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Interview with Giulia Balladore

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Giulia Balladore is an illustrator based in Italy. She has a extraordinary and hyper-realistic style of illustration which possesses the rare talent of breathing personality and life into her vector drawings. Her illustrations are beautiful, alive and captures the spirit of modern women.

Giulia's work has the ability to grab your attention and her choice of software to create the vector illustration is Flash. She eloquently uses Flash's vector capabilities to create amazing still images. This stands as proof that the software is indeed more than an animation tool. So, let's move on to this interview with Giulia Balladore.

1. Hi Giulia, tell us a little about yourself, where are you located and how does the culture of your country influence your art?

Hi everybody! My name is Giulia Balladore, I'm an Italy based illustrator and I've been drawing since I can remember. Drawing has always been part of my life, and I feel lucky for it. My father was a painter in his spare time when he was young and this fact hugely influenced me. I can easily say that it was his fault that I've always liked scribbling on everything I had at hand.

Since I was a child, I've always been influenced by what my eyes wanted to see. My taste for beauty is simple, and simple is my decodification of it. I cannot say in which way the culture that I daily live influences my art; surely it has, we are always what we eat.

2. What was your first experience in digital art field? Did you have any formal education in this field or are you self taught?

I am completely self taught. Everything began some years ago, in 2002, by chance, as the most things in my life, when I bought my first PC.

3. Where do you work on your designs and projects? What tools and applications do you use most?

The main tools I use for my works are my hands and my eyes! The process of every vector illustration is first manual, then digital. Every kind of paper I have at hand and my PC do the rest.

4. You use Adobe Flash for creating your vector arts. Flash, no doubt is a great vectoring tool but it is better known for creating animations than for creating still works. Why do you prefer it over other applications like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw?

You're right, Flash has a lot of limits than other software doesn't not.

Why am I a self-injurer? Because I'm in love with Flash. When I bought my first PC to approach digital illustration, a friend of mine who is a programmer gave me the opportunity to bungle with it. I began to outline simple forms, only secondly I linked together hand-drawn and digital illustration. In the years I've acquired a personal technique that makes me realize something satisfying, and someway, completely new and fresh for me.

5. What design projects have given you the most satisfaction? Share with us something about those projects.

I'm happy when my work is published on books and magazines with other people's work. I love sharing experiences all over the world.

6. Your vector images are very detailed, clean and they look ultra realistic - almost like a photograph. Give us an insight into your creative process from start to finish. And what resources you use, if any.

You're right, the hyper-realistic taste of my vector illustrations comes from the time spent in my hairdresser's waiting room, taking a glance at those glittering fashion magazines full of sophisticated pictures. When I take the pencil in my hand and start drawing I feel free to put on paper what strikes more my attention. I scan the drawing and start playing with flash, first outlining, then coloring, using a big amount of layers...the more layers I use, the better the result will be.

7. Women also seem to be a main focus for most of your works. Why is that? Also, most of your vector illustrations are portraits, why?

My work is mainly focused on female portraits for the simple reason that for me the purest and simplest beauty stands in the look of a woman, with all of her imperfections and boundaries.

8. What is it about vector illustrations that you enjoy the most? What is your favorite vectoring or Flash tool, tip or technique?

It will sound banal, but the thing that I adore about vector illustration is its unique possibility to scale in an unlimited way without loosing the quality. This lets me find different points of view of the piece I'm working on, and it can be considered the peculiarity that I prefer most.

9. How would you define your artistic style? Apart from your own style do you also explore and experiment with other illustration styles or digital arts?

My style is personal and common at the same time. I like playing with my HB pencil in my spare time. I like as much manual and analogue illustration as digital illustration.

10. Where do you look for inspiration? Who are your favorite artist or designers, and if you listen to music, what kind of music do you like?

I love music, I always listen to music when I draw, so I can say that I do two things contemporaneously. Above all, I love the magnetic sound of the National.

Obviously I love a lot of illustrators, painters and artists, too. In open order I can mention Chagall, John Solimine, Paul Smith, Caravaggio, Chan Marshall, Massimo Vignelli, Emmanuelle Alt, Okkervil River, and above all my father.

11. Thanks Giulia, for the interview. What are the things a beginner vector artist or graphic designer should keep in mind, any advice?

I'm not in the position of giving advice...I've always done what I've liked, maybe this is the main thing to keep in mind for anyone who is still reading these lines.

Thank you everybody, my pleasure...ciao!

Giulia on Web:

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