Gina Kiel

The Generosity Journal’s cover artist Gina Kiel is a Wellington-based illustrator who works on creative and commercial projects both at home and abroad. Her distinctive style often combines traditional art media with digital work.

Because this is the first issue I felt I had to create something that would really capture what The Generosity Journal is all about. I also wanted to illustrate my perspective on the Brené Brown quote – that it’s not so much what we know about the world, it’s our relationship with the world that matters most. 

The biggest challenge for me was visually interpreting a written quote – illustrating it with pictures rather than words. Switching from pictures to words is difficult because they come from different parts of the brain. 

My illustrations always start with pencil and paper. The first stage involves a lot of thinking. I’m a mum as well, so a lot of time is spent away from my desk. I visualise things a lot because I can’t always get to that pencil and paper! To get started I watched some of Brené Brown’s TEDtalks, sketched ideas, got inspiration from different angles.

The cover shows three of the most fundamental ways in which I think we experience and relate to life: the eye that sees the world, the heart that feels the pain and the hand that holds and heals. I sketched it, scanned it, digitally added outlines and then filled in colours. I wanted to create something really bright and with a lot of energy, that’s how I felt about it. Brené Brown is so inspirational – how can it not be an awesome thing to illustrate a quote from someone like that?

Words by Rebekah White. Photography by Harry A'Court.


View original print design below