"Does not really matter who I am or where I come from, the world has no borders. My illustrations speak for me [...]." --Alberto Seveso
Italian artist Alberto Seveso, who now resides in Rome working as a successful freelance illustrator, stays true to the statement above from his website's homepage (http://www.burdu976.com). He tends to give very little description about himself or his work, allowing his fluid technique and designs to speak for him instead. His impressive layering technique and original style makes it hard to believe that he is self-taught and has no formal design training.
Seveso's specialty is digitally imposing authentic detailed patterns on top of photographs, generally using people's faces and skin as his canvas. Some of these faces are more recognizable than others. Celebrity photos he has worked with include Kelly Slater, Usher, Dave Lynch, Ice Cube, Lindsey Vonn, Michael Phelps, Jorge Lorenzo, etc, and he has been hired to assist in campaigns for companies such as ESPN, Runner's Magazine, and Nikon.
His method consists of mixing colorful vectors with black and white or dulled photographs, transforming the original portrait into a more complex and interesting work of art. While famous faces are usually enough to draw the viewer in for a moment, the swirling lines and patterns of his unique compositions add an element of interest that was not there before. Even amidst all of the detail, Seveso manages not to lose the face beneath his vibrant designs. However, he uses the combination of the two elements to create a sense of dimensionality that cannot be achieved by each part standing alone. Some of the patterns seem to recede into the skin or float on top of it, developing a sense of movement that physically draws your eye into the piece, pealing back each interesting layer and trying to discover the mystery behind what he chose to reveal verses hide.
Many have asked Seveso for a tutorial in his intriguing technique. However, to avoid having a bunch of "Little Sevesos" running around in cyberspace, he generally avoids giving away his secrets. He believes it is important for artists to go in their own direction and have their own style. He did provide this short statement on his process in an interview with Veerle Pieters:
"Well, I usually begin my artwork within illustrator, where I create some vectors (all vectors are drawn by me, I don't buy these vectors). When done with this I place the vectors into a photoshop document where I start assembling the many vectors and give them more depth and realism. The technique itself is not difficult but it needs patience, passion and taste. The assemblage is meticulous, I try to follow the curves of the body or the face with the vectors to give greater realism to the photo and to make the fusion between vectors and bit-map harmonic."
All of Seveso's work has that harmonious quality that he is going for. There is a cohesiveness between his designs and the starting photographic canvas. It is his time, passion, and ultimately experimentation that gets his pieces to this point. With art constantly changing and the internet allowing artists to distribute their work worldwide within seconds, it can be hard to stay focussed and find new and creative ways to express yourself. "The Internet is a dangerous place :)" Seveso says. "It is a danger because there are so many good illustrators and creative people online!" While this is true, it is important not to get too wrapped up in other artist's styles. Seveso focuses on just living life and developing himself as an illustrator. So don't be afraid to try things that have never been done, push your limits, and dream big. You never know when inspiration may hit or what the next big thing in the art world will be.
1) "Interview: Alberto Seveso". 15 April, 2008. Abudeezo. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <http://abduzeedo.com/alberto-seveso-interview>.
2) "Designer Showcase: The Unmistakeable Creations of Alberto Seveso". Designrfix. 11 Oct. 2009. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <http://designrfix.com/inspiration/designer-showcase-unmistakable-creations-alberto-seveso>.
3) "Digital Painters: Old World Art Meets Modern Tech". WebUrbanist. WebUrbanist dot com, 2006. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <http://weburbanist.com/2009/09/28/digital-painters-old-world-art-meets-modern-tech/>.
4) Pieters, Veerle. "Alberto Seveso". 26 May 2008. Veerle's Blog. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <http://veerle-v2.duoh.com/art/comments/alberto_seveso/>.
5) Seveso, Alberto. Alberto Seveso. Alberto Seveso, 2004. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <http://www.burdu976.com/>.