Brooklyn-based illustrator Eva Redamonti specialises in creating highly-intricate illustrations which communicate themes of mental health, science, nature and Futurism. We caught up with her to learn more about her work.
Considering that mental health is a common theme in Eva Redamonti's illustrations, it makes sense that art was a kind of therapy for her growing up. "My mother used to teach me how to use watercolours as a kid and paint with me outside in our backyard," she tells Creative Boom. "It's always been there for me when times are rough, or as a way to pass the time."
As Eva got older, art stuck around like a friend and accompanied her when she moved to New York in 2018 to pursue a career in illustration. Choosing not to follow through with a masters in illustration, Eva worked in graphic design on a part time basis before deciding to go freelance around the time of the pandemic.
"I’m nowhere where I want to be yet but I think making the work you love is what matters most, and that’s what I’m trying to align myself with," she explains. "My work fits in different parts of the art industry: editorial, advertising, animation, fine art, etc. I participate in them all, as long as it aligns with the work I make."
Having worked with publications such as the New York Times, WIRED, Medium, Domestika, CNN, Adobe, The New Scientist Magazine and Politico Magazine, amongst others, Eva is constantly looking for the next project and "seeing how I can push my art to improve."
Predominantly inspired by the fantastic art style of James Jean, Eva's artwork is also influenced by the likes of M.C. Escher, Bryce Wymer, Lauren YS, Ken Sausage, Kliu Wong, and Armando Veve. The result is a style that has been described as whimsical, dark, psychedelic, emotional and surreal.
In Eva's illustrations, heads unfurl like orange peels to reveal innermost thoughts, and external elements of modern life collide to create a sensory explosion. These frequently allude to pertinent subjects such as mental health and the condition of the planet. "I also include a lot of imagery and architecture from New England, because it's where I grew up.
"I think my work gravitates towards these subjects because I love drawing people; I like to cut up my references and see how I can put them back together in different ways. I think, to the viewer, it can seem as if they are looking at someone’s personal life story evolving before their eyes."
To express her themes, Eva often draws lots of organic shapes such as flowers, tangled roots and vines. "I also like to draw lots of portraiture and anatomy that’s juxtaposed on top of one another. Seeing how one line shares a similar direction with another has always been an exciting puzzle for me to solve in each of my pieces."
And just like the client's she chooses to work with, Eva's explosive style is closely to her personality. "It's just who i am! I’ve developed my style through looking at other artists, yes - but when I look back to art I made as a child, it was explosive and chaotic back then, too. I think my style also comes from my lived experiences. I must just be a very chaotic person inside!"
Given that her work is so detailed and meticulous, it's something of a surprise to hear that sometimes she begins her compositions without any idea of where they will go. "Other times - especially on a commission - I will plan the rough bones out using cut up and digitally manipulated photos. From there, I improvise a lot of the extra detail around those structures."
This knack for improvisation comes from Eva's other skill as a musician. "I've studied flute since age 10, and majored in Music Composition at Berklee in Boston," she explains. "I think learning to arrange my melodic and harmonic ideas on a page - but also spatially in time - was so difficult for me that I often would almost give up. But I found it so exciting to hear what I’d written on a page and predicted to come to life.
"Sometimes it would be a total disaster, other times it would surprise me in a way I didn’t expect. I think putting notes on a page made putting marks on a page seem much easier, because I could actually see them rather than imagine how they might look or sound.
"It also taught me to work with what I’ve got and to embrace mistakes more easily. As a musician, picking up where you left off and acting as if you never messed up is part of the game."
Currently Eva is aiming to have her second solo show on display in 2024 or 2025, and is currently on the look out for spaces to accommodate her growing body of work. " If anyone reading this knows of any spaces, you know where to email me!" she concludes. "Other than that, I am working on trying out some new mediums in the coming year."