Roberto Cigna is an Italian illustrator. He specializes in editorial illustration and educational branding with a particular focus on political, social and environmental issues. Roberto has chosen to transform his passion for illustration into his professional career mainly because it allows him to express thoughts and communicate them in a way that resonates with others. He loves to play with images and to express concepts using a simple style and light colors. His illustrations express strong themes and perspectives that cannot be ignored. Roberto’s creative process begins on paper; he analyzes the issue from several angles and provides the client with different options before continuing the work digitally. When he is not working, Roberto enjoys deepening his knowledge about illustration by visiting exhibitions and participating in meanings in his hometown in Sicily. He loves spending time in nature with his family, especially hiking or by the sea. He often finds inspiration in those moments.
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How do you define your identity? Do you identify with (or advocate for) any marginalized communities?
I like the idea that each of us is unique and special in its uniqueness, each of us is different and at the same time we are united by our differences. There are many communities marginalized that I support, through civil commitment and I try to do it with my illustrations
Where is home?
To me home is not just a physical place. It’s more a kind of feeling, a warm feeling.
My family, some good friends, the moment I’m sharing good food with my loved ones in the nature, There are many little moments I can call home, a lot of these moments are connected to people I love and to the sea.
If I have to identify the concept of home with a place I can say that sea is my home.
water it’s absolutely my element, since always, the most beauty memories I have are connected to the sea.
Describe your illustration style in one sentence
I think my style is really simple conceptual and narrative, I try to describe this complicate world in a simple way, few elements, light colors
What lights your soul on fire?
I am a passionate person, I live under a volcano and in front of the sea, here we use to say that the fire of the lava and the power of the sea flows in our veins.
this affects anything I do.
art, beauty and power of nature and human relationships are the things I love more
What themes do you enjoy exploring in your illustrations?
Anything about society, political topics, civil rights, and our relation with the nature.
The illustration is my way to talk to people, I would like to try to make people to think about us, about what we are doing to our planet, I like as I can to give a voice to minorities
What techniques do you use?
I basically draw on paper, I love to keep a notebook always with me, after that, digital illustration.
How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
A lot, I come form a family of activists, since I was a kid I took part on activist movements, so illustration is my voice.
Is there an unmistakable thread in your creative work?
Maybe the fact that If you wanna see from where I come and who I am you just have to look what I draw
What do you want to be known for?
In my own small way I would like to be recognized for the civil commitment, I would like to support the many battles that humanity is facing
Which projects excite you most?
Everything I don’t know excites me a lot, I like projects that allow me to learn new things and grow, I like to get involved and when I am asked to choose paths that have so far been unexplored for me
What is your dream gig?
Like everyone, I have many dreams, I would like to live in a world with more balance between human beings and the places we live in, I would like my generation to be able to create the conditions for change
Where, when and how do you best create?
I believe like everyone that I have comfort zones that allow me to create better, There is no particular place, The evening is undoubtedly one of the best moments for me
How has your style evolved since you started?
I think that my style has evolved a lot by being in contact with professionals with whom I have worked who have allowed me to learn many things and to grow professionally but also technically.
Each new challenge was part of an evolution
What do you find most challenging in your practice or in the illustration industry?
I really like when I am asked to tackle issues that I do not know when I am asked in particular to draw something that I have never drawn or something that I thought I was unable to express
How as being an illustrator changed your life?
I owe a lot to illustration, In general I believe that when you have a passion it is a continuous giving and receiving, Illustration it’s a part of my days, is not just what I do, it’s also a part of who I am.
As I said before it has almost become my second voice.
In recent years I have had the opportunity to collaborate and compare myself with great professionals with great artists
Illustration has taught me so much
Name a tool you can’t live without!
A notebook, a pencil and my iPad I know are three things
Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
I don’t think there is a single project from the smaller to the more complex projects they all meant a lot to me.
What really made the difference was collaborating with many artists and the human relationships I had with them
I learned a lot and there was a very interesting exchange.
Every single project has been an important growth experience
What influences or inspires your art?
Many things influence my work, one of these is certainly cinema the cinematographic language hhave a lot to teach to those who do illustration in my opinion, also books, reading it’s a great workout for the imagination
What would you tell your younger self?
When I was young I was quite wild, I think I would tell him calm down don’t worry it won’t always be easy but things will come.
When you have to choose between the most difficult path to take and the easier one, always choose the most difficult one, you will surely have much more to learn
Why do you think art speaks louder than words?
Art can reach everyone, is able to speak a single language that everyone understands, Without borders, Art is the most democratic way to talk to people no matter if you are rich or poor where you come from or what job you do.
In front of the artistic language we are all the same art is able to tear down walls
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