Meet amazing Insta artist who is using humour to make the world less terrifying

Even if you actively try and avoid headlines, 24/7 rolling news will still find a sneaky way of popping into your timeline.

But thanks to one artist, she is injecting a little humour into current affairs.

The quirky Rosie Johnson Illustrates has been tapping into her arty genes, using politics, mental health and global events as inspiration to make life a little less scary.

Chatting exclusively to Uspire, Rosie revealed how she first started putting pen to paper and just how she uses the world around her as her muse.

Rosie said: “My mum is very arty. She was a primary school headteacher and would spend hours and hours every weekend drawing and making resources for her school.

“Every so often, she’d make a little lift-the-flap book all about me and now she does the same for the grandchildren.

“I definitely felt encouraged to draw and paint from an early age.

“I also loved drama and went down that path, followed by a 15-year teaching career before taking the plunge and starting my own freelance illustration business.”

Despite her innate talents, Rosie admits that once an idea pops into her head, it’s not always so easy to translate onto the page.

She explained: “I’ve written a children’s picture book, just for fun so far, and I’ve found it one of the hardest things to illustrate.

“I keep coming back to it and scrapping almost everything that I’ve worked on.

“For other projects though, the picture forms in my head almost immediately and all I have to do is get it on to the page.”

Rosie, who hails from Devon, credits friends for gifting her with inspo for her artwork, simply from their discussions on current affairs or personal issues.

The colourful creative said: “One of us will say something and I’ll cut the conversation short to write it down.

“I keep an extensive notes folder on my phone and jot down ideas in there all the time.”

When quizzed about whether any of her cartoons are based on autobiographical moments from her own thoughts, Rosie confessed nearly all of her work is.

She said: “I find that drawing and writing are my go-to response to thoughts and feelings.

“It’s been a bit weird and also really reassuring when I’ve shared them on Instagram as they seem to chime with lots of other people too.”

Rosie continued: “Art and comics are such accessible forms of expression. If we can tap into the scrolling generation (I count myself in that!) and get them to stop, think and even change their behaviour – wow!

“That’s some pretty powerful stuff. I’ve found that I’m drawn more and more to using my work to help engage people in the really big issues.

“When you’re considering things as enormous as systemic racism, you need to find ways to lead people into those conversations.

“Something that I write might be read by a handful of people but if accompanied by an illustration that’s visually appealing, it may reach hundreds or even thousands of people.”

Speaking about how art can influence wellbeing, and encourage people to express themselves through sketching, Rosie describes it beautifully when she says there’s no greater peace and flow than when she’s deeply engrossed in a drawing.

She concluded: “It’s great for staying present. You can’t be checking Twitter at the same time. You have to stay focused.

“If you think you’d like to try it and don’t know where to start, I’d highly recommend flicking paint or scribbling with coloured pens or pencils on a big bit of paper.

“Then, with a thin black pen, turn those splodges or scribbles into characters. Add eyes, arms, maybe a tail or some fur for animals.

“Just make a funny little scene and give them names and personalities. It’s fun and silly and we all need as much of that as we can get right now.”

Right, just off to buy a sketchpad, be right back!

To support Rosie, and spice up your timeline, click here.