Italian author and illustrator Marianna Coppo is known for her playful children picture books. Having studied illustration at MiMaster in Milan and children’s literature at the Accademia Drosselmeier in Bologna, she’s currently based in Rome, where she also works as one of the curators of Tentacoli, an independent label which specializes in fanzines and handmade products.
The author of various children’s books, Coppo uses a mixed technique combining tempera, pastels, and digital collage. “I began studying illustration from zero,” she relayed in an interview with The Picture Book Review. “I didn’t know much about the world of picture books. Let’s say it was a bit of a gamble. Fortunately, when I opened the door to this world, I fell in love with it.”
Coppo says that the form and structure of picture books are unique and extremely stimulating. “I love reading them and the idea to give this form to my stories came quite naturally,” she admits, adding that making picture books is a hybrid between writing and drawing: two worlds in which she feels at home.
“Creating a book is an incredibly exciting and terribly frustrating experience,” she adds. “The aha-insight moment is amazing. I’m not a very methodical person and I tend to scribble down stories. When I first come up with a story, it seems perfect (it never is). Then comes the part that I have to make concrete all of the things that I have in my head and that’s when the trouble begins.” According to Coppo, working on a book can be a taxing exercise. “Often I fall in love with the idea and lose sight of the bigger picture,” she notes. “In practical terms, it comes down to making compromises.”
A fan of irreverent stories, free camping, mountains, and tenderloin with green pepper, this is one illustrator you’ll want to follow on Instagram, if nothing else.