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Interview with illustrator Emma Allegretti

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Emma Allegretti is a freelance illustrator based in Rome. She graduated from Goldsmiths University of London in 2014. Emma wants to normalise emotions to make people feel comfortable with who they are and what they feel, her work is mostly about feminism, drama and teenage years. She’s arachnophobic and only drinks prosecco. We caught up with Emma to discuss her work, her creative process and her favourite collaborations.

How did you get into illustration and what made you think “that’s what I want to do!”?

I had a really boring job at the Keats Shelley Museum invigilating the the empty rooms, so I started illustrating my thoughts. With six hours a day in silence and alone, especially after you just came out of months of mental breakdown, you can really dig deep. The moment I started the girls and words combination it hit me right in the heart, I knew this would make me happy.

What inspires you as an artist? Music? Movies? Arts?

I have always loved people. Observing how people act, how they deal with relationships, breakups, how they change in different situations around other people etc people really fascinate me. I am obsessed with emotions, the best way for me to be inspired is to devour anything that comes from people so music, art, movies, poetry and literature.

What do you do when you don’t do illustration?

I am lucky enough to live in Italy at the moment so when I’m not drawing I’m eating or having a drink with my friends.

Your work is really naif, pastel colours, very feminine and punk as well! How do you choose your subjects and locations and mood?

I guess the settings and mood are very autobiographical from my room and mood to my friends and their aesthetics. I am influenced by what surrounds me, cliché.

What’s the best collaboration you’ve done?

I’ll have to say with Girls Club Zine. Because that was the first time I was published or asked to do anything, I was in a very dark place, so it gave me the confidence to keep going and get to where I am today.

Do you ever get stuck with your creativity?

YES YES AND YES! I get so stuck and spend days freaking out and blasting Drake and 90’s and early 00’s top hits, Anastacia, Britney, Ja Rule, you know the deal. After this cathartic ritual i’m usually back on track.

What’s your relationship with your family like? Does it influence your work?

My family is a creative one and mainly female dominated so I get my girl power inspo from that I guess, I was brought up with it luckily enough. My Mother and my Grandmother are my idols.

Do you travel a lot?

I would love to say yes but for the past six years it’s been Rome – London – London – Rome and so on and so forth.

Do you have any exhibitions or project planned?

I have some little shows in Rome, but on the 9th of June I will be taking part in the San Francisco exhibition ‘ I Didn’t Ask For This: A Lifetime of Dick Pics ‘ which I’m pretty excited about!

Any artists you’d recommend us to check?

Well I will have to say my brother Marco Robert Allegretti, who is an amazing fine artist finishing his BA at The Slade.

I’m obsessed with Tara Booth, Maria Midttun, @esoteric_queen’s memes and Laura Mathi’s poetry at the moment. Look all these up while blasting Princess Nokia.

Follow Emma on Instagram!