Bodil Jane: how this illustrator designed a Face This T-shirt together with Salsabila (9) from Lombok



The vibrant work of Amsterdam based illustrator Bodil Jane is already noticed by several big brands and magazines like The New Yorker. Her feminine and colorful style is loved by many. Her illustrations are like a portal into a whole new world. Bodil Jane collaborated with 9 year old Salsabila from Senggigi on Lombok Island in Indonesia to make an amazing T-shirt for our Face This Collection 2019. Of course we asked Bodil Jane all about it in this inspiring interview!

To the Bodil Jane x Salsabila T-shirt: women // men //

Bodil Jane and Instagram 

Ready, set, draw!

Instagram helped Bodil Jane a lot with her visibility, not only by her loyal fans and followers, but several brands spotted her there as well and asked her for all sorts of collaborations. Think Nike, Marks & Spencer, Unicef or The New York Times, to just name a few. Her illustrations are full of live mostly handmade with ink and watercolour, with just a digital touch.  It’s been said that her work is almost as if Frida Kahlo had lived in a world painted by Raoul Dufy, but Henri Matisse was on hand to help with the plants! 

Bodil Jane x Face This: an exclusive collaboration

Bodil Jane told us she picks only one or two collaborations with NGO’s a year that really touch her. Because she wants to pick projects that she really connects with and genuinely support their cause. So we are truly honored that Bodil Jane picked Face This for this awesome collaboration of designing a Face This T-shirt with 9 year old Salsabila from Lombok for our 2019 collection. Salsabila provided Bodil Jane with a few drawings of her life, these drawings were the inspiration for the design on this T-shirt. We interviewed her about her inspiration and way of working. 

A fully concentrated Salsabila while making her drawing…

Face This: You already had so many beautiful collaborations with brands, magazines and organizations. Do you have favorites and why?

Bodil Jane: ˝I’ve worked for a lot of amazing brands and it’s really hard to pick my favorites. But one of the special ones is my collaboration with Amsterdam design brand &Klevering. They asked me to do a jungle pattern and made bamboo tableware, pouches and cushions with my design. I just love seeing my illustrations applied on products, it’s magical! Another favorite is my collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. They asked me to curate an evening in the museum and they gave away the print that I created for this. The illustration is inspired by Van Gogh’s trips to Japan. I also loved working on the cover for Bravery Magazine. It’s a magazine created for brave girls, to inspire them. They always have an inspiring woman on the cover, this time it was Frida Kahlo. ˝

FT: For your Face This T-shirt design you’ve collaborated with Salsabila a 9 year old girl from an Indonesian school which was destroyed by the major earthquakes of August 2018. How was this for you?

Bodil Jane: ˝I really loved seeing the picture of Salsabila. It’s amazing to be able to work together with her, even though she was so far away. So nice to see her face! It made the experience so real and close to my heart. I liked the idea of making an illustration based on a child’s drawing from the start. ˝

Salsabila’s drawing

FT: Can you tell us something about the story behind Salsabila’s drawing? And how did you use the drawing and the backstory to create your artwork?

Bodil Jane: ˝Salsabila made two drawings. The first one was a drawing of her favorite place: school. She drew the class room. I think that’s really cute and also great. Secondly she loves the beach. I can imagine, must be so cool to live close to a beach with palms! She drew a sea view with a traditional fishing boat and some palms and clouds. I wanted to focus on the sea illustration because it highlights a beautiful place on the island. ˝ 

FT: Is there something you would like to say to Salsabila? 

Bodil Jane: ˝I’m just really happy that she loves school and I hope she’ll get a safe place to learn and study soon!˝ 

Every child is an artist…

FT: Pablo Picasso once said ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.’ Do you feel the same about this? And if so, do you consider your collaboration with us as an inspirational experience?

Bodil Jane: ˝Actually I’m not sure if I feel the same since I grew up in a very artistic family. As a child I was always drawing and creating things. But I know that there are kids and people who don’t feel artistic at all! They are good at other stuff. Maybe their creativity developed in another way. But I’m not sure if I’d use the word ‘artist’ for that. But yes apart from this, I did consider the collaboration inspirational! I’m so used to working in my own style that it was a bit of challenge to let Salsabila’s style also shine through. But I think I managed in the end. ˝  

To the Bodil Jane x Salsabila T-shirt: women // men //



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