Massimo Alfaioli – Illustrator
Massimo Alfaioli is an illustrator. His style is simple and minimal.
What’s your background?
I worked in construction! After two years, I realised that it was not the way for me and I moved to Milan to study comic illustration.
What or who is inspiring you right now?
People: those I meet on the street, those with whom I relate physically or virtually.
Flowers: I have a wild passion for the botanical world, in fact some years ago I also got a diploma as a professional gardener.
Music: I listen to music all day.
Perfumes: they are my other passion and recently I started to collaborate with some of the brands that I admire.
How did you come to work in the creative industry?
Although I studied comics at art school, I started working in publishing as an illustrator for children. I prepared a portfolio and I started to show it to the various Italian publishers, going in person to their offices. Nowadays everything is virtually done online!
What was your first job?
I worked as a surveyor for two years.
How have you developed your career?
I moved my first professional steps in the world of children’s publishing then I followed my other passions…
What do you aim to say with your work?
What I propose is my ideal of beauty, made of non-homologous elements, of tenderness. A different beauty far from stereotypes: a beauty that deserves a closer look, the beauty that lies in the everyday world that surrounds us and that often eludes us, the wonderful eyes of the supermarket cashier, the grandma’s brooch, a flower that grows in the asphalt cracks. Learn to recognise this kind of beauty and you will find yourself surrounded by a magic and extraordinary world, like in Alice in Wonderland!
Describe your creative process
When I work on commission, I feel like an actor who receives a script and I try to play my part to the best. When I am free, I surround myself with the things I love … my favourite stories, the people, and flowers I portray with my favourite music as background.
How would you define your style?
minimal, essential, intimate, honest
Paint a picture of where you live
For about a year I have lived in a village on a Tuscan hill, surrounded by olive trees, grape vines, and woods where deer, badgers, and wild boars live.
What is your favourite era of design?
The 90s with their minimalism
Who has been the most inspirational person for you?
My granny, with her magical world, made of blackberries hidden between the thorny branches and secret bird nests. She was tanned and full of wrinkled skin and had long white hair that she gathered in a bun and never showed to anyone. She was always dressed in black. She was so beautiful.
Describe your ‘typical’ daily routine.
I work all day: morning, afternoon and evening.
In the morning, I do gardening the first thing. Then after lunch, I take a walk in the countryside. I also practice yoga almost everyday.
I dedicate the weekends to travel, leisure and friends.
What project of yours has inspired you the most?
The one I’m currently working on. Unfortunately I can’t speak about it.
What are your beauty secrets?
Walks and yoga, a very essential daily routine for skin and hair using predominantly organic products and just a drop of one of my favourite fragrances every morning.
How do you try to stay healthy, mentally and physically?
Interacting with other people, practicing yoga and doing gardening.
What’s your favourite film?
The Hell Boy saga and Bright Star by Jane Champion
Do you have a favourite quote that you try to live by?
Not exactly a quote … I often tell myself to be honest with myself and to follow what I believe…
What makes you nervous?
Anyone who voluntarily does something unpleasant. Each one of us should try to do something nice every day.
Who’s the nicest person you have worked with?
My friend, artist and decorator Marco Scarici.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
In a sunny place …
Do you dream?
If you were a perfume what would you smell like?
A field of dry hay strewn with few wild flowers I suppose.
My favourite essence are jasmine and sandalwood…
What’s your playlist right now?
Grimes, Beach House, New Order, Soley, Sade, Suzanne Vega, Marina Rei, Lali Puna, The Radio Dept.