Thursday, 1 October, 2020

 Francesca Filomena

Illustrator from Italy

Instagram: @francesca_filomena_illustrator


* What brought you to illustration?

I studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and did my degree thesis on the layout of illustrated books. I discovered then that I could enclose everything I love: writing, art, and psychology, in a single subject. I then did some illustration courses, and I completely fell in love with it! 

* What does a typical workday look like for you?
When I'm in a good mood, I can be exceptionally organized and follow a rigorous schedule.
I get up, have breakfast, and start working on personal projects or commissions with clients. Usually, I leave the video calls with clients or emails for the end of the day. Now that I'm about to become a mother, I think it will be a bit more challenging to follow a precise timetable.

* What was your very first illustration?
Oh, I can't tell you! I've been drawing since I was little. I have a vague memory of a drawing of a cat that my mother loved and displayed on the refrigerator. I remember that I didn't like it, but she loved it, so I had to see it every day in our kitchen. This may not have been my first illustration, but certainly, the first to be appreciated by someone, even if it was my mom.

* What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?
I take inspiration from everything I experience, see, or hear. I love cinema, and I watch many movies. I try to look at many different artists, photographs that shock me, songs that move me. Sometimes it's just an object of my house that I have in front of my eyes every day to give me the input for an idea.

* Do you like listening to music or audiobooks while working, or do you prefer silence?
If I have to think, I need silence to close myself in my thoughts without distractions. On the other hand, when I am at the stage of creating the images, I may have to colour or let the emotion go, I rely on music. Music is a great workmate!

* Is there a particular story you would love to illustrate?
To be honest, no. I like challenges, so I would say, "a story I still don't know."

* What can do you get up to when you are not illustrating?
Indeed you would find me at the cinema or having something to eat with friends. I love food. Well, I'm Italian

* What makes the art of illustrating special to you?
The idea that I can close myself in a sheet and put what I want inside is reassuring. I can free my imagination and be credible, even if the rules of reality are upside down.

* What makes a good illustrator?
I think that a good illustrator should be able to move people's souls even before being able to draw "well." It is often believed that a beautiful illustration must follow some kind of aesthetic canon, but I think what makes a work of art a Beautiful Work is its message and how it is expressed with gestures, details, colours...

* Do you struggle sometimes? Do you have to motivate yourself, and if so, what helps? Is there a kind of "illustrator's block?"
Oh, yes, there is! There are days, months sometimes when I get stuck, inspiration doesn't come, or I don't want to work. I create obstacles for myself to avoid having to go through the creative process of a job. The only solution? Sit at my desk and force myself to start, sometimes it's just a matter of creating, and it all comes by itself.