Giovanna Buonocore, aka Giobi, is a young freelance illustrator and graphic designer from Piacenza. She grew up in the fog of the province and started to draw since she was a little girl; from that moment on she never stopped! After graduating in Graphic design & Art direction at NABA in Milan, she has been working in the last year as a graphic designer in the social and information field, developing at the same time her career as a freelance illustrator. She has recently become a full-fledged freelancer and she cooperates both with direct clients and with some communication agencies as an illustrator and as a graphic designer. Inclusivity, feminism, empathy and beautiful vibrant colors are the cornerstones of her work.
In your opinion, what is the main strength of the illustrations? Do you think that the themes you deal with somehow give a distinctive feature to your creations? I think the strength of my illustrations is their ability to be direct. I like to be clear and direct both in writing and in drawing, therefore I use simple strokes, full colors and sentences that say everything with a few words. This character for clarity comes from two things: one is the communication studies I did and the other is a more intimate need: I am a very anxious person, so I need to synthesize and make clear what I think; in this way I can analyze my thoughts with calm and fully assimilate them, without panicking. It’s my way of focusing. I think that the hallmark of my work is the filter with which I talk about a theme rather than the theme itself. I rarely use a heavy or scolding tone of voice, I like to tell things, explain them or simply represent them, in a transparent and/or ironic way. If I had to use a single expression to say what is the characteristic trait that encompasses all that I have explained, it would be “safe space”.
How do the characters you illustrate come to life? When I tell a story, an anecdote or I give voice to thoughts through a character, in some way that character is me; the representation of that character changes depending on how I feel that day, so it is more difficult to always identify it as the same person. Then I mostly draw women. I try to illustrate different women, to make sure that no one is excluded or not represented. I then have a lot of fun dressing them up in different, more or less eccentric ways. For me it’s like being a little girl again and dressing up my dolls (which was my favorite part of the game) and in each of them I find a part of me that I don’t always see. That’s why it’s very important to me to represent diversity.
Let’s talk about your creative process: which are the artistic currents that have inspired you the most? The inspiration for my illustrations always comes while I’m doing something else: when I’m out, on the subway, walking through the station, I often think of sentences to write, sometimes whole texts for cartoons and other times I precisely imagine the characters to draw. When this happens I write everything down in the notes on my phone and I leave them there to grow until I’m ready to draw them. Many things inspire me, the people I meet and whose story I imagine, the colors of provincial roads immersed in the fog, what the people around me say, Alessandro Baronciani’s style and Zerocalcare’s way of telling stories. A phrase that I feel very close to me is taken from a piece by “I Cani” says: “I want to tell and I want to be told, because even the little we know is better than nothing”.
How do you manage your time as an illustrator? I graduated last year with a fully illustrated thesis. I started working right away as a graphic designer, but a few months ago I jumped entirely into the world of illustration combined with graphic design. I found it very useful to study graphic design because it helped me value illustration more with a certain layout. This helped me especially with product packaging projects.
Do you think that nowadays an illustrator has to be “chameleon-like” from a working point of view? I believe that knowing many disciplines is an added value. Nowadays you can’t think of doing just one thing. (Unless you’re a genius). It also makes the creative process more fun and adds value to your work. A marketplace example: all illustrators today make their own schedule. The fact that they can layout and manage graphics is a plus.