OMBRETTA BANFI, Digital Illustrator and…

Ombretta, tell us about yourself: your studies, your hobbies, your professional life …

My course of study was strictly artistic, as I have always loved to draw, since childhood. Therefore, after the high school diploma, I decided to continue with my passion by enrolling in the editorial course of the School of Comics in Milan. There, in addition to having learned the basics of digital illustration, I was able to understand the artistic techniques that belong to me most and which I would carry forward in my professional career: pencils, chalk, watercolors, ink for hand drawing, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for digital drawing.

The first working experiences have instead framed the editorial sector more suited to my abilities: I have specialized in illustration and education for children and primary school, to arrive at the game for children, developing coloring drawings and creative kits that they stimulate learning, imagination and artistic sense.

Parallel to my work, I carry on my interests, also linked to art and creativity: the passion for origami and kusudama led me to design and make jewelry and decorative objects made from recycled paper; personal qualities such as patience and precision, have brought me closer to art therapy with the design of mandalas and zentangles; the love for nature in all its forms has meant that I developed a strong interest in photography.

– You are a digital nomad: how did you become? Why are you moving?

I became a digital nomad for love; my partner has the need to move for work and I decided to follow him because my profession, fortunately, gives me this possibility.

– Do you love working remotely?

Yes, a lot, even if as for everything there are advantages and disadvantages; one of the biggest advantages is surely that of being able to manage the time autonomously; if I want to work at night, for example, I can do it without problems. However, complete self-management of time can lead to objective difficulties, especially if the work environment is one’s home. The risk is to be distracted, for example by household chores, or on the contrary to being so focused on work to arrive in the evening and realize that you have skipped lunch. In short, it is necessary to find a good balance and in the beginning, it is certainly not simple and immediate. Alternatively, you can look for a co-working environment. In addition to giving the appearance of a real job, then with “fixed” and/or pre-established times, allows socialization, as a job like mine takes place purely in solitude, with the risk of being too isolated from the rest of the world.

– What are the difficulties you have encountered?

That of the illustrator is a niche job, the main difficulty, therefore, is to stand out, get noticed, be able to promote yourself and your own art. Platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and social networks in general, can be powerful tools to make themselves known, but you have to know how to use them to the best and above all invest in them a lot of time, which is not always possible.

– What is the great satisfaction you’ve had?

Surely seeing their products displayed in stores and reading their name on the cover of a book or on the packaging of a toy is a great satisfaction. I also had a lot of satisfaction in the area of creating jewels with paper, for which I opened an online shop that brought me a fair following (together with social networks) in America. To think that a person, thousands of miles away, is wearing something born only from my hands and my imagination, makes me very happy and proud.

– In your sector have you ever felt the lack of a particular service, of some kind of support? For example, you think it would be useful to know some professionals (I say women because we try to network between women, but nobody forbids us to tell us about male collaborations) that could help you from a fiscal point of view, for example, or legal to protect your work?

Yes, I think it is a very important aspect and unfortunately very little developed for the figure of the freelancer, especially as regards copyright, a topic that is often difficult and difficult to understand.

– Would you like to work in a Team?

Despite my occupation, I have worked in a team and it was a wonderful experience. The sharing of ideas combined with a healthy and respectful comparison has many positive aspects, one of which is to go beyond one’s personal vision, to evaluate many other possibilities to make a winning idea.

– What are your future projects?

Surely I will continue to work in the field of school publishing and games dedicated to learning, it is a sector that has always given me great satisfaction. At the same time I want to develop also the most creative part of my being, for this reason, I plan to propose myself as a brand influencer in the fine arts sector; I will thus have the wonderful opportunity to experiment with new materials, new artistic techniques and to design creative projects that involve not only the very young but also the most mature age groups.

– What is a dream that you would like to achieve from a professional point of view?

Actually, there are two dreams in the drawer: the first is to open a small craft shop where a laboratory is also visible to the public, where you can observe the various stages of processing an artistic product, whether it is a design or of a jewel created from a simple sheet of paper. This is because too often we tend to minimize the great work that is behind a handmade product, from the study to the practical realization.

The second, more recent after the discovery of the art therapy and probably less ambitious, is to publish a book of coloring mandala dedicated to a more adult audience, who can find in the coloring a source of concentration and relaxation.

– Now feel free to write everything you would like to tell about yourself and your experience, write freewheeling, even for example how to reconcile personal life and work life … from venting to everything!

After an initial period of difficulty in reconciling personal life with work, I can say that I have reached a good compromise. The keyword is organization; to draw up a plan of activities for the day (and to follow it to the letter naturally, unexpected events) is undoubtedly a great help for the management of work, home, relationships, etc. Fortunately, my profession coincides with many of my hobbies, so for me, leisure time often has a double value.

Spending a lot of time alone and at home, for me it is very important not only the internal environment but also the external environment, which must necessarily be “a breath of oxygen”: so yes to long walks “empty” in nature, yes to parks and gardens where to sit on a bench and read a good book, yes to pleasant activities that involve more people with whom to converse and forge relationships. To date, if I had to think about a permanent job, I would certainly have much more security and more inner tranquility, but renounce the freedom to manage the day as I please, and especially relegate my creativity to the time that remains (if it remains!) it would be for me a very difficult and painful choice.

– Link us your site/portfolio:

Instagram profile dedicated to art therapy:

Portfolio Linkedin projects for children:

Portfolio Linkedin art therapy:

Online store:

Facebook page where to find jewels of paper and handmade: