3 Degrees of Inspiration: Mari Kanstad Johnsen, Eva Jauss & Raby-Florence Fofana

Editor’s Note: This is part 66 in Emily Potts’ inspirational series. Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the sixty-fifth part in the series, featuring Marika Maijala, Eva Lindstrom & Joanna Hellgren.

Joanna Hellgren is inspired by …

Mari Kanstad Johnsen

I’m inspired by the illustrator Mari Kanstad Johnsen because of her playfulness and experimenting in pictures. I’ve seen her book illustrations since a few years and now follow them daily on Instagram. There is an energy about them that I love, the lines, the colors, the perspectives and the humor. It looks so easy! They make me want to work, but then it’s difficult, of course.

I first heard of the book Natten (The Night, Rabén & Sjögren), written by Sara Villius, before I knew it was illustrated by Mari. It was another artist, Ester Eriksson, who told it from memory to her baby, while we were walking in the forest. It has a beautiful text, that kind of keeps growing. After you read it a few times, you almost want to continue it with new questions. Then I got the book for my own child. The pictures are wonderful! They look spontaneous in the brush strokes: You see the wind blow in the dark trees, the warmness of the happy fat little dog, and the heaviness of the owl, landing silently on the roof.

The Sudden Cats is a picture book written by Helge Torvund (Magikon) about two children whose grandfather sometimes suddenly becomes a cat. They start a band with the same name. It is already a funny idea, but Mari’s pictures make it even better. This book has a nice mix of techniques, ink paintings, pencil drawings, digital paintings and collages, and they work beautifully together. For a picture book, it is very long and gives the pictures the space they deserve.

Mari Kanstad Johnsen is inspired by …

Eva Jauss

Her work has this wonderful combination of cleanness and playfulness. Something strange or funny often appear when you take a closer look. In many ways, Eva’s work contrasts how I work (which involves more planning). I enjoy seeing work from other artists who have very different approaches and processes to image making.

This is for a theater in Switzerland. The little details and ideas make me smile.

This is a clear, simple idea, very beautifully visualized for Die Zeit.

Eva Jauss is inspired by …

Raby-Florence Fofana

Raby-Florence inspires me equally in a professional and personal way. She has such a wonderful sense of arranging and combining colors and shapes—graphic design and illustration merge seamlessly. Her work is playful, witty, and sensitive at the same time. Graphic, yet organic and tactile. Plus, it matches her personality so precisely [and] this really blows my mind.

This project combines her work as a graphic designer and illustrator. She developed the corporate design in collaboration with graphic designer David Nagel, and also provided all the illustrations. I love the composition of the poster—the combination of typography and illustration, and especially the way of arrangement of the illustration.

The shapes in this artwork feel so tactile, they almost seem to float. I would love to able to shake it and see what happens with all these beautiful shapes once they are in motion.

This concludes 3 Degrees of Inspiration.

Responsive Web Design

Web design requires the coordination of HTML, CSS, and graphics in order to construct a layout and design that can respond to the varying needs of your websites visitors. In this step-by-step course, we’ll cover every aspect of converting a design into a fully functioning web page. Register today.