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Art & Culture

Ocean Plastic Learning: Art as a catalyst for change

By September 16, 2020October 15th, 2020No Comments
© Janina Rossiter

Passionate about the ocean and aware of its problems, Janina Rossiter dedicates her multifaceted creative career to the subject of ocean pollution.

Multi-award winning author, illustrator and environmental activist, Janina Rossiter expresses her passion for the ocean – from painting and writing children’s books to creating designs for environmentally friendly brands and organisations.

During her 14-year career in packaging design, Janina became increasingly concerned about the environment. While working with leading brands like L’Oréal, Coty, Henkel and Puig, she identified many problems around sustainability in the packaging industry. Yet it inspired her to focus on designing packaging that is more honest and provides real solutions. Now mainly working as a freelancer, she focuses on work with sustainable brands and organisations who have made it a mission to respect the environment.

As much as she enjoys her work, Janina is most passionate about fighting climate change and keeping the oceans free from plastic and other pollutants. She worked with Blue Ocean Watch, and created the illustrations for their video ‘The Song of Life’ which resembled sound pollution affecting whales.

She created ‘123 Who’s Cleaning the Sea’, a children’s counting book about protecting our ocean. While doing her research for this project, she came across shocking images and wanted to translate those into a children’s book without overloading it with upsetting information. With her beautiful educational illustrations, she highlights the issues of ocean pollution and its effect on marine life, delivering a clear and powerful message to her young readers.

To help nurture and inspire future generations through art, Janina also visits schools providing educational workshops, raising awareness of plastic pollution, the problems we are facing and that things have to change.

“The young children I work with are always very open-minded and eager to learn about the environment. It is important to give them that opportunity without exposing them to upsetting images or stories. My hope is that these children can help us question the choices we make and maybe even one day help solve the problems we have caused. If it is not too late to reverse the trend … ”

Although through her advocacy, she has been mainly focussing on campaigning against single-use plastic. After watching our IGTV talk with Emily Penn, co-founder of SHiFT platform, Janina got in touch with the Prevented Ocean Plastic Research Team interested in learning more about the complexities of recycling and what ocean plastic really means.

“I love that Prevented Ocean Plastic is passionate about their work. Bringing a solution to a problem with a clear and honest message. Raffi Schieir mentioned that companies could do so much more but instead most are only taking mini-steps. So much more is possible – I love that passion, which is also what drives me to create my activism art.”

Watch Janina speaking about her book and the inspiration behind it in this video: 123 Who’s Cleaning the Sea