Illustrator Philip Giordano is known for his playful, if naive, style of illustration, based on simple, colorful shapes, iconic characters, and graphic landscapes. Exploring different techniques, from digital collage to painting on wood, his illustrations have received international recognition and awards including the Silver Medal by the Society of Illustrators and the White Raven Award.
Born in a small coastal town in Liguria, Italy, to a Filipina mother and Swiss father, Giordano describes himself as a tireless globetrotter (and a restless person), who now lives and works in Tokyo. After studying at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and at the European Institute of Design, he earned a Master in Animation in Turin. He now works for a number of magazines and publishing houses around the world, illustrating book covers, designing toys, and creating children’s books and animations.
“Tokyo is a box full of colorful things from all over the world, a concentrate of interesting selected stuff, which catch my attention,” reflected Giordano, describing his inspirational surroundings in an interview with Sense of Creativity. “When I need some inspiration I immerse myself in this rich minestrone soup. I like walking around the city and pick up some little treasures, like a vintage Japanese book from a second-hand market, a delicate ceramic from a hidden tiny shop, or a little crazy character stored in a forgotten box.”
“Since my childhood, I had the dream of traveling and drawing animals and plants as an explorer of the nineteenth century, with the aim to become an illustrator for magazines such as National Geographic,” he admits. “For me, illustrations meant the naturalistic ones, born from a close observation of nature. That is why I have never drawn the human figure, avoiding it for years from my works. Only by participating in a tour organized by my school to the Bologna Book Fair, I discovered the world of picture books. I was surprised by the idea of expressing something I had inside, telling a world of pure imagination. I thought: ‘Let’s try to make a book!'”
Take a look at some of his colorful observations in the gallery below: