Amber Vittoria stays incredibly busy. With an extensive portfolio of high profile clients, a huge following online, and artwork that deserves both, she has used her unique artistic style to give a platform for issues she holds close to her heart. This is not an easy task in commercial illustration, and innumerable artists can attest to that, but Vittoria's work speaks for itself and also for other people which allows her to thrive in a growing scene of folks freelancing illustrations for the likes of The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Gucci, Adidas, and others.
Beyond that, she's also a working artist, using her spare time in between projects to push her practice further and make gallery-ready works, which we can expect to see more of in the coming years. Read on for a short interview with Vittoria on New York, getting viewers to engage with an illustration, and balancing her busy schedule.
Your color palette includes a lot of pink, red, green, and orange. When did you start working with these colors a lot and what keeps you with them?
My work addresses topics many find difficult to openly discuss: feminism, equality amongst genders, inaccurate societal portrayals of women, and ideas of the like. I use bright, warm colors as a tool to invite viewers into the piece, and encourage them to have these important discussions.
What goes through your mind when you start to conceptualize a drawing?
Majority of my work is inspired by women, our stories, and our experiences; some pieces more overtly focus on a singular story, while others blend several. Depending on the piece, those stories and ideas are floating in my mind while drawing.
Portrait by Atisha Paulson
Where are you from? What is your story of getting into illustration and how did it take off from there?
I grew up an hour and change north of New York City, and fell into illustration during college. The design program at Boston University's College of Fine Arts entrenches its students in painting, drawing, and sculpture for half of the program. Out of this, my love for illustrative style and illustrating was born. With that said, it took quite a few years after school for me to feel like myself an artist and a woman. Elements of all of the exploratory work I made in school contained pieces of who I am today; they just took a bit of time to reveal themselves to me.
Describe a normal day for you (if one exists)
I'm fortunate enough to work for myself, which is simultaneously lovely and terrifying. Most mornings begin with me running or attempting to do yoga. I'll answer any emails from the night prior then sketch in my sketchbook a bit, or work on a personal piece. Once I'm more awake, I'll eat, work on client projects, reach out to new potential clients, and connect with people on social media. Some days I'll have meetings and calls and others I'll have the full day to draw.
Do you have trouble motivating yourself when you’re not working on a project? Or when you are working on a project? What’s one way you find inspiration when you’ve hit a block?
If I'm not feeling the urge to make, I'll tend to rearrange my apartment, clean, do laundry, get coffee, etc. Productive procrastination makes me feel accomplished even when I'm struggling with a project.
One good thing, one bad thing: Living in New York
Good: The people
Bad: The roaches
Do you show with galleries? If not, is it something you’d like to do?
I currently do not show with galleries, but that is on my to-do list for 2019/2020!
What are some projects on the horizon for you?
I'm working on a few interesting shoe collaborations, a few commissioned illustrations, and more personal work. I also released two pins inspired by my favorite recent illustrations. Here are links to the first and the second.