In the second part of our Pictoplasma Interview series, we are delighted to introduce you to Australian designer Rilla Alexander. As member of Rinzen, Rilla has published several books exploring her creative process over the last few years.
Her latest book ‘My Idea‘ is inspired by her personal journey and struggle with procrastination, told through the eyes of her character ‘Sozi’.
Interview by Lisa Hassell
Tell us a little bit about your background?
I’m an Australian designer and illustrator living in Berlin. As a member of Rinzen I have published several collaborative book projects – including the felt covered “Neighbourhood” project sequentially reworking stuffed toys – and exhibited, spoken and conducted workshops in Mexico City, Tokyo, New York and Madrid.
Who is Sozi and how did you create her?
Sozi is my alter-ego and the line between us is increasingly blurred. Her book ‘Her Idea‘ tells the tale of my procrastination laden journey to finish a long talked about picture book. Her cast of friends – from a lion who is the sun to an owlish creature who reads her to sleep – all emerged out of the exhibitions and contributions. I didn’t set out to make her world – in the end it grew organically.
Sozi (that’s me) loves ideas. The only trouble is, she can’t seem to ever finish them. ‘Like Oh the Places You’ll Go’ by Dr Seuss, ‘Her Idea’ is a book for both children and adults – but especially for anyone who has said “I think I’ll start tomorrow”. Ultimately it’s a tale about getting to THE END.
Characters like Sozi are popular with people from all walks of life, why do you think that is?
Most of us identify with simple iconic characters and their emotions. I can explain how difficult it is for me to have triumphed over self-doubt and insecurity, but when Sozi does it more people can see themselves in her.
Why do you think Pictoplasma has enjoyed such long-lasting success?
Pictoplasma focuses on a niche within art, design, illustration and animation that has long been part of those worlds, but did not have a home. The festival also gives people whose characters normally do the talking an opportunity to share their work with other like-minded people…in real life, no less!
And finally – what’s next ?
I’m going back to tackle the very first book I started writing about her – the one that caused such a case of writer’s block that the story of my writer’s block took over! In the meantime, Sozi will keep updating her status on Facebook (otherwise known as procrastinating).
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Posted by Lisa Hassell