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5 & 3/4 Questions

 

IRENE RINALDI

CURRENT RESIDENCE: ROME

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: ITALY

yoirene.com

1. Describe yourself and your work.

I’m a 33-year-old Italian girl. My hands are always moving, and my hair is always messy. I was probably a dog in my previous life: I love food and long walks in the park. My work is influenced by midcentury graphic design and by the strong graphic aesthetic of linocut printing‚ as well as by screen-printed poster art.

In my illustrations, I try to reproduce the aesthetic of handmade printing, using printed textures and overlaying colors.

2. How did you get started?

My love for art started when I was in high school, where I used to spend entire classes drawing. After high school I attended an art school, and there I decided to become an illustrator. It wasn’t easy to find clients and commissions in the beginning, so I started testing and pushing my illustrations through independent art projects and self-published zines.

It took a long time before I was able to make money from my art. Really, it all started after the first time I went to New York, in 2014. I showed my portfolio to some art directors there and began to get my first assignments.

3. What piece of work best represents you and why?

I’d say that what represents me the most are my hand-printed works, both linocuts and screen prints, mainly because this is where I take risks, experiment, and have fun the most—and whatever I learn through the development of a personal hand-printed project I bring to my commissioned illustrations.

Also, both linocut and screen printing are slow, crafty, manual processes that force me to connect to myself and allow mistakes and imperfections to be part of my work. [One of Rinaldi’s linocut prints, a self-portrait, is shown below.]

4. What is inspiring your work these days?

It’s very difficult to identify a single source of inspiration, but I would say folk art of any kind and from any region—and more generally all forms of unstructured and spontaneous art: from the Amalfi Coast’s decorated ceramics to hand-painted signs, from painted ex-votos to Xerox-printed zines, from traditional puppets and masks to Pakistani truck art.

5. How do you define “success”? 

Work success is doing what you like and making enough money to have time to do what you love.

Life success is becoming the person you want to be.

5¼. What book are you currently recommending to friends?  Galapagos, by Kurt Vonnegut.

5½. What historical figure or famous person would you most like to meet for a coffee and a chat?  Louise Bourgeois.

5¾. What’s your motto if you have one?  It is more a mantra than a motto, but I would say, quoting Kurt Vonnegut: “So it goes.”