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


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