Get to Know Artist & Illustrator Amber Vittoria
Amber Vittoria (@amber_vittoria) is an illustrator focusing on femininity and the female form, leveraging physical traits such as body hair, overtly extended limbs, and rounded features.
Interviewer Alexi Ueltzen (@alexi) is Ello’s Social Media & Email Manager. If she’s not at the office, she’s probably swimming, getting muddy with her dogs, or baking cookies. The best cookies.
Start us off with a little background. What was your path to becoming an illustrator?
When it came time to decide what my major would be within the arts, I chose graphic design; I was hesitant to commit to a specific medium and felt design allowed me to dabble in several before choosing my favorite(s). While in school, I fell in love with illustrating. Then post-college life is where I began to experiment with the mixed digital and analog process I have today.
rubs hands together Let’s talk ladies, now. In your own words, your work focuses “on femininity and the female form.” How/why did this subject matter rise to the forefront for you?
There were several different forces that nudged me towards this focus, but the most important was continually seeing work of women made by men. The world of art is incredibly cis-caucasian-male dominated, and I wanted to begin to create work of women from a woman's perspective.
Your own work celebrates an atypical version of female beauty. How did you develop your unique style and start to see the world/the female body in this way?
Living in New York City has had a huge impact on my work; observing women who live in this city are the inspiration for all of my pieces.
You’re very vocal on your social channels about women and women’s issues (which is rad, in my opinion). How can other artists contribute meaningfully to these conversations? What would you like to see more of from the artistic community?
Female and gender nonconforming individuals are incredibly vocal about important issues needing solutions; what I'd love to see more of is men being equally as vocal (without having to be prompted).
I’ve seen mostly positive reactions to your art since it really does project confidence and power. That being said, have you ever gotten negative feedback? How do you respond to people who can’t see the beauty in your illustrations?
There are several people (majority male, thus far) who are incredibly uncomfortable with elements of my work (pubic hair, bulbous form, strong point of view). The response tends to encourage those to spend time with said uncomfortable idea: learn about it, but never shy away or shun it.
Have you discovered any artists on Ello who inspire you?
Most recently, Vickie Vainionpaa's (@vickiejv) work has resonated with me; her depiction of form and color is stunning!
You’ve gotten to work with some really incredible brands. Is there a favorite project in your portfolio?
My most recent favorite project was with 7 For All Mankind. They commissioned me to create four pieces of art that spoke to a woman's confidence; all four were shared on their Instagram handle alongside personal video interviews of me describing the story behind each.
What is your design/illustration process like?
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.
Have you got a self-care tip or ritual you recommend to other artists?
Exercise has been incredibly helpful in alleviating stress; a simple 10-minute walk or a New York Times Mini crossword always helps.