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Working at Home with Andrea Mongia

Andrea Mongia is an Italian illustrator, producing work for selected clients such as The Economist, The Guardian, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. For Hamilton and Hare he put his (digital) pen to paper to illustrate the new working from home lifestyle that so many of us are getting used to and told us a little about his work.

Tell us a little bit about yourself
I'm an Italian artist and illustrator, born in 1989, and currently based in Rome. I graduated from the European Institute of Design (IED) in 2011, and in the same year co-founded Studio Pilar, a creative studio from Rome focussing on art direction and consultancy for illustration projects; finding the best solution for each proposal and following every step from the first sketches to the final result. I have also been included by Forbes, in 30 Under 30 - Europe - Art & Culture list. My work has also been recognized by The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration and 3x3 Illustration Competition.

How has the pandemic affected you and your work?
Like for everyone the lockdown has been quite hard, my fortune is that I'm used to working both from my studio and from home, but the isolation for so many months, that was hard.

Where and what is home for you?
Home is the place to be, the place to return to and to stay with yourself. I think homes can tell a lot about a person.

What do you like to do to relax?
Long walks in the woods with my dog, reading without distraction, and going to a museums.

Who are your biggest influences?
I love art from the twentieth century and how artists rediscovered and reinvented classical art, like the roman - greek aesthetic or Italian masterpieces like Giotto and Piero Della Francesca. I also love the strong and bold aesthetics of futurism and pop art.

What is your artistic process?
After reading the brief, I usually do a lot of black and white sketches at the beginning. This is the most exciting phase to see how to approach a new subject and maybe discover something new about yourself but keeping your personality as well. With ‘Working From Home’ the idea is very close to my aesthetic so it was great to work on it: a nice interior, with some classic pieces of design, a relaxed feeling, and characters with comfortable clothes.


Did you always want to be an illustrator?
I have always known I wanted to make images for a living but initially, I had it in mind that I’d be a painter! Then, as I attended art school, I discovered illustration and it thrilled me more than painting, I immediately loved the short deadlines, the briefs, and all the process behind it.

In many ways your illustrations are quite painterly, particularly in the colours and textures you use, would you ever go back to painting?
I would love to, I think of that often but isn't easy for me to switch from illustration to painting in my daily routine.

What have been your biggest challenges in your career?
Every work is a challenge, especially when you have to deal with topics and stories that seem very far from you. You have to be specific and general at the same time, you have to speak to everyone. 

What would you like to do next?
Keeping making images, always better!

And finally any favourite places in Rome? Any hidden gems or favourite restaurants?
When in Rome it's very easy to eat well, but avoid tourist restaurants with the classic chequered tablecloth, especially in the centre. Galleria Doria Pamphilj is a museum that I love, in the very centre but not in tourist guides!

See more of Andrea’s work on his website

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