Episode 18: Elena Xausa
Drawing Symbols and the Universal Language of Illustration
In this episode, I talk with Italian illustrator Elena Xausa about her experience drawing for publications and the ebbs and flows of freelance life. Elena’s witty approach and her colorful and bold style has helped her to build a reputation as a smart interpreter of culture. She has worked with clients like The New York Times, The New Yorker, Apple, and Monocle on a spectrum of editorial and commercial projects.
In this conversation, we talk about:
how Elena got started in illustration
how to handle criticism as you're starting out
the universality of illustration as a means of communication
how Elena navigates a real-world assignment with a publication
the role of editorial illustration and the importance of symbols
the pros and cons of freelance life
the role of humor in Elena's work
We mention the Treviso-based cultural center and creative hub, Fabrica.
Book recs: The Left Handed Designer by Seymour Chwast and Steven Heller; Blown Covers: New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant to See by Françoise Mouly; Forget All the Rules You Ever Learned About Graphic Design: Including the Ones in This Book by Bob Gill; The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher; Ways of Seeing by John Berger
Tool rec: Pentel Sign Pen (felt)
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