TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
I’m an Italian graphic designer and illustrator based in Hamburg, Germany. I graduated in Fine Arts in Milan and in Editorial Illustration in Bologna. I work for clients looking for a visual problem to solve. These can be magazines, advertising agencies, organizations, publishers, galleries and so on… I also lead art and craft activities for adults and kids. I love to share my passion for art and I truly believe arts can help you in difficult situations or just to relax and have an enjoyable time.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
Since I was a child, I always knew I was going to do something with art in the future. Despite all the people telling me you can’t make a career of it or it’s really difficult, I took the risk and I decided to follow my dreams. During the years I thought I would become a Disney comic designer, then a Diddle designer (it was a mouse character very popular when I was a teenager), a theatre costume designer, a mural artist, a storyboard artist and the list go on… It was only at the university that I came across the Editorial illustration market. I love to translate difficult concept visually. My dream is to found an open space co working studio/gallery. ☺
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
I was studying at the University. Straight after the university, I started my freelance illustrator career and never looked back. It was scary and very much frustrating at the time but it definitely worth it.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Always follow your dreams. It might take a long time to accomplish them but if you don’t give up it will worth it.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW DID YOU DEALT WITH IT:
I think my biggest obstacle was when I finished my studies. I was in a blue mood due to work: I didn’t have clear ideas on what to do and where to start. I was feeling the creative block since I finished my studies at the university. After a while, I joined a running club in Dundee (where I was living at the time). When I started running I didn’t realize it would help my work too. In the beginning, I was struggling A LOT but I kept going because I didn’t know any other sport I could do. After six months of running, I started to get fitter and at the same time faster: I could see my progress! Yay!
At the same time, I started to have the same attitude in my illustration work: the only way to see your progression is to keep going and try to get better and better. The key is patience. It is hard to have it, right? At least it was for me… Having said that, it doesn’t mean you won’t feel frustrated ever again. Blue mood’s and creative blocks are always around the corner but you can always go through them planning little goals during the week or month.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
I can’t record any biggest accomplishment but I believe a collection of little accomplishments are my proud. Beside my editorial illustration work, I also do participatory art projects. In my opinion, the 20th-century artist can’t realize work for itself any more, but he/she must attend to the people. For this reason, after careful consideration, I wanted to direct my attention and my works to the public. In these kinds of projects, I always try to involve people in different ways. Some examples can be seen on my website. In these works, my proudest accomplishments are when people enjoy participating in the project but also feel the project is for THEM. It’s also THEIR project.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
I always try to work during the normal hours (around 8 to 16/17) and after those, I will go to do sports or going around Hamburg with my boyfriend, or just relaxing. It’s quite difficult though because when I have a big or important project I tent to be obsessed with it, I can’t really stop thinking about it. So even if my body is somewhere else, my mind is still thinking about work.
I AM INSPIRED BY:
Everything. Most of my Inspirations come from other artists but also from everyday life.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
I’ve always been a curious person and I love to jump from a different project to another. I love that I can combine all my inspirations and my interests in a lot of different projects and been challenged by them. Being an artist and illustrator give me this possibility and I really love it.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
Mmm… Practice? I didn’t start my career thinking to be the most popular illustrator and artist in the world. I just wanted to make a living from it. And the only way to keep going and work is becoming a better artist than you were yesterday.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
I never wrote a business plan but I usually put down my weekly and monthly goals to have a clear idea of what I want to achieve in the short term.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?
Nowadays the woman position at work changed completely from the past. I haven’t felt the disadvantage to be an artist woman if that’s what you mean, instead of for some type of project it was better. Such as my “Puzzle” project with some female inmates in Italy: I loved all the process of the project and I feel I wouldn’t be able to understand them so well if I was a man.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
Pen marker of course!! But I love to experiment with new tools and new ways to do art.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
Don’t listen to people telling you to change careers because it’s hard or not possible. It will definitely be hard, but life is hard. It is what you make of it that counts.