Currently Listening To: SZA
Currently Drinking: Sweet chili tea
tell us about yourself and the kind of work you create.
I’m Eleonora Arosio and I’m originally from Italy. I grew up there and studied Fine Arts at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, but it wasn’t until my last year as an exchange student in Coventry that I realized my true passion was illustration. Right after university I started traveling: I lived in Melbourne and Amsterdam for 2 years while freelancing part time. And now here I am in London, still with a pencil in my hand!
what is your typical day like? are there any challenges that you face on a consistent basis?
Alarm, snooze, snooze (just a couple!), breakfast, shower and then I finally sit down and start working: usually I spend the morning sending emails and sketching, while the afternoon is all about drawing – my hand gets too sore if I spend the whole day drawing! Freelancing can be a struggle, there are good days and bad days, and when bad days happen it’s hard to remember about the good ones!
your work features mostly women who are often nude. what is it that draws you to explore the female figure so intimately?
I began drawing naked ladies because I thought clothes were extra and distracted from the real idea behind the illustration – and I still think so. When you draw an outfit you have to be very careful what you want the attention drawn to: it’s very important if you use a pattern or if you decide to go for something plain, but at the same time they’re both important choices. At the same time, I realized that my body – and the female body in general – has constantly been a relevant subject for me, so featuring nude women is part of the statement too.
your work definitely has a powerful and encouraging statement running through it. how do you balance your personal statements within commissioned work? is it a challenge, or does it come about naturally?
Most of the times it comes naturally, clients what to work with me exactly because of that. Nudity is usually something I have to give up tho, but it’s okay, all in all there’s a perfect balance between my personal work and my commissioned work: I get to do different things, different challenges, while maintaining my style.
your weapon of choice is the humble colored pencil. have you always used this medium, or was it something you really had to work out?
I’ve been drawing all my life so I went through all the possible techniques when it came to my illustrations: watercolors, pens, digital, rapido pen and so on. Pencils have always been my favorite medium and something I would go back to whenever I felt lost, so when I started freelancing it was the technique I felt the closest to and most confident with.
you’ve done some great projects that span designing a billboard to working with animation. is there something that you’d love to do that you haven’t already had the chance to?
Sooo many things! Before I would have said to illustrate a children’s book (but that’s already in the making!), so right now I’d say designing a big festival poster.
what is the prettiest picture you’ve made recently?