Lose yourself in the dreamscape of Raina Jia, where imagination knows no bounds. Exquisite details and playful motifs dance upon the covers, expressing unspoken feelings and desires, invoking smiles, and touching the soul on a deeper level.
@rainyraearts's design resonates with the soul, evoking a sense of liberation and imaginative freedom. Through her artwork, she hopes to empower people to explore the boundless possibilities of self-expression, where art becomes a vessel for uninhibited creativity.
We have the pleasure of interviewing Raina, an illustrator based in Orange County, California, to explore her artistic journey and gain insight into what makes her tick as a creator.
Read on to unveil her creative process for creating these covers, her challenges and more.
Hi Raina! It was a pleasure to collaborate with you for the first time and welcome to Mossery! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your artistic journey.
My work usually portrays emotional stories and experiences in the hopes of connecting others with diverse backgrounds. I also like to explore various mediums like painting, animation, and artists’ books. I am influenced by contemporary design, so I would describe my artistic style as surreal, whimsical, and bold. Some contemporary surrealists that inspire me are Salvadore Dali, Joan Miro, Zhang Xiaogang and Eileen Agar. I am always fascinated by how emotional, energic and psychological surreal arts are and how each artist explores the unconscious mind in unique and personal ways.
Could you share some insight into your artistic journey? How did you develop your skills and discover your unique style?
So prior to studying illustration at ArtCenter College of Design, I was trained in graphic design because I was planning to be a graphic designer instead of an illustrator. Then I changed my mind because I couldn’t spend a day without drawing or making something by hand, I depended on that experience to feel complete. I like to joke with my friends that “I have no technical skills in making art” because I had more experience in graphic design prior and I value concepts much more than techniques, that mindset has built the core skills I need, which are an active mind and observing eyes.
I think about shape and composition first when looking at an image or brainstorming an idea. I like to group and simplify the lines, colors, and forms to reinforce the link between the image and the story. I guess the graphic design mindset and my personality impacted my illustration style the most. In addition to my love for art and illustration, I am also interested in crafts like punch needling and tufting.
Are there any specific techniques or mediums that you enjoy working with the most? Why do you find them particularly appealing?
Yes. I am glad you asked that because I asked myself the same questions before. And the answer is still: Gouache and colored pencils. They have been my good old friends since an early age. To me, they are therapeutic and nostalgic. I can remember being ten years old with two pigtails bouncing into my art classes. They bring the inner child out of me and make me a child again.
What inspired you to create the cover design for Mossery?
Notebooks, planners, and sketchbooks are important aspects of my creative life because I am never really used to note-taking and planning digitally. So I always enjoy collecting stationeries with interesting illustrations. Every time I look at them, I always have this thought of having my artwork on these covers as well.
The new covers look mesmerisingly beautiful, what was the creative process behind the 2 new covers you produced for our first collaboration?
Interestingly, both covers emerged naturally and started with spontaneous painting with gouache, without sketches or pauses. The idea is to live with mistakes and find a new direction through unexpected brush strokes. Then I brought my artwork into Photoshop to finalize the design. I enjoy the process completely, as I believe having fun through the process sparks creativity and energy that can pass on to others or future projects.
By the way, I captured some tiny humans inspired by our daily life on the cover. They are up to your interpretation!
Which is your favourite cover? What makes them special to you?
Both covers are special in their own ways but at the moment, Rainmaker speaks to me more as I’m into a lot of pink lately. It also touches my heart more because the bright colours make me feel lively and looking at them makes me want to draw and paint.
Raina embraces experimentation by exploring new mediums or approaches. She believes that it's important not to force oneself to create in the same way but rather to switch perspectives or take a break when needed. This flexible and open-minded approach allows her to keep the creative flow alive and find new avenues for expression.
How do you stay motivated and inspired as an artist? Do you have any rituals or practices that help you overcome creative blocks?
I guess, my solution to overcome creative blocks is to constantly gather ideas and inspiration from various sources. Making sure that I always have a collection of inspiration for future projects. I also make lists of random and strange concepts that run through my head, which often evolve into something meaningful later on. If I am still stuck for some reason, I like to try something new like using a new medium, or just rest.
When asked about the inspiration behind her cover design for Mossery, Raina reveals her love for collecting stationery with interesting illustrations. She wanted to bring her own artwork to these covers, making them truly special and reflective of her unique artistic style.
Raina, how does it feel to see your artwork featured on Mossery’s products and what do you hope people feel or experience when they see your cover design?
I am very grateful for the opportunity and excited to see these covers come to life! I hope people can experience the liberating experience that art can be anything you want it to be, and imagination can run without restraint. I hope the fun I had making them would pass on to make people want to draw, paint, make art and feel the same fun and rush of happiness as I did. I also hope its quirkiness and bright colors would bring a smile to people’s faces.
Raina explores the element of surrealism in her art. Check out more of her dream-like design on Instagram @rainyraearts.
Mindground and Rainmaker Covers are now available for Planners, Notebooks and Sketchbooks so order yours today!
Spark your imagination through the world of surrealism.