Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 10, 2019

Illustrator Saturday – Chiara Fedele

Chiara Fedele was born in Milan, Italy. After graduating from art school, she attended the Brera Academy in Milan. Chiara works mainly for children publishers all around the word, storyboarding for advertising and movie. Magazines. She uses a combination of mixed traditional media and digital. 

She attended Art School in Milan and took a degree in Illustration at La Scuola del Fumetto in Milan. She also attended several workshops with illustrators such as Gianni DeConno, Arcadio Lobato, Svjetlan Junakovic and a course with the publisher Paolo Canton (Topipittori) called Projecting Books. Her illustrations have appeared in many picture books. 

Chiara also teaches drawing and painting techniques. She lives in Pavia, Italy.

First i draw a rough of the illustration.

When I work in traditional media I use watercolour and gouache base.

I add black ink and other layers of gouache and acrylics, starting to do details with coloured pencils.

Close-up view.

I finalize the illustration with digital.

There is a book giveaway for this book. I will be picking the winner in a few days, so use this link, leave a comment, and get in the running to win.



How long have you been illustrating?

I have been illustrating since 2001, when I started to work on educational book. In 2004 I worked on my first own illustrated book.

From The Brave Cyclist

From The Brave Cyclist

What and when was the first painting or illustration that you did where someone paid you for your artwork?

My first payed illustrations have been the little drawings for educational books.

From The Brave Cyclist

From The Brave Cyclist

Have you always lived in Milan?

I lived in the city of Milan until I was 26, then I moved in the country just 50 km far from Milan.

How did you decide to attend the Art School in Milan?

I always loved drawing and painting, has been natural studying in that direction for me.

The Internet mentions that you attended the Brera Academy in Milan. Is this the name of the Art school you mention in your bio?

The art school is an High School where you start to study artistic subject. Brera Academy is a College course just for Art. I didn’t finish this course because I started another School specialized in Illustration.

What type of classes were your favorites?

I always loved figure drawing, watercolors and painting techniques.

What made you decide to continue your education and study Illustration at La Scuola del Fumetto in Milan.

Since I was teenager I love to reed, specially fantasy books like “The Lord of the Ring” and all the books of Marion Zimmer Bradley, I said to myself one day I will be the illustrators of the covers of these books.

The Scuola del Fumetto in Milan at that time was one of the two only school teaching, illustration that was what I wanted to do.

Did art school help you get illustrating work when you graduated?

The school taught me how to illustrate, there were not so much illustrators in Italy when I finished the school so I started working doing some experience by myself.

Was this the time when you did storyboarding for advertising, movies, and magazines?

That kind of work is arrived later, when I had more working experience.

When did you decide to illustrate children’s books?

When I was at Scuola del Fumetto, I discovered the children’s  book market.

Was Il Kamasutra dei Koccodrilli the first book you illustrated?

No, my first book is “The library Mouse” a Greek book, the first of a series about a mouse that live in a library.

How did the publisher discover your illustrations?

My first publisher is Patakis Publisher in Greece, I met the publisher in 2003 in Frankfurt Book fair.

When I started fairs were very important for find clients.

From The Brave Cyclist

How did the contract to illustrate your latest book, The Brave Cyclist come your way?

I have an American Agency: They got me this project.

From The Brave Cyclist

How many children’s books have you illustrated?

I think I lost the count, but they are more than 20.

How long has Astound been representing you and how did that come about?

I’ve been represented from them since 2015. I was looking for an Agency in that moment for the English and American Market and I found them. Has been my fortune.

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate your own book?

I do time to time, I write down ideas, but I know is something it would take me lot of time so there are some ideas there,  waiting to be realized when I will decide to take this time for me.

What do you feel influenced your illustrating style?

I love the history of art, my inspiration almost always comes from there. I love the Secession movement in Vienna, Klimt, Schiele. I love all the 1800 European paintings. Also I like the medieval paintings. Every art period is a discover and an inspiration.

Do you work full time as a free-lance illustrator?

I also teach Illustration in International School of Comics. Now just in Genova, before in other Italian cities like Padova and Brescia.

Does the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI) have a chapter in Milan? If so, do you belong? If not, are you involved with another illustrator group?

No there is not this society in Italy, there is the Italian Illustrator Society, there are some other associations and when there is a festival or an event I often go to meet colleagues. It is very important to keep relations with friends and colleagues to share information about this work.

Do you have a studio in your house?

Yes I have a studio near my house and I share this space with a colleague.

Would you illustrate a book for an author who wants to self-publish?

Unfortunately I have very little time for this kind of project, but if I fall in love with the story I can keep some time for this.

Have you worked with educational publishers? Which ones?

Yes, is one of my first kind of Job and I am quite specialized on that. I worked for Oxford Un. Press, Cambridge Un. Press, AZ Lerner publishing.


Have you done any illustrating for children’s magazines? Which ones?

I worked for Highlights last year.

Have you ever thought about illustrating a wordless picture book?

My personal project are all silent books, because I am not a writer.

What do you think is your biggest success?

Do the work I always wanted to do.

The Internet says you were nominated for the State Literary Award for Best Illustrated Children’s Literature. When did this happen and what book got out the nomination?

Is the Greek Prize for Children book. Is for the books of the Library Mouse.

What is your favorite medium to use?

My favorite medium is mixed media, I like digital too, but I’d rather prefer jobs where I have time to use traditional media.

Has that changed over time?

I am always evolving. Every work is different from the other.

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

No it depends from the job I am working on.

Do you take pictures or research a project before you start?

I love research before start a work. It is not just a pleasure but a duty of an illustrator be well informed on the subject of the work. We must study every time different things.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Yes, internet has been a real revolution for my profession. Social media too. Has been a good revolution with a dark side unfortunately.

Social Media has brought a lot of superficiality and has lowered the quality of the illustration.

Do you use Photoshop or Painter with your illustrations?

I use Photoshop when I use digital medium.

Do you own or have you used a Graphic Drawing Tablet when illustrating?

I have a Wacom Cintiq 13hd to work.

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

One day I will retire myself in a house near the Atlantic Ocean  (Ireland or France) to paint for myself, creating books and printing xylography.

Be more like an Artist than Illustrator. That’s my dream. I don’t know if I will realize it but dreaming is free, so…

What are you working on now?

I am working on some educational books for Italy, I just finished a cover for a big Publisher in Italy, I have a Picture book starting in Autumn for Patakis.

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

I don’t know if you have the same products in USA but I love Arches Paper for Watercolor and mixed media, is the best cotton paper I think.

Any words of wisdom on how to become a successful writer or illustrator?

I think the tip is Study. Be always curious and study always. Knowledge is fundamental.

From The Brave Cyclist

Thank you Chiara for sharing your talent and expertise with us. Make sure you share you future successes with us. To see more of Chiara’s work, you can visit her at:


If you have a minute, please leave a comment for Chiara. I am sure she’d love to hear from you and I enjoy reading them, too.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. These illustrations are stunning! I’m so glad to learn about Chiara and her work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful! I love the colors and movement in your art.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful emotion in your artwork. Love the various points of view. Color and white space carefully thought out! Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazingly beautiful art illustrations! So very talented!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] love this Italian illustrator’s work, and her charming answers in English. She speaks English better than I speak Italian. The […]


  6. These are wonderful! Thank you for sharing!


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