Questioning Creatives

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This article was written on 04 Mar 2014, and is filled under illustrators.

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Francesco Poroli

I’m 38 years old, living in Milan – Italy. Actually I don’t know how long I have been an illustrator. I remember myself drawing since I was two. Illustration became a job for me in 2009. My studies were away from art: I studied – without graduating – italian literature. And then I did a lot of job just to pay the rent. In the meantime, I was always drawing and improving some graphic design skills with my mac.

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When did you decide you wanted to be illustrator?
I didn’t decided it at all. I guess that was just casualty (or maybe destiny?). I’ve been drawing all my life long and someday – in some strange ways – one of my drawing ended up on the Italian edition of Wired. I remember myself thinking: “so maybe my drawing is not that bad…”. I started searching for commissions and everything else came its way.

Would you recommend studying at art school?
As I told you before, I didn’t do any art studies. I’m totally self-taught. So, I guess I don’t have a clear opinion on that.

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How long was it before illustration became your primary form of income?
It took me a couple of year from my first publication.

Could you describe your typical day?
I’ve got two kids, Riccardo, 4 years old, and Beatrice, 1. So a big part of my day is based on their needs and schedules. That’s the reason I always end up working during the night. Yes, and for silence too.

What do you wish you’d know when you first started out?
I wish I knew better some business tips. I didn’t know a great part of this work is based on continue promotion, search for commissions and building relationships. I wish I was more skilled at that.

What’s the best thing about being an illustrator?
To me the best thing is – when I finish some job – look at that and feel like: “wow, that wasn’t there before! And I was the one who did it”. The pure creative moment.

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What’s the worst thing about being an illustrator?
Someone says the loneliness of this work. This is a work you can do only by yourself. But I like to be with myself, so that’s not my answer. I would say – sometimes – deadlines: working with editorial illustration, it can happen you have to do everything – from idea to final files – in just some hours.

If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
Who knows? When I was a kid I used to say I’d become a novelist or a firefighter. Pick the one you like most.

Any other tips you could share?
Please, always try to look for your personal, unique, defining style. I see lots of copies around. I mean, you do this work trying to express yourself, no? So why in the hell copy someone else work?

www.francescoporoli.it

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