Italian editorial illustration by Chiara Dattola

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Chiara Dattola lives and works in Italy as an illustrator.  She creates books for children, both as author and illustrator, as well as producing related art and illustration projects for Italian and foreign publishing houses. Since 2007 she has been teaching at the European Design Institute in Milan.

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My clients are mostly newspapers and publishing houses but the last year I’ve also drawn some stamps. I like very much doing different things!


I studied as illustrator in Milan and the first job I’ve got, was creating some pieces for a book published by La Scala Theatre in Milan and Archinto publishing house. I created an illustrated book of the opera “Rigoletto”. I love very much operas and so I felt so lucky to have had that possibility.

After that, I drew two other books for the same publisher and I started other works for other clients in Italy and abroad.


My biggest motivators are people who write me to ask me something about my works: they are often interested in the story of the images they have seen on my website, on a newspaper, on a magazine…

The inspirations are many: mostly the books and comics I read or other artist/illustrators’ creations. I’m very curious about the investigations they did before creating their images.


When I receive a brief, I usually have a walk and I let my mind go free. After that, when I go home, I do some drawings starting from the first ideas coming in my mind: no rules, no constrictions.

My sketches are coloured or b/w , in any dimension I need. I try to fill papers and after a door will open in my brain. I open it and I find the solution!


I use ink and pencils but mostly computer: my first step of creation process is on paper, and after I use the computer and create digital images.


I work at home and I have one single room which is my studio. I usually work alone, because I need to be alone when I do my investigations or when I read or when I look for an idea. During the colouring process, I love listening some music, or watching a film, or being in company of other collegues/friends.

When I wake up in the morning I usually go to the gym: this helps my brain to work better. Everyday I look for new contacts and I send updates to my portfolio. After I start drawing: if I have some jobs to dedicate to, I work on them.

If not, I work freely on my portfolio or on my personal projects.


What I enjoy most is that I love seeing the pictures “grow up”.


Long term, I’d like to continue to tell stories by images and working more in advertising and communication. Sometimes I feel like I’m looking for something intimate and profound that will change my life: and I’ll do by images. So I’m sure to recognize when I’ll meet it.

Learn more about Chiara on her website.