Unravelled Stories. Meet: Eleonora Arosio

Eleonora Arosio lives in a world dominated by colour and loud shapes. The Melbourne-based Italian artist brings happy, cheeky, bold humans to life through her distinct, striking illustration style. After graduating from NABA Milan in 2014, Eleonora started to step into her signature tongue-in-cheek design – although this pathway seemed pretty inevitable; as a kid, she’d always be found doodling and daydreaming. Nowadays, you’ll find her work on the cover of Frankie magazine and displayed in art markets, locally and abroad. 

Interview by Maggie Zhou.


TSS: How did you get into illustration?

Eleonora: I’ve always been a creative kid. When I was in elementary school, the teachers would tell my mum I would become an artist! I never really had to discover my creativity, I always expressed it through drawing since I was a child. When I was in high school I was already creating illustrations but I wasn't really sure if that could be a job until my last year of uni when I realised that was what I wanted to do.


TSS: You've been fine-tuning your art style for over a decade now, how did you create your distinct style?

Eleonora: It took a long time, but like I said, I've been drawing all my life! In Italy, every high school specialises in a specific industry (art, languages, science, psychology, etc.) so when I chose to go to an art high school, I had the opportunity to play around with a lot of art techniques. So I guess that made the process of finding my style a little easier; by the time I was 20, I'd already been drawing and testing illustrations on my sketchbook for about seven years.


TSS: What considerations do you have when creating physical products?

Eleonora: In the past few years I found that my bestsellers are the most unusual of products – my temporary tattoos, brass bookmarks and acrylic combs always get people's attention! So that's something I try to keep in mind, but I also need to like and want to buy the product myself; that's important.

I try not to overproduce and make sure I do a bit of a test run with new products first too – you never know how people are going to respond. I also try to keep everything as local as possible; I print and get my t-shirts done in Melbourne, my stickers are made in Australia, I laser cut my combs and key rings myself and my greeting cards are made either in Australia or the UK.

TSS: How has your Italian heritage influenced your work as an artist?

Eleonora: A lot of my references come from there. I’ve lived in Italy for most of my life so that has influenced me, in one way or another. I'm also very lucky because, often, references to Italy are very fun, powerful and easily recognisable. Everybody loves the food, the language and the fantasy – and including those in my work makes it relatable.

TSS: What's been your favourite project you've ever worked on?

Eleonora: I went to Korea in December and it's still all I can think about! I created 150+ one-minute live portraits while I was there and it allowed me to connect with people and filled me with so much joy and pride in my work! It was a trip that gave me a brand-new energy toward my goals and showed me where I want to see my work in the future.

TSS: Can you share any upcoming projects or plans for the future you have in the works?

Eleonora: I have so many exciting projects coming up. One of them is a brand-new illustrated book! But I don't think I can say more than this, you’ll just have to wait and see!