Hideous Minks Grassroots Spotlight: Rosa Saywers
Words by Celia Jean
Brighton based freelance animator Rosa Sawyers talks the necessity of social media platforms, the rewards and obstacles of freelance, and her nostalgic illustrative style. Rosa studied communication design and navigated her post uni burgeoning career amidst the pandemic, undoubtedly influencing her evocative themes. Immersed are we in a tactile daydream of hazy 80’s arcade games, Rosa’s attentive retro techniques reveal themselves. Through commissions for music videos, visualisers, advertisements and a retrospective overflowing with pure meditative aesthetic joy, Rosa’s practise combines the commercial with the artistic.
Some say animation is an introverts job… do you enjoy working independently? Do you collaborate much?
Becoming a freelancer from home definitely made me more able to get a lot more done independently, and I love being alone haha. But I definitely need someone to give me a different perspective when I’m stuck or starting to hate what I’m making. I also work in the room as my dad whose a photographer and we get to bounce ideas off each other.
I don’t collaborate as much as I’d like to but it’s something I really enjoy. Through Instagram I’ve met some lovely artists and been able to collaborate with a few.
A core element of being an artist is expressing yourself (or at least thats what we’re told in art school.) Your art seems to focus around nature, do you find this hard with commissions or do you see a piece of yourself in it too? Do you ever create work just for yourself?
I’m very lucky that lots of the commissions I get are from people who share a love for nature. Especially when they’re inspired by a specific location and aspects of its environment.
I love getting into the flow of a personal project. Usually I’ll keep it short so there’s less pressure, and I try to have fun and experiment with whatever I’m interested in at that moment.
You once told me you were advised NEVER to be an illustrator… yet went on to become a very successful animator. What do think is the future of animation? Do you feel theres a pressure to stay up to date with software or the changing?
After studying design I felt a bit like my work needed a clear and powerful message to be valid. The pandemic gave me a reason to try new things and and explore my boundaries, and I realised animation isn’t as scary or challenging as it seems!
I love how animation can cross so many mediums and disciplines. I’m super influenced by nostalgia and types of past medias. I love finding ways to combine old and new processes to communicate different things and make something that feels familiar.
Social media is such a predominant platform for job opportunities. What is your experience with this - how do you get your work out into the world? Does the power of social media ever overwhelm you?
Yeah social media is completely overwhelming and a very weird place for artists. But without a platform get my work out there I’m not sure I’d be doing what I’m doing now. When was in uni I rarely shared my work at all. After graduating, I began to share my experiments more and more and it felt cathartic to finally be super open with my development.
Sexism’s ongoing prevalence in the arts is exhausting. Have you experienced any discrimination through your career so far? Or what advice would you give to others up and coming?
At the moment I’ve been working freelance so have managed to avoid a lot of that.
I’m lucky that the people I have worked with are lovely and I’ve had some really positive experiences! But I’ve also sometimes been in the position to pick the nicer sounding jobs with nicer sounding people.
If Elon Musk died and gave you all his money, how would you use it to change the art industry? Is there an area of disproportion you would focus on fixing first…?
Ahaha this is a great one. Well first I’d probably give it all to someone who actually knows what to do with it, I may not be that person! But something to change the art industry?
I’m pretty sure just about everything in the arts needs more funding so I wouldn’t know where to start. Maybe I’d create glorious platform for creatives - with all the least awful aspects of social media. something trusted and professional, like LinkedIn- but with the loose feed style of something like Instagram.
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