Born in 1980 and resident of Milan, Giordano Poloni earned a cinema bachelor’s degree in 2006. In the same year he started working with some Italian advertising production companies as editor, motion graphic designer and smoke artist. He also started his career as an illustrator working for clients including The Guardian, Scientific American Magazine, The New Scientist, Random House Australia, Wired UK, Wired Italy and TIM Mobile.
Hello Giordano! Where are you writing from? What have you been up to recently?
I’m writing from Milan, and over the last few months I’ve been busy working hard.
Could you tell us a bit more about how you started your career. How did you progress to Illustration?
I started working for commercial production companies as an editor and motion graphic designer, then seven years ago I got into illustration. I was living at my parents house, I had just come back from living in Barcelona and was unemployed. So I decided to cross the line of my first passion as a reader and admirer: illustration and comics. I spent every minute drawing seated at my desk. I didn’t attend any school, I’m self-taught.
What is your method of working? What materials do you use?
I always work using digital software and Cintiq. I draw sketches digitally as well, but it’s just matter of habit, I found it a quicker method. I’d really like to draw with pencils and other stuff on paper, maybe one day…
I understand you have a huge collection of comics, music, movies and books – tell us more about this collection and how it inspires your work.
I started reading and collecting comics as a child and I studied cinematography at university. So I’ve internalized the mood, the typical compositions of all the movies I love, and also the way to compress an entire story in one single image.
“I base my themes on culture influences, but I try to put it aside, at least from a rational point of view…”
Architecture features prominently in your work, where does this interest come from?
To be honest when I started drawing, I wasn’t able to draw characters. I focused on making good settings with a great atmosphere. I found that I love drawing buildings and glimpses of cityscapes, it became my strength and the best component of my work.
What are the themes you explore in your work, what are they based on?
I think they always are some sort of feeling aroused by a particular atmosphere.
There is not a situation or a particular moment from which I can be inspired. It happens when I start to think about it and to want it, sometimes it all happens so quickly that I don’t even notice and in a matter of moments I find myself with a very clear idea to develop. I base my themes on culture influences, but I try to put it aside, at least from a rational point of view, and to work on irrational links in a more instinctive fashion. I make random images emerge. It can also be a single object around which I construct a situation.
“When I work on a personal project I’m free to draw whatever I want…I let some random images flow in my mind, without rational process, till I find a subject that affects me.”
You work on commercials and editorials. How do these projects vary from your personal work?
When I work on a personal project I’m free to draw whatever I want but it’s not so far from what I do for commissions. The mental process is the same, I let some random images flow in my mind, without a rational process, till I find a subject that affects me. Then I start drawing the main subject immediately. I try out different colours until I find the perfect combination. Using colour at first helps me find the perfect mood. The only difference is that sometimes I work on commissions that I don’t like at all. I also find I am generally under a lot more pressure when working on personal projects.
What are you working on now? What are your plans for the future?
I just finished a children’s book that will be published soon for the French market and I’m also working on different book covers. For the future I hope to be involved on huge projects, maybe other books as I love to work on that kind of commission and if it’s not too late I hope to be able to write and draw my own story.
What advice would you give to young artists starting their career?
Do not rush! There are lots of great artists that have reached the top very late. Patience and perseverance are most important things.