In the spirit of our September-October issue, it seemed appropriate to keep our Artist Digest as fashion orientated as possible. With this in mind, we set out to find a fabulous fashion illustrator to speak with and were grateful to come across Greta Inaspettato. We reached out to Greta, asking her about her practice, process, and inspiration. Read on to find out about her story:
My name is Greta Inaspettato, I’m 28 years old and I was born in Verona (the Italian city of Romeo and Juliet). I studied Fashion Design in Milan and in Paris and I’ve worked for almost 4 years in Milan as Fashion Designer and Illustrator for an international Style office. Next month I will come to London for a new chapter of my life.
You know, when you are really young you don’t know exactly what you will do and who you will be… But I’ve been always sure about one thing: when I have a pencil and a white paper (or something similar), I find my balance. I have drawn since I was a child… The strange thing was that my favourite subjects were always people… A lot of children prefer to draw animals, landscapes, rainbows, but for me, they were quite boring! I grew up with pencils and crayons from my mum. She is a teacher and my “attitude” comes absolutely from her, she could have been a great artist, so she understood and supported all my choices.
In Italy, the high school direction is really specific, and I studied human subjects (ancient Latin and Greek languages and cultures, which substantially influenced my point of view), but when I had to decide [what to study at] University, I didn’t have any hesitation: I had to draw! I attended Fashion Design at Politecnico of Milan and Istituto Marangoni in Paris. Actually, I’ve never studied illustration specifically and I think this has been my luck. I mean… When you study you receive a specific direction, you are influenced by a specific style or somebody gives you their idea of what is right and what wrong, but I think this doesn’t help to pull out your personality. The more you are free, the more you are yourself, the more you have a chance to build your personal identity. Of course, everything I learned while studying Fashion Design became an instrument to improve my illustrations (design history, fabrics, trends research, graphic design, etc).
I prefer visual communication, for this reason, my favourite instrument to communicate is illustration. I usually find my inspiration from photography, because I can observe and observe the same picture many times, catching each detail. But my illustrations are not perfectly realistic; I prefer to create my interpretation, enhancing some aspects of what I see. Firstly I choose a photo that strikes me, most of the time these are portraits by professional photographers from all over the world, though sometimes I choose street style images (different faces, different perspectives); then I draw my interpretation. One of my favourite things to do is leave work incomplete, I like the idea that we are continually changing, so why I should make something so defined…
The first step is absolutely by pencil when the design is finished, I digitize it and I work on it with my Wacom (graphics tablet); what I like about using graphics programs is the possibility to work wherever I am, just on my Mac. For example, I often add colour to my fashion figures by computer; the colours are brighter, and “universal”… And you know you can make many modifications without waste, it’s important to have a “green soul” in this moment! (The fashion world is very close to this subject) When I need to work with real colours, I bring out the canvas and paintbrush, but this is another story!
I don’t exactly have an image that is important for me… I like the idea that anybody can give us something, it’s nice to discover that everybody has a dreaming soul to feed, I really hope to give something thanks to my illustrations.