Meet Jess Ardizzone – The Illustrator Behind Our Nourish Box
Hi Jess, it’s is great to chat with you. To start, can you tell us more about your story/background?
I’m a London-based illustrator and advertising creative, originally from Italy.
My family is from Sicily, in the South, but I was born and bred up North, near Milan. Growing up, I missed the sea every day. I counted the days till summer came, painted and decorated my room like the sea bottom, and early on I started taking lots and lots of pictures of all the best things that were happening between June and August.
The rest of the year was just a “before-summer” or “after-summer”. My life dream was to one day, live by the ocean, surrounded by blue and palm trees. Not sure what happened between that dream and moving to London.
I’ve always wanted to travel. But not just visit, I wanted to live in those places. Call them home. Meet the people, and blend in with them. So at 16, I went to do a work experience in Derry for 6 weeks. At 19, I spent 6 months in Barcelona. And by the age of 24, after my first three years working in Milan as an art director, I was sure I needed to leave Italy and experience bigger and better work opportunities abroad.
London came up a bit out of nowhere. People seemed interested in my portfolio/profile quite well and two of my dearest friends were living here at the time, so after a brief visit, I decided to take the leap.
Cut to 8 years later, I’m incredibly proud to be working as a Creative Lead at Stink Studios, a global creative studio with a focus on advertising and digital experiences. And I can’t imagine leaving Hackney for anywhere else. Unless, of course, it’s got palm trees, an ocean view, and 25 degrees all the time.
So I keep dreaming, longing, and drawing of that one place, that one day. Hopefully not too far away.
Can you share with us more about your creative process in designing these illustrations and subject?
First of all, I wanted to create a metaphor that would convey the idea of “nourish” instantly and that would make people smile too. It was important to me to express that sense of “self-indulgence” with grace and a touch of playfulness.
So after sketching 6 to 8 very small (like 3cm X 4cm) ideas, I picked my favourite 3 and resketched them on my iPad, giving the composition a higher level of fidelity and some details.
Since I always love discussing ideas and getting feedback, I then shared those with Veronica. And after picking our favourite, I chose a colour palette that would suit the idea of Autumn/end of Summer and redrew a coloured version of the illustration, based on the sketch.
Lastly, I added the shading, which really brings the illustration to life and it’s perhaps my
favourite part. When the magic really happens and things get dimensional and surreal.
What is the technique you used in the tote bag and intention card?
For both media, my technique is digital illustration.
Where did you find inspiration for our theme Nourish?
I’m a Libra so it was pretty easy for me to think about things that nourish my soul since that’s basically my constant goal in life. I thought about small everyday things that bring nourishment to the mind and body – like a bath, or eating an ordinary dessert in a fancy cup… and mixed it up with once-in-a-lifetime moments that feed the soul for years to come, like a pink sunset in Costa Rica or a moon rising over the sea in Spain. Then brought them all together into a surreal warm scene.
How do you Nourish yourself?
Currently, swimming two to three times per week in an outdoor pool in London is my biggest source of nourishment. Comes rain or shine, nothing gets me out of bed as the idea of how I’ll feel after.
Also, watching Formula 1 on a Sunday, while eating homemade lasagna with my partner is pretty unbeatable. I’m Italian after all.
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