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Work / Illustration

Amber Vittoria’s characters push the boundaries of traditional femininity

New York City-based illustrator Amber Vittoria, describes her style as “airy, colourful, whimsical and powerful”, along with “heavy conceptual roots in femininity, physical identity and nature”. It’s these deeper themes and ideas in Amber’s work that elevates her illustrations from the initial whimsy that caught our eye.

The “ideal physical female form” is something Amber continues to dissect in her work especially after talking to a family member. “A few months ago, I was sitting alongside my teenage cousin. She was sending selfies to her friends via Snapchat while stating how ugly she felt she looked; she wanted thinner eyebrows, straighter hair, shaved legs and more make-up,” explains Amber. “This ideal female is something my artwork aims to break and several of my pieces focus on femininity and the female form, leveraging physical traits such as body hair, overtly extended limbs and rounded features.”

Amber creates characters that are a mix of shapes and sizes, and have a fluidity about them. Her simple yet colourful style allows her to convey mood and expressions through a few simple lines and don’t over play her notions of femininity. “To create the illustrations, I begin digitally, blocking in shapes in a rudimentary way. I then print several copies on an old laser-jet printer, which gives the colouring a texture. From there, I layer on the line and detail work with brush pens,” the illustrator explains.

A mix of personal and editorial work, Amber’s client list includes Teen Vogue, Lenny Letter, Man Repeller, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sony Music Entertainment. “The ability to make art with others is one of my favourite ways to create. This is ever present in client work; taking an idea from the client, building it together, executing and refining is a wonderful process yielding a product representational of several vantage points.”

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Amber Vittoria

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Amber Vittoria: Where did he touch you?

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Amber Vittoria: Invisible Woman