Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 12, 2020

Illustrator Saturday – Srimalie Bassini

Srimalie lives and works in Mantova, Italy in 1986. She attended the Academy of Fine Arts, and later was selected for a Master’s degree in Illustration Editorial “ARS in FABULA” in Macerata. Her work is always full of surprises and she likes to diversify her style based on the story she is illustrating.

Since Srimalie was a child her mother gave her the passion for drawing and painting, and she had always encouraged her artistic expression.
Srimalie attended the art school and the Academy of fine arts, and later was selected for a Master’s degree in Illustration Editorial “ARS in FABULA” in Macerata.

She enjoys drawing in pencil, and then applying color with the graphic tablet. The result is much more immediate than traditional techniques.
Some of her drawings were selected from the monthly magazine “LOGOS” in 2012. That same year she published with Bacchilega Editore the book titled: “La storia più bella”, and in 2014 she will publish two books for Lantana Editore, and she will publish children’s book titled: “il maialino salvadanaio” for Gilgamesh Editions in September 2014.

Here is Srimalie discussing her process:

Finished cover

Below are a few covers of her many books.

Interview with Srimalie Bassani

How long have you been illustrating?

Since 2012, several years ago!

What and when was the first piece of art you created for money?

The very first piece was a picture book for an Italian Publisher “Bacchilega Edizioni”, the title was “La storia più bella” tells about a story really happened set in the 1920s, about a travelling Circus that was blocked by a snowfall. Kids and locals people helped the Circus to stay safe.

Does Mantova, Italy have a community of children’s illustrators that stay connected?

Mantova is a little city, and the Artist does not have many opportunities to stay in contact.  I’m connected with different illustrators throughout Italy, my virtual collegues and friends.

What made you decide to attend the Academy of Fine Arts located in Macerata, Italy?

I was looking for an illustration course after my Bachelor’s degree in Pictorial Decoration in Verona. At the time there wasn’t many school of illustration and when I was selected for Ars in Fabula Master I felt so happy to have been taken!

What was your main area of study?

I dedicate several time to study characters and view design.

Did you take any children’s illustrating courses?

Yes of course! Before to be one of alumns of Ars in Fabula I did many courses: illustration in watercolours techniques, acrilycs, life drawing, digital painting, and storyboarding.

You say you were selected a Master’s degree in Illustration at the Academy of Fine Arts. What did you have to do to get selected?

I had to do a test, I had to showed my portfolio to a professional commission, and then an oral interview.

Did you take time off before starting your studies for your MFA?

No, in 2009 when I had the degree in Decoration at Academy of Fine Arts, I signed up immediately for do different courses in another School of illustration Sàrmede, based in Treviso, Italy.

Do you feel school helped you develop your style?

Absolutely! They push me to develop my personal style, but I need to change it every time to searching for different way to give my interpretetation to the story.

Did the school help you find work when you graduated?

Unfortunately the project, Hansel and Gretel, that I made during the Master was not published by the house publishing partner. This project remain of one my dream. I hope soon or later to publish it.

What type of work did you do when you started your career?

Before to be an illustrator I usually paid my bills doing coffee and ice cream into a chocolate shop. After my first published book I quit that job and I decided to spend all my time for my passion (illustration)!

When did you decide you wanted to illustrate children’s books?

During the Academy of Fine Arts I went to an illustration exhibition of different illustrators and I fall in love with this kind of Art! So I promise to myself that I will be an illustrator.

What is the title of your first illustrated book?

Was it a picture book? How did you get that opportunity? Like I said before, the first picture book is “la storia più bella” published by Bacchilega Editore. The writer contacted me after saw my portfolio online.

How many books have you illustrated?

I lost the exact number! I guess Less than 100 but more than 50!

How did you connect with Astound.US? How long have you been with them?

My collegues tell me about Advocate Art Agency. I send to them my portfolio and a while time after I start a collaboration with them. One year later they passed my contact to their colleagues, a new agency based in New York, called Astound Inc. From that moment start a very good relationship between us!

I saw Santa in… Did you illustrate all 50 states for the series published by Sourcebooks?

It was a very huge commission, I worked together Nadja Sarell. That months was like playing piano with four hands.

How did you get?

My Illustration Agency give me the opportunity to work at these books.

Is Red Light, Green Light (I Help My Friends) a board book?

Nope, is a picture book.

Looks like Red Light, Green Light (I Help My Friends) is a series. How many of these have you illustrated?

Yes, is a Series for Rourke Publishing! I illustrated eight books for this series.

I notice you have a number of your books are available on Kindle Unlimited. How does that work? How did you get your books in there?

OMG! This is a very strange question. I usually send my arts to graphic department and then they set up the illustrations for print, ebook etc.

Do you think having your books available on Kindle Unlimited is a good way to get noticed?

Yes, it’s a new way to be noted.

How many books have you done for Flowerpot Press? How did you connect with them?

I have meet them by Astound, as usual. I did many books with them, I have doing 2 differents series and I keep going to paint them and I am so happy for that!

I just featured your latest picture book Waiting Together by Danielle Duyfayet. Was this your first book working with Albert Whitman & Company? Did they give you instructions of what they were looking for or did they give you the text and leave it to you to come up with the look?

It’s my first book! And it’s a pleasure for me working with one of the most important picture book publisher in the world. They just give me the manuscript split for spreads. I do the rest with my imagination.

Was Albert Whitman & Company your first US publisher?

No, I have done my first activity book with Quarto Children’s Books.

Have you done any illustrations for Children’s magazines?

I was selected with two illustrations for an Italian magazine “Illustrati” by Logos Edizioni.

How long have you been working full time as an illustrator?

I guess 7 years, I usually work for 8-10 hours by day, then I quit!

Is working with a self-published author to illustrate their book something you would consider?

Yes, in the past I worked with many self -Publisher Author.

I know you will have many successes in your future, but what do you think is your biggest success so far?

Definitely the latest book published by Albert Whitman! It’s really a huge goal for me!

What is your favorite medium to use?

Absolutely my Cintiq!

Has that changed over time?

When I start to illustrate, I used many techniques, acrylic, crayons, watercolour, every type of colouring technique! Now digital is the only way if you want to work faster.

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

Yes, I changed many graphic tablet, now I’m feeling very well with a 13” Cintiq

What materials and/or tools do you use to create your work?

Cintiq and Photoshop are my favourite tools (sorry pencils!)


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

For every new project that come to me I spent a lot of time to learn new paint techniques and figure it out to develop my style.

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

Yes, it’s very important spent time to research. I usually made a folder of references that help me to build the illustrations and find new inspirations.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Yes, absolutely! I can reach more publishers, authors, and I can always be informed about what I have to know.

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

One day I would like to publish my cook book, with my illustrations and recipes! Bakery is my second passion!

What are you working on now?

I finished in these days a collaboration with I See Me Books (little spoiler: it’s about football), and now I have to start a collaboration with an italian game publisher.

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.

For electronic supplies the best moment to buy them is, obviously, the black friday! For papers and pencils I usually buy them to an italian fine arts shop named Amicucci.

Any words of wisdom for new illustrators?

Reading, study, and repeat! Your dreams are very close to you if you want! Nothing is impossible!

Thank you, Srimalie for answering the interview questions and sharing your expertise with us. Please let me know your future successes so I can share it with everyone.

To see more of Srimalie’s work, you can visit her at:





Talk tomorrow,



  1. I am so blessed to have Srimalie as my illustrator for Waiting Together -I couldn’t be happier!! I love all her illustrations!! 🙂


  2. Wonderful illustrations. I especially like the crab on the sand bucket. So cute!


  3. Thank you so much Kathy for the interview! ❤


  4. This is such a wonderful body of work. Love the use of color! Thanks for sharing with us, Srimalie!


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