NBAS is collaborating with upcoming artists in Singapore and Norway to showcase their work, while we get a creative take on our graphic profile. In May 2021, NBAS will be featuring Sosialantenne. Sosialantenne has given us the rights to use her artwork in our communication material.
Sosialantenne is the 23 year old freelance illustrator, artist and designer Johanna Warberg (b. 1997). She is originally from Stavanger, but lives in Oslo, where she studies a bachelor in graphic design and illustration at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. She runs her online shop alongside her studies, selling a wide range of products, including posters, mirrors, blankets, ear rings, sculptures, stickers, phone covers and skateboard decks. Over the span of two and a half years, she has sold more than 4100 objects to more than 2200 people in Norway and beyond. She has also illustrated a high school text book, made a festival poster and created content for a number of newspapers and magazines.
“It is surreal to think about the number of households that have my artwork on their walls!”
Never intended to become a full-time artist
Johanna grew up in a creative family and has since an early age spent hours-on-hours inside working on her projects. However, she never planned to pursue a career in the arts. Like many other young, aspiring creatives, she was advised against it and told to keep it as her hobby. Despite this, Johanna became a self-employed artist in 2018. After a two year struggle with mental health issues, Johanna left her current job and studies. During this period, selling her artworks through the app Tise became her primary channel of income. She started selling her artworks to friends and family, but as her artworks received increased attention and the demand surged, it became her full-time occupation.
A world of inspiration
Johanna’s art is colourful and playful, using strong and contrasting colour palettes. She wants to create art that people want to decorate their homes with, either matching or contrasting the interior style. She draws inspiration from a wide variety of things and spaces, online and in real life. It includes, but is not limited to, pop culture, society, mental health, feminism, politics, fashion, nature, vintage illustrations and trends. According to Johanna herself, she is inspired by “pretty much everything!”, which has led to her varied style and expression. However, you may easily recognize the naive and somewhat uneven lines.
It is important for Johanna to use her platform and artworks to convey important messages. A number of her illustrations therefore have clear political messages. In 2020, one of her illustrations received particular international attention. In support of the Black Lives Matter-movement and the passing of George Floyd, she drew the faces of 88 unarmed victims of police violence. This particular drawing was seen and shared by millions of people, among which super model Naomi Campbell. Johanna also sells her art to raise funds for charities, including the Mental Health Foundation, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Norwegian Cancer Association.
Exploring new creative forms
Johanna is always eager to explore new ways of expressing her creativity. March this year, Johanna started a new art form called tufting. It is a type of textile weaving in which a thread is inserted on a primary base, a tufting cloth. Tufting is the way soft, fluffy rugs are often made. You can do it all by hand, but the technique Johanna uses involves a tufting gun that shoots a needle up to 45 times a second into fabric, enabling you to make plush, tactile patterns, all by pulling a trigges. So far, she has made mirrors and rugs, but she is also planning to make pillows, purses and wall pieces.
Passion meets pragmatism
Moving forward, Johanna wants to continue pursuing her job as an artist, illustrator and designer. She is very pleased that she gets to work with what she loves the most and is forever grateful to all the customers who make it possible for her to pursue her interests. However, she will simultaneously study to become a teacher as a good second option in the long run.