Francesca Sanna grew up on the Italian island of Sardinia. She first moved to Germany and then on to Switzerland to study illustration. In Summer 2014, Francesca attended the Summer Residency in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She completed a Masters of Art in Illustration at the Academy of Art and Design in Lucerne in June 2015. Francesca currently lives in Zurich where she works as a freelance illustrator.
To find out a little more about her work, we asked Francesca the following questions:
What inspires your work?
I like to listen to other people stories, compare my situation to theirs and trying to empathise with those stories. How it would be if I were in such a situation? How different would I be?
Since I left Italy to live in Switzerland, I am also inspired by a strange sense of nostalgia I feel every time I am back home to visit my family and enjoy the seaside.
Other than that when I look for inspiration I go to my favourite book shop or to a museums, and I really like to exchange ideas and thoughts with people from different background and countries.
Tell us a bit about your process….
I start with a personal feeling or situation. If there is something I am particularly passionate about or on the contrary very mad or worried about, If I want to discuss about a certain theme with other people all the time, that is a signal I need to work on that specific topic.
I like very much the first stages of my process: the research and then the storyboard. For the first one I look for questions and inputs, and then I go back to the white paper and start visualising a story sketching and sketching until I find something that work with the story.
For the illustrations I always try to cut something out from the page, to use the space that is not physically in the book: I think that hiding something from who is reading makes a picture book more interesting.