The Italian Illustrator

The Italian Illustrator

Quiet chatter ends as an Illustration professor enters the stage and begins to introduce Alessandro Gottardo. A moment later, Gottardo walks out, quickly scooting off as he realizes he walked too early. The professor continues by listing a long stream of publications and companies Gottardo’s work has reached – CNN, Coca-Cola, the New York Times, just to name a few.

Gottardo reemerges and I immediately wondered if his orange and navy ensemble were meant to be in coordination with this year’s SCAD Style colors. Speaking in his Italian accent, he shared the journey he went on to become the artist he is today. I narrowed down his conversation to a few key points:

  1. Reimagine Yourself: Gottardo began finding that his voice differed from his agency. He sent out his updated portfolio with 20 new illustrations under the name SHOUT; it was well-received and ever since Gottardo continued using this style today.
  1. Try New Techniques: In his personal projects, Gottardo pushes new techniques to achieve his work. Whether he uses ballpoint pens and water or varying forms of etching, he is always trying to experiment with new techniques.
  1. Work Hard and Often: Gottardo has produced over 1,000 illustrations during his career and he estimates he creates 300 a year. Success comes from working hard and honing your skills and approach.
  1. We Can’t Do it All: A few weeks ago, Gottardo was challenged to animate on of his illustrations for the New York Times. After facing the fact that this was beyond his current abilities, he sent the illustration to an artist who “did it with his left hand.” Other people have abilities outside your own, and even the most experienced people rely on others for assistance.
  1. Quality Matters: When asked what his biggest challenge was as an illustrator, he emphasized the importance and constant need to have consistent quality in your work. Your brand is direct reflection of your quality control so keep it up, and keep it good.

Gottardo motions towards the final slide, with “Grazie!” typed in a serif white text on black. As applause echoed throughout the room, Gottardo departed with some final remarks that left us all inspired to work harder and to produce great work.

Written by Sabrina Batiz