When it comes to her art, Olimpia Zagnoli takes a rather humble approach. “Unfortunately, what I do is create images and images don’t literally feed anyone,” she once remarked in an interview with The Great Discontent, “but perhaps they could feed someone’s eyes, which is a pretty big responsibility for a bunch of lines and colors.”
Keeping that goal in mind, her art is very much the meaning of eye-popping. Her graphic illustrations rely on bold contrasts and dramatic color palettes, attracting clients like Fendi, the Guggenheim Museum, and even the New York subway system. “I always try to put my heart into my work and preserve my vision without compromising it,” says Zagnoli.
Born and raised in Milan, Zagnoli was surrounded by creative minds like her. “I started drawing at a young age; it was a good meditation for me,” she recalled. After graduating from Istituto Europeo di Design (the European Institute of Design), she had a stint in New York, which had quite an impact on her, career-wise.
“I only had a few contacts in the US and somehow, I got the email of Brian Rea, who was the art director for the New York Times’ Op-Ed at the time,” she says. “I emailed him, but was sure he wouldn’t respond. He gave me an appointment to come show him my portfolio and that’s how it started.”
Now, with more than 130k followers on Instagram, there’s no stopping her. Here are some creative ways she plays with color: