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Friday, April 1, 2011

Alessandro Vene - Artist and Illustrator Shares Some of His Work and Insight to Authors

Alessandro Vene
I was really excited to find an illustrator to interview for the blog, especially one whose art work is so versatile and charming.  I know that as an author, it is so important to have the book cover that is just right, or if it is a children's book to have the illustrations reflect the author's concept of the characters, setting and the story.  Thank you, Allesandro for being my guest! 
Alessandro was born in 1979, in Florence, Italy.  Being surrounded by classic art and architecture as a child, influenced his style of art.  He began working at the young age of sixteen, and when he was twenty-four, he decided to go back to school. He studied at the Art College of Florence Liceo artistico di firenze, and the Academy Di Belli Arti Firenze where Michangelo’s statue of David is located.  He has worked as a set designer for the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, worked on commercials for clients like Disney and Warner Bros., Mark Television & Communication, Bottega Cinema and Vallina Studios as a set designer, and Giochi Preziosi plus many others as a production designer and illustrator. He currently works with the Inky Illustrations Agency. His passions are movies, fine art, and good food.
Tell us about your work.
I am inspired by beautiful landscapes, bright colors, video games, books and movies. I use pens and digital programs.  I didn’t choose to become an illustrator, I always loved books, stories, and I love to create new worlds where I can go with my mind, and I would like to make other people jump into my worlds. That’s why I studied to be a set designer, but after some years of work I found out that I would have more freedom with the illustration and I just started to do that, it was a natural process.

What are some of your illustrations that have been published?
Many of my works that was a group project have been published.  But the projects I have worked on by myself the list is not as long, but this is my first year that I that I have worked alone.  However, you can find my work in three I-phone applications, I have created a CD cover, a book cover, and I have illustrated several others illustrations.  I currently working on a series of four children’s books, so, you will see my work out there shortly.
Where can some of your illustration creations be found.
You can view some of my illustrations on my website, and on the Inky Illustrations Agency’s website at
The current children’s book project will not be available for viewing until they are released by the publisher.

How do you come up with the visual portrayal of characters in books?
If is a character that I’m inventing, I just mix my experience, with what I have read, people that I meet, or movies and documentaries that I have seen.  If it is someone else’s character I just try to blend my vision with my client’s vision.

How is being an illustrator different than other graphic artist?
There is a common base, but a graphic designer will spend most of the time working on the complete image and format.  An illustrator’s focus is to  bring one small part of the big picture to life.

Why and when did you begin?
Although this was my passion, I was specializing in another field. Then by chance, I began the blog a little more than a year ago, and people started contacting me.

What is your working schedule?  Is this your fulltime profession, or do you do other things as well?
My work schedule is flexible, but demanding.  It is more than a full-time profession.  Creating an illustration takes a lot of time, effort and passion.
Do you usually work directly with authors, or with the publishers?
I usually work with the authors.
Is there something that writers should know about time and cost of having their books illustrated?
Illustrating is a very demanding and time consuming work.  It depends on the project and its requirements. 
Do you ever design just book covers?
Yes, I have done one, and I hope to do it more in the future.
What things should an author know when they are thinking about working with an illustrator?
They should know that it’s hard to blend the image in their mind with the image in the illustrators mind.
What kind of advice or tips to you have for someone who wants to have their books illustrated?
Well first of all they need my phone number...haahaa, just kidding.  Publishers don't usually love manuscripts already illustrated.  If it is your first time to send a manuscript out to a publisher, you need to have either no illustrations, or you need to have a professional illustrator.   If you do not do one or the other, it could hurt your chance of getting published. 
What “Made It” moments have you experienced.
Like every artist I will never be satisfied, I feel like my work is evolving every day.
If you have any questions you wish to ask me, the easiest way to contact me is with an email ( or by phone (808-238-1696).


JLC said...

Your note on LinkedIn led me to your blog to try to find your email address. The above post makes me a trifle frustrated because I have two books out whose covers are disappointments, and another about to be published with a cover that strikes me as unsuitable as well as a bit ugly. Since I can't find your email, this seems like a spot to send you mine so we could talk? My blog is I could surely use and interview, not to mention a blurb ;-)

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I've had some disappointing covers myself. But I can only make suggestions to the publishers.
Alessandro, you're quite right. Publishers generally want their own illustrators.

Jacqueline Seewald

Marja said...

These are awesome illustrations. I've found, at least with small publishers, that they frequently allow the author to do their own cover.

I'm just so impressed with your work!

Unknown said...

My name is T.H. Hammer and I'm the author, of the soon to be published, Carlousia series. I have used Alessandro exclusively with my first book, The Passing of the Guard, and it has been a fantastic experience. Not only is he a great artist, who understood my vision, and made my work come to life, he is a true professional. I'm very pleased, and would recommend that you use him, to help your work, be great also!

T.H. Hammer

Darlene said...

Amazing work Alessandro!