Tokyo-based Italian Philip Giordano puts quite a spin on the world of illustration. Fusing his home-grown influences with those of his current surroundings, he creates beautifully-hued tales that blossom with a definitive East-meets-West style. The pensive artist speaks of vintage books, living in Japan and his resolution to explore new fields.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background…

I am an Italian illustrator born in a small town on the coast of Liguria. I attended the Brera Academy in Milan, studied illustration at the Istituto Europeo di Design [editor’s note: the

European Institute of Design], and subsequently gained a Masters in Animation Techniques in Turin.

A few years ago, I moved to Tokyo. I now work in magazines, advertising, toy design and children’s books, and animation.

Where does your interest in illustration come from?

From the books of my childhood. One of the first books I read was The Apple and the Butterfly by Lela Mari. I was charmed by the simple storytelling, using only images.

It’s still one of my favourites.

Be patient (patience is something I often lose).

How does living in Japan influence your work?

During my first two years in Tokyo, I was inspired by a vintage book that I found in the neighbourhood of Jinbocho, a place full of old libraries and used books. I discovered artist Takashi Kono – a kind of Japanese Paul Rand, who mixes Western styles with ajapanese spirit. His work really impressed me, and with this I started focusing my attention on Japanese graphic design of the last century.

At the moment, my attention is more on Japanese arts and crafts: ceramics, wood sculptures and textile design from the countryside.

At the moment, my attention is more on Japanese arts and crafts.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

Books and magazines combined with plants: where I live now, there is an incredible new bookstore with an actual garden inside it, called Umeda Tsutaya Books. Like magic, plants grow out of shelves, themselves lined with books from every country and of every origin. It’s a perfect place for breakfast and daily inspiration.

What are your resolutions for the year to come?

I would like to create something new in a different field. Cultivating organic tropical fruits in the Philippines, my mother’s country, for example… (smiles)

A word of wisdom to share with us?

Be patient (patience is something I often lose).







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