Introducing Parapaboom!

February 2022

Introducing Parapaboom, the fun and colourful world of Italian born illustrator Vanessa Branchi. We are so excited for this new creative venture to be part of the Brilliant Artists’ roster. Parapaboom brings together geometric shape, mid-century colours and an inclusive, good humoured attitude. The resulting illustrations are full of joy and delight.

Find out a little bit more about the artist and her inspirations for Parapaboom with our Q&A!

Parapaboom self portrait gif

1. Do you listen to music while you draw/paint/illustrate? And if so who or what gets the most plays in your studio?

I love listening to music while drawing, but not for the entire length of the day. I occasionally listen to podcasts or keep a documentary open on the side, in case I can’t find the right mood for the day. In general, I like to listen to music without lyrics when drawing and my current playlists space from contemporary jazz, electronic to weird Japanese music.

2. Which other illustrators or artists do you most admire and why?

My favourite artist is the Italian futurist, Fortunato Depero. I love his shapes, characters and use of colour. I admire how he applied his genius onto painting, tapestries, wood sculpture, theatre and even furniture design.

Talking about contemporary artists I really like Camilla Falsini and her magical playfulness, especially when applied to street art, and Marian Malhão. I find that both of them are amazing at creating playful characters with an outstanding use of colours and shapes.

3. What is the best thing about being an illustrator? And the worst?

I can definitely and more easily find pros than cons of being an illustrator. I make a living out of my passion, so it really doesn’t feel like I’m working. It’s a fun, flexible, challenging and at the same time inspiring thing to do and I consider myself very lucky to be able to fill my days with what I really love. If I really have to pick the “worst” side of being an illustrator, I’d say that it’s difficult to stop “working”, as everything can become a source of inspiration and I absolutely have to put it down on paper immediately. Let’s say that it feels like a “good obsession” where boundaries are sometimes easily crossed. Other than that, I love every aspect of it!

4. How do you overcome a creative block?

I know that this sounds weird, but sometimes taking a shower helps me a lot! Otherwise the good old walking away from it for a bit and coming back to the blank paper with fresh eyes and a rested mind, helps greatly. As a last resource, if it’s a really nasty block, I then revert to automatism by spontaneously drawing, playing on the free association of images and words, and letting the pencil go where my unconscious wants.

5. What are 3 of your favourite films? Which one would you illustrate the poster for?

Brazil by Terry Gilliam, Parasite by Bong Joon-ho and Toothdog by Yorgos Lanthimos. As a challenge, I’d like to illustrate the poster for Little Miss Sunshine.

Parapaboom illustration

6. If you could illustrate the book cover for one book which would it be?

“The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I’d probably like to illustrate the whole book!

7. Dream studio location and set up?

I’d love to have a studio/laboratory/workshop where I can experiment with collage and create wooden toys with complete freedom. I don’t have a particular location preference, but for sure it will have to be light, spacious with a good coffee machine and space to have friends visiting and enjoying a good aperitivo together!

8. Best trip you have ever been on?

Without a shadow of a doubt the 2.5 months Transmongolian train journey I took in 2015 from Moscow to Shanghai ended with couchsurfing through Japan for 3 weeks. What an adventure!

9. What do you have to have in place before you start work?

As an Italian, coffee is a must to start my day. I also try to do some stretching and meditation, set good lighting in the room where I’m working and then I’m good to go.

10. If you could have any artwork in your home what would it be?

My absolute dream would be of owning a huge tapestry by my favourite artist, Fortunato Depero. I imagine having a big white room with just that hanging on a wall, so I can admire it whenever I want.

Parapaboom illustration

Check out the gorgeous portfolio of Parapaboom right here.

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