful medium?
Gina: It is a way to educate, to teach in a fun way and to reach all kinds of people but it is at the same time very personal because it has the seal and the voice of an artist.
Question: What is the best use of illustration you have ever seen?
Gina: It was a whole campaign, an illustrated collection for the fashion brand Bimba y Lola. They created amazing applications on display cases for the collection launch and for the advertising. It included animation, 3D and reproducing in real, part of the illustrated characters created by the artist.
Question: What makes a really good client brief?
Gina: Being clear, knowing what the main message you want to communicate is, having enough time and letting the illustrator be creative.
Question: How much of your work is hand drawn?
Gina: As I work with many techniques, there are some of them that are 100% hand drawn and others 50%.
Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be?
Gina: Maybe a biologist, I love nature and animals.
Question: Would you still illustrate if you were stranded alone on a desert island?
Gina: Of course, I would use illustration to document my days, it would be a sketchbook of a shipwreck
Question: How would someone who knows you well describe you?
Gina: As positive, loving, disciplined woman.
Question: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Gina: Any small town on the Italy coast.
Question: f you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Gina: Wow, I would do a lot of things especially for my own family, but I would also support many organisations to protect the Amazon.
Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet and why?
Gina: I would have loved to go back to the 1940s and meet my talented grandparents.