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March Eco-Artist: Janina Rossiter

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

Each month Shark Guardian selects an artist that goes above and beyond the call of duty for the sake of the ocean and all its inhabitants. We believe that artists, like photographers, play a vital and often underestimated role in ocean conservation. They inspire, educate and cultivate passions that may never had been sparked. Each month during 2021 we are shining a light on some of the great artists we’ve had the privilege of working with - come join us!

Our eco-artist for March is the wonderful Janina Rossiter!

Please introduce yourself for those who haven’t seen your work before.

Hi, my name is Nina and I‘m a German born artivist now living in France and the author of 12 children’s books. I studied Communication and Illustration design at University and after I graduated I started working as a graphic designer. My love of writing and illustrating children’s book had always been there and after my first daughter was born I decided to publish my first children’s book. At first it was about a little Penguin called Tovi the Penguin but after a few years of doing that I wanted to explore a more artistic style and started a concept series books in 2017. I explored different art technics and fell in love with alcohol ink and fluid art, a technique that reminded me of the water. After I discovered the extent of plastic pollution in 2018 it felt like it was my calling to look after the oceans, and my last two books “1, 2, 3, Who’s Cleaning The Sea?“ and “Diamonds, Hearts and Sea Stars!” are about raising environmental awareness in children and protecting our oceans.

What happened in 2018 that brought plastic pollution to your attention?

A visit to the aquarium changed everything for me. That day, the Paris Aquarium was putting on a show about plastic pollution and asked the children if they would volunteer to help clean up the plastic in the sea. I came home that night and researched ocean pollution. What I read, shocked me to the core. I had tears streaming down my face. It made me realise that I had to go on a mission to help protect our oceans and to raise awareness of their problems.

When did you first become interested in the ocean?

My love for the Ocean has been something that has always been present in my life. I have felt very attracted to the water and happy being near the sea ever since I was a child. As a competitive swimmer from a very young age, I feel very connected to water and the ocean. I feel a sense of happiness floating in the water and, as it is something I’ve done for so many years, it’s also a sense of security. No matter how hard the day has been or what kind of problems I am facing, being in the water lets me forget about it all.

What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen underwater?

Since I’m not a diver, I cannot answer this question from a personal experience perspective.

I love learning about the ocean, and seeing documentaries about our wildlife in the oceans is just fascinating. However, the picture of Justin Hofmann with the seahorse and the cotton bud changed my life. It was the moment, I knew I had to turn my counting book into an environment book to protect the sea creatures. They should simply not be surrounded by our trash and we should all feel the need to protect them.