What has your creative journey been like?
At 21 I moved to Italy and started art school there, and later fashion design in Florence at Polimoda. Later I moved to New York and went to Pratt Institute and got my degree in Illustration. After graduation I painted large scale paintings and waited tables. It wasn’t until the Twin Towers fell that I dared to fully commit myself to illustration. I met my lovely agents and slowly got more and more work.
WHO or WHAT inspires you?
“I don’t know how it works for other people, but my style is what comes easy to me. It’s not planned or calculated in any way. It is what comes naturally so to speak. I sometimes wish I had another style, but I cannot really change it too much. I do try pushing my boundaries with materials or scales, but artwork is a bunch of choices that you make throughout the process and I can only make the choices that I see fit.
I get inspiration from old movies, where often every frame is a piece of art in itself, nature and all its organic shapes, vintage books, magazines and fabrics I find in flea markets, as well as original pieces of art, where you see traces of the human hand and error.”
What does your daily routine look like?
Biking to work. Checking and replying to email. I work worldwide and a lot of things happen while I am asleep. Then getting a good cup of coffee from a place nearby, which I love. Then usually working on a project either personal or commercial, but usually no drawing or painting until after running or working out for an hour mid day. Once that extra energy is gone I paint or draw or cut and paste until it is time to go home.
What does your creative process look like?
I try to approach both with curiosity and hard work aiming to create something beautiful. I put as much heart into all my work, being commercial or personal, it is just that the commercial jobs end up having a lot more edits and revisions and become further away from my heart in the very end at times. But not always as I’ve gotten better at keeping the work truer to me.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started?
Don’t look at other illustrators when trying to find your style. Look to art, music, nature etc. There is so much to get inspired by. And don’t worry about finding a style or look. If you keep drawing and painting it will emerge.
Please list all your favorite tools/gear/medium you love using?
I really love black indian ink the most. I love the contrast it creates on the white sheet of paper.
Are there any books or websites you love?
Just read, and liked Emma Cline’s The Girls, and last night I started on Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. Strangely I find them somewhat related. Websites I visit daily are BBC World, New York Times and the Facebook group #jagärhär (I am here). A group working for a more decent tone in the comment fields online. Kind of trolling gone good.
Name 3 of your favorite artists?
I love the work Egon Schiele, Alberto Giacometti, my teacher Meri Bourgard, the designs of late Alexander McQueen, but most of all I love prints and designs, furniture and art that I find in flea markets and thrifts stores.