For years, we have admired her work in graphic design and illustration, things she describes as "the most fun kind of game." We can also add her successful work in animation – especially Father, but also Traveling Country (both from Compote Collective).
Rositsa Raleva describes herself as "quite tall, round and with glasses." But this is a very incomplete description of this inspiring and creative person. For years, we have admired her work in graphic design and illustration, things she describes as "the most fun kind of game." We can also add her successful work in animation – especially Father, but also Traveling Country (both from Compote Collective). If you gad around the cultural life of Sofia, her posters for the Polish Institute have surely stopped you in your tracks, and maybe you have also studied some of her strange creatures the tee-shirts by Dushman, a brand she co-founded with her boyfriend. Her work also adorns projects by Progress Software, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, the Hungarian Cultural Institute, Human Rights Watch, Muzeiko, poststudio, Anima Docs, Ted-Ed, as well as several covers for Colibri. So she has a lot to say when we bring up the topic of posters.
How is working as a poster designer different from your other creative endeavors?
There is a need for synthesis, and immediacy in expressing the idea.
Do you remember the first posters that impressed you?
I don't remember how old I was, but I was watching a movie and at one point I saw a poster on the wall in the main character's room. From that moment on, I no longer cared what happened in the plot, I was waiting to catch a glimpse of the poster again and read what it was for. Many years later, I realized that it was the Saul Bass poster for Anatomy of a Murder.
When you walk down the street, do you see posters that horrify you or that grab you at first glance?
Oh, yes, and when I see a nice poster on the street, I feel a great desire to attend the event for which it was created, because it is probably worth it.
Your work is the face of the Polish Institute in Sofia, and Poland has a very strong tradition in the field of poster design. What is the reason for this?
It's the cumulative effect of many years of quality work in this field, thanks to the attitude and seemingly very high criteria of Polish institution when it comes to poster art and graphic design. They even have a poster museum.
You recently took part in the "sprints" organized by Fine Acts on the topic of freedom of speech. What about this topic do you find most interesting?
Above all, the need to consume all the information we are presented with responsibly and critically. It is so easy to be manipulated and driven to a hysterical need to swallow an unacceptable solution to an orchestrated crisis.
Three of your favorite poster artists?
Lech Majewski, Ikko Tanaka, Kazumasa Nagai.
One of our favorite posters of yours is the one you did for the open house day at the Music School. How important is visual culture for children and how do you teach it to your children?
Like all other forms of culture, visual culture is very important and I try to introduce my children to as many examples of it as possible. I buy them books illustrated by my favorite artists and I hope that inspires them to read. Also, the way textbooks are designed and illustrated is important for cultivating taste in children, not to mention that it helps inspire interest in the content of the lessons.
What are the challenges that posters have to overcome in today's fast-paced digital world?
Most people walk through the city staring at their phones, so the chances of them noticing a poster glued to a wall as they pass it are negligible. I am the same way – sometimes I am caught by surprise by entire buildings that went up without me noticing.
What is your dream event that you would like to make a poster for?
I can't think of anything specific, I'd like to make posters for all kinds of wonderful occasions. Projects from which I'll learn something new. I don't want to make posters for politicians and sausages.
Posters are victims of time, they disappear quickly. Does their ephemeral character worry you?
I actually really like that the poster is a transient form, and also its directness and conciseness.