Susanna Gentili

Susanna Gentili

Rome, Italy

Biography Interview

Susanna Gentili, Roman by birth but she currently lives in Milan, holds a degree in Graphic Design from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and further honed her skills at Mimaster Illustration in Milan, specializing in editorial illustrations for magazines and books. Susanna, is a creator of impactful imagery, a master of meeting deadlines, and her art often thrives on eccentric colors and improbable scenarios. She's drawn to the impossible, a wellspring of her creativity. With her conceptual approach, Susanna excels in storytelling through images and conveying powerful messages. Her style is simultaneously bold and delicate. She embraces challenging projects that tackle complex and sensitive topics, including advocating against violence towards women. Susanna's portfolio includes collaborations with commercial brands, magazines, newspapers, and publishers. In her leisure, she enjoys cooking pancakes, attending theater performances, and exploring exhibitions

Selected clients

The New York Times, Prada, Penguin Random House, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, AARP, L'Express, YES! Magazine, Il Corriere delle Sera, Elle Italia, La Stampa, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Amherst Magazine, Bastille Magazine, Artribune Magazine, Donna Moderna, CasaManfredi, 24ORECultura, Centauria, Breathe Magazine, Teen Breathe, The Milaneser, The Napolitaner, L'Espresso, OGGI Magazine, Fondazione Umberto Veronesi, Glimmed Milano, Style Piccoli Magazine, Il Foglio Sportivo, Hop! Edizioni, Liber Mag

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  • AI ANNUAL 2019 – Autori di Immagini
  • 15th International Biennal of Illustration 2019 – The 50th Golden Pen of Belgrade
  • AI ANNUAL 2020 – Autori di Immagini
  • AI39 Winners 2020 – American Illustrations Winners
  • AI40 Winners 2021 – American Illustrations Winners
  • AI41 Winners 2022 – American Illustrations Winners
  • Global Healthcare Illustrations Awards 2022 – The AOI / Eradigm Consulting
  • AI ANNUAL 2023 – Autori di Immagini
  • AI42 Winners 2023 – American Illustrations Winners

Career Milestones

Work for Prada in 2022

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Susanna Gentili

Your pronouns

How do you define your identity? Do you identify with (or advocate for) any marginalized communities?
I’m an extremely sensitive person. If I can, I try to help others as best I can. I support “Save the Children” organization, which has been fighting to improve the lives of children, since 1919.

Where is home?
Home is where all attempts to escape cease. Home is a safe place to take refuge, home is where I feel good about myself and safe.

Describe your style of illustration in one sentence
My personal style is absolutely dreamy, communicative, refined and colourful.

What lights your soul on fire?
Art, in all its forms. I’m passionate about astronomy, so I would also say the mysteries of the universe. The opera house, I have a dispassionate passion for ballet. Boundless love for the people I care about.

What themes do you enjoy exploring?
To be honest, the most challenging topics. Articles or pieces that have delicate or difficult to interpret themes, the challenge is captivating for my pencils.

What techniques do you use?
Traditional and digital technology. I start with classic pencil sketches and conclude with definition and digital coloring.

How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
I’m a very cheerful person, for this reason I really like using eccentric and saturated colors in my drawings. And I’m also extremely perfectionist. I like to take care of every detail of my illustrations.

Is there an unmistakable thread in your creative work?
Yes, of course. I have a refined but also bold trait. This makes it recognizable.

What do you want to be known for?
I’ve a weakness for conceptual illustration. I think it’s wonderful to create unique images by playing with two or more elements. So, I hope to be a good conceptual illustrator 

Which projects excite you most?
I love my job so much that every project really excites me, I always find great enthusiasm for everything I do in my works.

What is your dream gig?
The concert of my dreams, without a doubt the orchestra playing the master’s masterpieces Tchaikovsky.

Where, when and how do you best create?
Well, the contact with nature makes me feel really good. I like to lie down on a towel, in the shade of a tree and let myself be inspired by the landscape in front of me.

How has your style evolved since you started?
My style has become much more precise and attentive to details, shadows and contrasts. I’m also more risky with color combinations.

What do you find most challenging in your practice or in the illustration industry?
I find it stimulating to always test myself with new clients and new projects. And I really enjoy observing other illustrators’ style and ideas. Wow, what an inspiring and amazing world!

How as being an illustrator changed your life?
It allowed me to be myself, to do a job that I love with all my heart, to be free to express what I have inside on a blank sheet of paper. I’m very grateful.

Name a tool you can’t live without!
Unique and inimitable, the pencil.

Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
In 2020, my second illustrated book, “Against violence on women”, was published. It was incredible to illustrate such strong themes. The messages hidden in the illustrations are truly impactful. I’m so proud of that project.

What influences or inspires your art?
The great artists of the past. I never stop learning from them, they are always a great source of inspiration for my works.

What would you tell your younger self?
Hey, don’t be scared. I know you think it will be very difficult to undertake this career, but with willpower, commitment and hard work you can do it. Always Believe in yourself.

Why do you think art speaks louder than words?
Because art has an indescribable communicative power. And it’s wonderful how it can reach everyone, even in a different way perhaps, but it arrives.

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