Sofia Varano’s playful, lighthearted illustrations that combine flat shapes with interesting textures2 min read



Sir Paul Smith for Caleopaper magazine

If you do one thing today, you should take a look at the work of Sofia Varano, an Australian illustrator whose artwork is playful, colourful and lighthearted in nature.

Employing a variety of digital and traditional mediums, she creates work that has a textured and lively aesthetic. “My illustrations are stylistically clean, created using flat shapes and minimalistic yet vibrant gradients,” Sofia tells Creative Boom. “I add another level of depth by incorporating a human element through handmade textures created using paint, collaging and other traditional techniques.

“I am inspired by many different art mediums, from sculpture to glassblowing and try to experiment with as many techniques as I can to constantly grow as an artist. When I see art made using an unusual technique, I am drawn to this and will often attempt to utilize the technique in my own illustrations.”

Instagram is apparently a source of inspiration to Sofia. If forced to choose her favourite artists it would include James Jean, Jeremy Fish, Nick Deakin and Lauren YS.

One of Sofia’s recent projects was for with Caleopaper, a German fashion magazine. “The illustration was to accompany an interview with fashion designer Sir Paul Smith. The magazine envisioned using an illustrated portrait of Paul rather than photography to capture his dynamic personality, love for colourful art, patterns and rabbits.”

Sofia had to illustrate a vivid Sir Paul Smith, incorporating patterns and representations of his love for rabbits. “Vibrancy was depicted through the colour palette and rabbits were included in the arms of Sir Paul Smith,” she adds. “It was also important to include patterns in the illustration that symbolised Paul’s recent fashion collection.

“I was taken by his Edmund Dulac inspired print ‘Dreamer’ and decided to incorporate two different aspects of this print into the illustration. Taking creative license, I stylised his original prints to ensure the aesthetic of the illustration was consistent overall.”

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