Welcome to Friday Artist Features! Every Friday we feature an artist whose work often includes themes of urbanism and mobility.
This week we are featuring Carla Di Benedetto, a 30 year old Milan based interior designer and illustrator. After obtaining her BA in Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, and an MA degree in Interior Design at NABA, she merged the two passions: design and illustration.
Carla currently works for Archiproducts, a design-focused e-commerce, and for other clients from all over the world.
Pedestrian Space: What cities inspire your work?
Carla: I’m inspired by what I see or do every day. Thus far, Milano is my main inspiration. However, I get inspiration also from other cities: Paris and Tokyo are also favorites.
Pedestrian Space: What mediums do you work with?
Carla: I mainly create digital illustrations, but I like using different mediums, such as animations, linocut, pottery, 3Ds, collages etc. I’m always curious and open to explore new mediums to convey my ideas!
Pedestrian Space: What is the relationship between the city and your art?
Carla: The city is a big source of inspiration: big and colorful front doors, beautiful facades, weird street lights, monuments, metro, anything could inspire an illustration. I particularly enjoy watching balconies.
Pedestrian Space: We first learned of your work through an illustration of yours at Escofet. Can you share more about this?
Carla: The collaboration with Escofet has been a very exciting adventure because I mainly draw interiors. Thus, by working with them, I had the chance to draw many outdoor scenes. It’s been fun and I appreciated that they trusted me from the beginning. I can’t say anything else, so keep an eye on their Instagram profile to see more urban scenes!
Pedestrian Space: We really enjoyed your version of the “red metro” Milano picture. What was the inspiration to illustrate that photo?
Carla: I was searching for historical information about the Milano subway for an interior design project, and suddenly found an old picture from the 60s, representing two people waiting at the platform. I started drawing a modern version of that picture, but in the end I felt it was incomplete. The people in the drawing were looking at their right, but what they were looking at? There were endless possibilities, but at the end I “revealed” they were staring at a Chinese Dragon and Queen Elisabeth.
Pedestrian Space: We really love how you include historical tidbits with your illustrations online. For example, the Bar Basso post– this really exudes such a rich blend of local and built environment history and design. Can you share more about this combination of illustration and history?
Carla: Illustrations can be a good occasion to draw attention to our beautiful cities. I recently illustrated a view of the Botanical Garden in Palermo. Founded in 1779, with more than 12000 species and its Greek-like buildings, it is one of the most magical spots in the city!
Pedestrian Space: We appreciated the cleanness as well as mood from the “Memories from my 2nd Quarantine in Sicily” post. How has this pandemic affected your life, your movement as well as your work?
Carla: Since I was a child, I used drawings to escape from reality. So at the beginning of this pandemic I reacted the only way I could: by searching for beauty and happy moments in my drawings. After a few months, I also experienced a lack of creativity; it’s hard to get inspiration if you can’t go outside and experience real life.
Pedestrian Space: How do you move around the city and what is your favorite modw?
Carla: This is a very hard question! I love riding my bike or an electric scooter, but I also enjoy the historic trams.
Pedestrian Space: What is your favorite street or sidewalk space in your city of residence?
Carla: Via Santa Croce, Via Fiori Chiari, Via Santa Marta, Vicolo dei Lavandai, Via Lazzaro Spallanzani and Via Melzo
Pedestrian Space: What other pedestrian areas do you like spending time in in your city?
Carla: I enjoy walking in Paolo Sarpi, a pedestrian area in China Town, and in Brera District, a charming and elegant area in the city center.
Visit Carla online at Instagram.com/carladibbi