Illustrator and 2D animator Angelica Lena describes her career path in somewhat surreal terms. “I come from Rome, Italy, where I studied to become an illustrator for two years in the tiniest, most brilliant school called Officina B5,” she recalled in an interview with Inky Goodness. “My admission interview was in a narrow room, with a mezzanine full of drawing and painting material. At the end I was asked if I had any questions. I said, ‘No, everything’s pretty clear, but where is the school?’ The teacher laughed out loud and said, ‘We’re already in it.'”
The size of her school, it turned out, would have little to no impact. “I learned a lot there and have many wonderful memories from that time,” says Lena. From there, she moved to London to attend Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, where she also started experimenting with animation.
Having graduated in 2016, she is now based between London and Barcelona, where she works as a freelancer. Working mainly digitally, she describes Photoshop as her “best friend”. “I love the freedom working digitally has,” she explains. “It gives you the chance to make more mistakes, and work faster. And the more mistakes you make, the more you learn.”
Each piece begins with a sketch by hand, which Lena later cleans up and colors in Photoshop. Her work includes commercials, opening titles, and short films, as well as commissioned illustrations for independent magazines; with selected clients including BBC Ideas, Tate Britain, Cambridge University, and Siemens.
Here are some highlights from her Instagram page: