Open Journal (OJ) | What led you to working in the fields of architecture and interior illustration? What do you love about that industry?
Josephin Ritschel (JR) | I really like to use architecture to build the stage for what’s happening. For me, the world is a stage. On a stage we often look down from above, so I usually draw from that perspective. Everyday things and events seem very different and therefore special. The connection of straight architecture and free landscape is always the most fun challenge.
‘The Storm’ by Josephin Ritschel
OJ | What mediums do you work with?
JR | For a long time I worked only with pencil. The drawing were then colored on the computer. But I thirst very much for a change which is why I now paint more with oils or use digital tools.
I have the feeling I have exhausted everything with pencil drawings for me and now need something freer and lighter. Painting with oil allows for imperfections and it is a great pleasure to work with it. In addition, I have been weaving tapestries for a few years. This way of expression works for some elements of my work, others not at all. It is exciting and challenging to turn to new techniques. In weaving and painting I can still learn a lot.
‘The House By The Cliff’ by Josephin Ritschel
OJ | How does your work communicate the state of the world? I.e. a lot of your illustrations verge on the surreal. Why is this? Where does this influence come from?
JR | I’m very attracted to the change in perspective and the idea of “what if?” What if the world were threatened by a giant worm? What if there was a storm coming? What if strange plants grew in the garden? What if perspective is just an illusion? Would we be deceiving ourselves all the time? As Einstein said: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Surreal can only be something if there is something real.
As a teenager, I was very influenced by The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Jurassic Park, etc. I like these fantasies very much and the way they are elaborated with a seriousness to reality.
‘Eames House’ by Josephin Ritschel
OJ | What other things influence your work?
JR | Photographs of architecture are very exciting for me. Especially simple appearing buildings with interesting materials which I collect a lot. I also love wide views in general, with exotic plants, mountains and sea. This is a picture I often build in my own work.
Woven tapestry by Josephin Ritschel
OJ | Describe your dream commission…
JR | It seems to me that I am in a transformation right now. At the moment my dream commission would be to have no commission! I want to spend more time on my painting and weaving. I also started a conservation project this year, weaving sustainable wool rugs and other objects with a portion of the profits out towards protecting forests. The project is called Collaboration with Earth. I just bought an enamel kiln and I’m excited to learn enameling and then hopefully offer enamel bowls as well. I think life is about trying anything you feel like!