Roehreke is a German/Japanese artist and illustrator born and raised in Tokyo. She used to create commercial illustrations and animations for fashion brands and the music industry, but after living in Tokyo, London, and New York, she wearied of city life and her commercial work. She left New York in summer 2014 and has since lived in the woods in a camping car on Orcas island, an apartment in Berlin, a van traveling across Japan, a village in India, and the Peruvian Amazon.
She now views her art as a tool for social change and peaceful activism. She enjoys working on projects that connect humans and nature, local projects, murals in public spaces, and environmental projects. And while she is back in Tokyo these days, her vision has not changed. She is currently working on a children's book about humans, nature, and the nature of true happiness.
"Most of my inspiration and influences come from my daily life. Things I see, people I interact with. When I travel to places like India of course every single day is like a splash of new inspiration, all of which helps me to translate what my heart feels that I find difficult to put into words."
"When I’m in nature I create less. I just simply enjoy all the moments and somehow my hand doesn’t move as much. Then, when I’m in a city, I feel a sudden necessity to make art. I think it's some type of therapy that keeps me from going crazy. "
"Whenever I get a commercial project I try to incorporate some aspect of my personal work. For example, I was hired to animate a short TV commercial in Japan while I was living on Orcas Island. I collected leaves and other organic material that I scanned in and combined with my hand-drawn animation, in hopes of bringing a little bit of nature to the people in Tokyo sitting in front of TVs. You can watch that animation here."
"I’ve started to work with farmers and local organizations in California, especially in San Diego. The most recent project was with Earthlab Farm which is a four-acre space that people are turning into a farm where students can learn about local plants, grow food, and engage in environmental projects. There is a big shipping container they use for storage and I made a big colorful mural on it based on the native plants, animals, and the history of the area."
"I’ve never felt so inspired and fulfilled by an exhibit as I did by the recent David Bowie exhibit that is touring the world right now and that I was lucky to catch in Tokyo. He gave me courage to think: just be yourself, use all the good and bad stuff in your life and turn it into art and enjoy life to the fullest."