Artist of the Week: Amber Vittoria

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Amber Vittoria is an illustrator setting up camp in New York. She works femininity into her bold and colourful illustrations and aims to dissect traditional female forms. Right on! We sat down with Amber to chat New Year's resolutions and living in the big apple.

Amber Vittoria Weight image

For those who don't know, tell us a bit about who you are and the work you produce.
I am a New York City-based illustrator who's work has been classified as airy, colorful, whimsical, and powerful with heavy conceptual roots in femininity, physical identity, and nature.

How important do you think grounding yourself in an environment like NYC is for fueling creativity and new ideas?
Because I was raised an hour north of the city, NYC has consistently been an integral part of my life. The ability to be immersed in such a beautiful culture with an onslaught of individuality has empowered me to express my thoughts and outlooks through my work.

Your work is very bold and distinctive. What would you say are the main influences on your style?
The 'ideal physical female' is something my artwork aims to break. Because of this, several of my pieces focus on femininity and the female form, leveraging physical traits such as body hair, overtly extended limbs, and rounded features.

Amber Vittoria Burnt

Would you say you try to exaggerate aspects of the female physical form that may not be widely viewed as 'attractive' or appealing to accentuate their beauty?
The beauty of the female form, in my eyes, is that the appearance of forms themselves is limitless. I aim to accentuate the elements of the female form that are often overlooked, which in turn highlights elements of the female gender that are also often passed over.

We hear you like to work digitally, as so many illustrators do nowadays. Can you explain the creative process for us?
For the coloring, I begin digitally - blocking in shapes in a rudimentary way. I then print several copies on an old laser-jet printer, which gives the coloring a texture. From there, I layer on the line and detail work with brush pens.

Amber Vittoria On or off

What are the advantages of digital illustration and how do you feel it differs from physically putting pen to paper?
Because my work is a healthy combination of the two, I feel that the union of present-day digital and handwork is important; it dates my work not only thematically but also technologically.

What effect are you trying to create through your sparing use of line and colour throughout your work?
The limited use of linework in my pieces encourages the viewer to focus on the emotional aspects of the illustration - ranging from facial expressions to body movement.

Invisible Woman Amber Vittoria
Amber Vittoria Feminine

The colour palettes you use throughout your works are very limited. Do you feel that doing this allows more emphasis on the form and content of your work? How important is this idea to what you're really trying to convey?

Because several of my pieces are rooted in the raw thematics of femininity and physical identity, the bright, bold palettes I pull from are meant to be a celebration of the power, strength, and intelligence of the woman. The limitation within them allows me to emphasize the important emotional elements within the piece.

Do you feel there is less pressure working on your personal work compared to client work, or do you put just as much pressure on yourself?

In regards to pressure, I aim to listen to my gut regardless of the client. If a piece isn't working, I take a step back, analyze which elements need strengthening, and get back to it.

You've worked with some pretty big names, from Victoria's Secret to Teen Vogue. What do you enjoy about client work and how does it differ from your own illustrations?

The ability to make art with others is one of my favorite ways to create. This is ever present in client work; taking an idea from the client, building it together, executing, and refining is a wonderful process yielding a product representational of several vantage points. This way of working pushes my art in a direction I'd otherwise may not have taken.

Keep Swimming Amber Vittoria

What can we look forward to seeing from you in 2017?

This year my focus is on creating more work and sharing said work through my prints. If my work has the ability to emotionally connect with someone I may never personally meet, I have accomplished my New Year's Resolution.

Follow Amber on Instagram or buy her prints at Society6. Interview by Danielle Morgan.