[Potloodcast] Potloodcast 20: Rachel Sender

Potloodcast 20: Rachel Sender

In this episode of the Potloodcast, illustrator Rachel Sender talks us through several images that have had special meaning to her throughout her life. After four years gaining experience at graphic design studios in her native Barcelona, Rachel moved to The Netherlands in 2008 to start her own practice. Editorial illustration is now the core of her client work, which she combines with ceramics and teaching at the illustration department of the Willem de Kooning Academy.

1. An image from your childhood that might have influenced who you are as an illustrator/artist 

”This poster (“Barcelona ‘92”) was designed by one of my dad’s friends, Onésimo Colavidas, who was a prolific graphic designer in the 80’s and 90’s in Barcelona. Through Onésimo, I also learned that making images can be a real job you can make money from, which is not a notion I had from home, as my parents don’t have jobs in the creative industry. Onésimo’s design studio was super inspiring for me to see.”

Image 1a: Barcelona ’92 by Onésimo Colavida
Image 1b: Cobi by Javier Mariscal

2. Images that have motivated or inspired you to become the artist/illustrator you are now

‘One of the first exercises my teacher Philip made us do is draw eachother. As we were all designstudents (graphic design, product design or interior design), none of us were really trained at drawing portraits. But then Philip proceeded to point out something interesting or intriguing in each and every portrait. This really opened my eyes to the possibilities of illustration and how forgiving it canbe with people who can’t draw thatwell but have a desire to make images, like me.‘

Image 2: Pencil drawing named ”Bad drawing”, source unknown

Image 3: Illustration by Rachel Sender for Vers Beton

3. A work of your own that represents your first steps of becoming an illustrator 

‘This was one of the first illustrations I made for Vers Beton and also one of the first editorial illustrations for press that I got published. Vers Beton was sort of like my internship place, though they dont’ know that. I offered my services as an illustrator to them because back then my portfolio was mostly graphic design projects, but I had decided to make the shift to illustration.’

Image 4: Illustration by Rachel Sender for her zine The Island

4. A self-initiated image you created 

‘These are images from my zine “The Island”. I made this zine inspired by a road trip to Finland with friends. We slept on a tiny island, enjoyed a sauna, swam, and hugged. Now that I have a kid, this experience feels like it was a lifetime ago, because I remember feeling so free. Hopefully the feeling will come back.‘

5. An editorial image you created 

‘This is an illustration I made for 5 Media, now called Imagine 5. It was for an article about citizens collecting data for science. I made a series of illustrations for this article using this style.’

Image 5: Illustration by Rachel Sender for 5Media