Italian illustrator Lorenzo Gritti and his striking quick portraits

Born and raised in Milan, illustrator Lorenzo Gritti worked as a lecturer for more than 10 years before taking the plunge into freelance illustration.

Having always loved to draw, he quit his day job and took the Mi Master in Editorial Illustration full time for 1 year.

Following graduation he was contacted by Ella Lupo from agency Purple Rain Illustrators and soon after began to pick up professional editorial commissions for U.S. newspapers and magazines.

In 2016 he won a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators in New York with the series of minimalistic portraits called “Quick Portraits.” We talk to him to uncover a bit more about his creative process and life in Milan.

Gene Wilder – ‘Quick Portraits’ series

I tend to prefer quiet and not crowded places, I don’t feel the need to escape the city, but I discovered I can really be creative and productive in a rural environment.

Lorenzo Gritti

“I always admired analog Illustrators. I love the texture that paint can create, the grain of water colour or the markers effects on paper. I’ve tried to recreate that feeling using digital brushes and in the process I made  my own brushes.

Lately I’m doing practically every thing with one brush I recently created. I can say that part of the evolution of my style goes with the evolution of my brushes.

For example the series “Quick Portraits” is the outcome of a long period of experimental work with new brushes and inspiring faces from old photos.

David Lynch – ‘Quick Portraits’ series

I’ve got to say that I usually do the creative part of the work by night, I love to draw when the city is calm and quiet. So, I’d say Milano per se it’s not a source of inspiration for me, I like here, but In the last three years I’ve spent much time in the Tuscan country and I really enjoyed it.

I’m more inspired by books, comics and painting. I tend to prefer quiet and not crowded places, I don’t feel the need to escape the city, but I discovered I can really be creative and productive in a rural environment.

Quentin Tarantino – ‘Quick Portraits’ series

I’ve recently completed 6 Illustrations for the New Yorker Summer Preview, which was challenging and fun. I didn’t have much time and obviously being the New Yorker I wanted to impress them.

I started researching and familiarising myself with the artists, the movie and the music I had to illustrate. I watched a lot of videos: dance performances, concerts, movie trailers, art installations and listened to a lot of electronic and indie music I’ve never heard before.

The process then went forward pretty smoothly, I sent all the sketches and the AD seemed happy with the choices I gave her and we started discarding the unsuitable ones and working on the good ones. I started the finals and after a couple of revisions the work was done.

Old comic books from the 1940’s and and 50’s os so fascinating and inspiring. I love that they can put an entire universe in a little strip.

Lorenzo Gritti

Recent illustrations for The New Yorker

I love to walk with my dog Nebbia. My girlfriend and I often visit street markets to pick up old books, comics and magazines – finding comic books in mountains of old papers, or a magazine with great illustrations hiding under pile of cheap newspapers, old black and white headshots and postcards is really enjoyable.

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones – ‘Quick Portraits’ series

Old comic books from the 1940’s and and 50’s os so fascinating and inspiring. I love that they can put an entire universe in a little strip.

KyleMacLachlan aka Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks – Quick Portrait series

I love living in Milano, but the real challenge is that Milano is a very expensive city. Rents and Houses are super high-priced and everything is more expensive that in the rest of Italy.

During the day I have a desk into a co-working near where I live. It’s in a ex-industrial part of the town, now full of galleries and design studios. I like to spend my working afternoon in an heterogeneous environment with architects, journalists, engineers.

On my desk I have nothing but my laptop and 3 books: “Paying For It” by Chester Brown, “The Monster Of Florence” by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi; and “The Visionary Dictionary” by Beppe Giacobbe.

I couldn’t live without my digital brushes. I work totally in digital and I’ve spent a huge amount of time creating brushes to suit my style. They are absolutely essential for my work, from sketches to final art.”

hellogritti.com

 

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Posted on Aug 29th, 17 by | Twitter: @inkygoodness

Adam joined Inkygoodness in 2016 and is now a director of the company, working closely alongside founder and creative director Lisa Hassell. He is one of the main contributors to the site, and as editor-in-chief, the first point of contact for artist submissions.

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