Interview with Amber Vittoria

Amber Vittoria is an illustrator focusing on femininity and the female form, leveraging physical traits such as body hair, overtly extended limbs, and rounded features. Her work has been recognized by Print Magazine‘s 2017 New Visual Artists – 15 Under 30, It’s Nice That, Computer Arts, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller, and 20×200. She has collaborated with brands, such as Gucci, The New York Times, and Instagram.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Amber, and I'm an illustrator living in New York City; my work focuses on femininity and the female form, aiming to dismantle the societal stereotypes set upon women emotionally and physically.

Where did you grow up? 
Patterson, NY - a few hours north of the city.

Why and when did you move to New York?
Upon college graduation, I was fortunate enough to move home with my parents. After a year of commuting to the city for work, I was able to move to Astoria, Queens. I now live in Manhattan and have been in NYC as a whole for almost 6 years.

What initially inspired you to pursue a career in Art?
Art is the only activity where I can mess up, struggle, and still love the process of making; that inspired me to become an artist.

How would you describe your creative process?
My work begins as a digital piece, blocking in large shapes of colors in Photoshop; it is then printed on a laser-jet (for texture), and details are added by hand with ink.

Does your city and surroundings influence you as a creative and individual? 
The women who inhabit and visit NYC have an incredible influence on my work.

What do you struggle with the most in terms of working and living in a city like New York? 
New York is a wonderful city; I'd say the cold can get to me at times, and the roaches. 

The responsibility of the council in every city is to provide a solid foundation of design, art and cultural facilities, is that evident in New York?
In certain aspects yes, though New York has an opportunity to create a diverse foundation in those areas.

Do you think it is also the responsibility of the designer/creative to improve the quality of peoples lives in their city?
I feel that it is important to always be thinking of how one's work can better the lives of others, even in an incremental way.

Can you tell us about any current or future projects that you are particularly excited about?
I have a few shoe collaborations that will launch in early 2019!

What is the one thing you can’t live without in New York?

If you could add or change something about New York, what would that be?
More accessible public transit.

Describe the perfect day for you in New York.
Late spring, sitting in Madison Square Park drawing as my partner Dave plays one of the free pop-up pianos next to me.

What do you do to switch off?
Literally close my computer and go outside, nothing fancy.

Sometimes people relate a specific smell to the city they live in or the place they grew up, does New York evoke a personal smell to you?
Upstate New York definitely does; the smell of freshly cut grass in the fall is it for me.

What is your favourite time of the day?
Mornings - I'm able to will myself to get some physical activity in (spinning, walking) before my mind is awake enough to realize what I'm doing, haha.

If you weren’t living in New York and could choose any city to live in where would that be, and why?
If I were fluent in Italian (I'm barely conversational), I'd live in Rome; a few extended family members live there, and it would be amazing to know them more.

new york by amber vittoria

A selection of places in New York - recommended by Artist Amber Vittoria. See all of Amber's favourite places here

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