December 15, 2016

Graphic Designer and Illustrator Federica Bordoni is based in Northern Italy and creates visual metaphors through her digital work. She talks to us about losing and finding inspiration, plans for the future and meeting one of her artistic heroes.

UO: What was your first experience of art?

Drawing has always been part of my life; one of my greatest interests since childhood. I was an only child and I used to fill up my spare time with colors and fantasy. I fondly remember the pleasure I got from drawing and I think I have been very lucky to turn this passion into my profession.

UO: Did you attend an art school or university?

I studied graphic design in Verona, but I found myself very interested in illustration and I started attending some specific workshops. One that was particularly important was a workshop with Yuko Shimizu, a great illustrator and teacher that helped me a lot.

UO: Where do you find inspiration?

I don’t know exactly. I think you can train your inspiration but I also think that, sometimes, it can come by coincidence, from a dream for example. Sometimes I happen to lose inspiration. It’s part of the process. I learned that in those moments I have to distract my mind. What I usually do is go for a walk or a swim, or I tidy up my desk, which helps me to reorganise my thoughts too! Then the right idea comes soon after.

UO: What is the art scene in Trento like?

The art scene in Trento is becoming more and more interesting and lively in comparison to previous years. I think that Italy in general is living a sort of renaissance when is comes to illustration.

UO: Talk us through your creative process.

I started as a graphic designer so, maybe for this reason, my favourite technique is digital. I create and finalise my illustrations using professional software (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe illustrator). However, before that, I always started from hand drawn sketches.

UO: What other artists inspire you?

I have been influenced and inspired by the work of many illustrators and artists with different styles: Yuko Shimizu, Alessandro Gottardo (Shout), Guido Scarabottolo, Lorenzo Mattotti, Anna and Elena Balbusso, Chris Buzzelli, Ellen Winestein, Kveta Pacovska, Malika Favre and many many others. I had the opportunity to speak with some of these great artists and each of them gave me precious advice, and I’m very grateful for that. I also like the artworks of great masters as Picasso, Matisse, Dalì, Magritte, Depero, De Chirico.

UO: What advice do you have for other artists wanting to go freelance?

If you love your work you’ll be able to face all the problems.

UO: What has been your favourite project to work on so far in your career?

One of my favourites is “Something Hidden”, a series of images generated by my need to create illustrations free from any kind of obligations. What links these five illustrations is the wish to address the subject of desire by half-hiding seductive elements in a dreamy and imaginative context.

UO: What is the best thing about working for yourself?

In my personal works I like to focus and investigate emotions and feelings and I try to represent them as a visual metaphor. I think it is a great opportunity. What I like most is to allow people to get to their own interpretation of my work.

UO: What future projects can you tell us about?

I’m working on some editorial illustrations at this moment, but I would like to dedicate my time to the creation of my personal work. Recently I’m interested in experimenting in xylography… (just like a hobby,) let’s see if something good comes!