Claudia Bessi

Florence / Italy


My name is Claudia, I am a graphic designer and freelancer illustrator based in Florence. In my spare time I study art therapy and eat pizza while singing a Beatles song. I have been drawing since I was a child (often together with my grandfather who was a painter and sculptor), to fix on paper everything that attracts my attention, with an essential style and bright colours. During my studies in industrial design at ISIA in Florence, I discovered illustration for children in the graphics course. From that moment on, a light bulb went on, pointing straight to the world of editorial illustration, with particular attention to illustrated books for children. During my studies, I did an internship at Giunti Editore, in the children’s and young people’s editorial office, where I got to know the first works of Olimpia Zagnoli and many other illustrators on the Italian scene. Today I create illustrations for publishing, for brand identity projects and online or printed communication.  


The main inspiration comes from photographs and reference images that I collect and archive, following a method I learned during a workshop with the talented illustrator Julia Sarda.  

These images include film frames, fashion shots, artwork, landscapes, old 60s adverts, patterns and surface design details. From these references I pick up the main colours of my palettes. Colour is very important to me and I also use landscape photos or details I find around as inspiration (a lady’s dress on a walk, an old poster on a city wall, a shop window…). I also make a lot of reference to the basics of colour theory, then play around with the tones according to my instincts. As for my personal projects, inspiration often comes from emotions and everyday experiences that I decide to put down on paper and give my own illustrated interpretation. The work of introspection is often a driving force for new illustrations and I am so passionate about it that I have started a course of study in art therapy, which I do alongside my work.


I let the natural course of things flow like the pencil on the paper, there will then be time to adjust the lines and fill in the spaces. In the meantime I let the thought come out like a drawing and according to its own time.

Image courtesy of Claudia Bessi.

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