Olimpia Zagnoli didn’t have a choice but to become an artist. Born into an artistic family in Milan, she drives a Vespa and has large round glasses – all necessary qualifications of being an artist. Her graphic illustrations are made by using clear cut shapes and a clean color palette. Her work isn’t messy, but it isn’t sterile either.
After graduating from design school in Italy, Zagnoli took over New York in 2008 and has been hard at work ever since. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Apartamento Magazine, and she’s collaborated with the likes of Fendi and the Guggenheim Museum. So, clearly, she has become the artist she was born to be.
“My path is probably very similar to that of many illustrators,” she told Freelance Wisdom. “You love to draw, you graduate from some sort of art school, you’re out and terrified, you’re desperate to find your own language, you sorta find it, you begin to work, your first works are terrible, you get better, you work more, one day you’re like ‘this is not too bad’ and you feel kind of happy for what you’ve done, then you’re lost again, two days later you’re happy again, you struggle to get paid, you finally get paid and you buy a nice pair of shoes.”
“One of the hardest parts was looking for a visual language,” she went on to explain. “I wasn’t looking for anything COOL back then but I was looking for something ‘me.’ A set of subjects, shapes, and colors that reflected who I was on the inside and made me feel comfortable. It wasn’t automatic but as soon as that started to take shape, more clients started to connect with my world and understand it.”
With more than 120k followers on Instagram, she’s clearly doing something right.