Monday, May 22, 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

I don't draw, a book.

My latest book came out last week, written by Adam Lehrhaupt, published by Simon & Shuster. I'd like to tell you a little bit about the making of this book!

The whole project came about when my wonderful agent Kirsten Hall saw something in one of my sketchbooks from a few years ago.

She said, let's do a book about colours! It was after much brainstorming and experimenting that a story was created by Adam Lehrhaupt through the publisher. I was really excited about working on this book. the abstract representation of colour and emotion and the conceptual side of the book really fascinated me.

Here are some of the spreads. I had pictured some of them as a continuous image, possibly a fold out page. There was a huge amount of experimenting with how the colour spreads eventually turned out. I had to convey a powerful emotion through one colour, and at the same time I needed to 'unlearn' how to draw.

the most difficult part about making this book was, believe it or not, drawing as a kid would draw.

here are some more spreads from inside the book:

and here are some character development sketches and some of the ideas for the cover. The title of the book was originally going to be simply 'I don't draw'.

finally, I want to post this image from the second last spread of the book. I had imagined the boy, who is represented in black and white from the beginning of the story, to undergo a transformation, an explosion of colour, a cathartic moment where he becomes all-colourful.

this image was thought to be too conceptual, and potentially too 'explosive' for the US market, and so was substituted with this one:

which is less powerful, but still works. The image of the exploding boy is important for me. I fought for it to be kept in the book, because I believe children are the first ones who can teach us an (unspoken) lesson about conceptual understanding. I believe children should be surprised, and stimulated to wonder. The publisher was very understanding, but in the end had to make a different choice. In the making of this book I found myself struggling to understand the dynamics of the US picture book market, compared to the European one, where it seems that everything is allowed.

It was a lesson in making compromises and learning to trust the publisher. There are things that I would have done differently, but in the end, a book is always the result of a group effort, and I am grateful to have been part of this group and to have produced this wonderful picture book.

Overall this is a great story that I think many children will identify with (including my own!), and a great way to talk to little ones about emotions. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

grandpa's white hair, a book.

the wait is over! finally, my book with Mauro Scarpa published by Zoolibri is out. It's my first Italian picture book. When the publisher sent me this story i knew immediately that i wanted to illustrate it. It's pure poetry, pure simplicity. It was a pleasure to make.

Here are some of the spreads from the book.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

walk in the woods

back from two months spent in australia seeing family, basking in the sun and wind, not wanting to leave.

back to my desk in rome, planning the next two books or maybe three, thankful for the cold weather to clear the mind a little.

I am not here often, but you can follow along on instagram.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

pasta italiana

made a new pasta illustration. It's available as a print here!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

a girl and a lizard

a little peek into what i'm working on at the moment! this book still has a long journey to make til it sees the light of day. it's been interesting working out of my comfort zone with all these reptiles.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

mother jones, a book.

last year I worked on a historical book about mother jones and the march for working children's rights. Written by Monica Kulling, It has recently come out with Kids Can Press.

Here are some spreads and sketches from the book!

Friday, August 19, 2016


this song,
this book.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

dontshare animation

a couple of still frames from the animated paper cut video Gianluca and I made for the recently launched Dontshare, a life deposit box where you can leave a piece of yourself before you leave for good. this one is a promo image i also made for the launch.
you can see the full animation on the dontshare website.