Thursday, June 18, 2009

Interview: Robin Zingone

Name: Robin Zingone
Occupation: Licensor/designer
Location: Chester, CT

1. What kind of art do you make?

Prior to Adobe Illustrator, I did all of my illustrations with india ink and goauche. I still love to work this way as it is impossible to digitally duplicate the feeling that comes from your hand to the paper...That said, I work mainly in Illustrator now because it is so quick and easy to make changes in color and shape, and ultimately my licensees prefer that flexibility...but I really do miss getting messy.

The work I have been concentrating on now are my licensed properties: robin zingone®, a lifestyle brand of mod patterns and chic images for the home, fashion, etc...cocomimilulu, my tween girl brand, loveMe by robin zingone®, my collection of dogs and cats based on kawaii (the cute culture of Japan) and Girlygirl by robin zingone®, the fabulous fashionista with the big smile. Before 9/11, I was an assignment illustrator working about 80 hours a week for editorial and advertising clients. When that end of the business crashed and died and the phone stopped ringing, I decided to make the leap into licensing. I still do assignments which I LOVE TO DO, but concentrate most of my energy on the business of licensing.

2. What do you enjoy most about working in this medium?

I still draw all my work by hand on tissue, my assistant scans it and redraws it in Illustrator. Then I take over and tweak, move, fuss and fluff until it feels right. I still like the mistakes the hand makes, so I guess you could call me "old school".

3. What challenges have you found in your work?

Every job is a challenge. What do I want to convey, who am I trying to sell to, what will make this different from everyone else, how can I do this better? Those are my everyday challenges. But there is one challenge that I still have not to not have a nervous breakdown when my email doesn't work.

4. Where do you find inspiration?

I am a very visual person and it doesn’t take much to inspire me, but I do love to flip through magazines…any kind. I can be looking at a fashion magazine and see a fabulous shoe on a model and think- “ That shoe would make a great graphic for a Girl’s Night Out card.” I can be looking at a travel magazine and see a picture of a pale, sandy beach and think “ That color palette would be beautiful translated onto a pattern for dinnerware.” Or I could be reading the New York Times and see an article about how “Slumdog Millionaire” is the hottest movie and I would think” Hmmmmm, hot pink is going to popular this year.” When I look at the petal of a flower, when I eat chinese food out of a carton (with chopsticks of course), when I dance to Gloria Gaynor, when I skip down Park Avenue with the tulips in bloom, when I sit in my Eero Saarinen electric blue chair, I am always inspired. What I find to be most frustrating thing about life is that there is so much to create, so little time.

5. What are your favorite artists, designer or blogs.

I just found an artist that I love- Pascal Blanchet, beautiful shapes, colors, design. I also love the blog of Ingela P. Arrhenius from Sweden-she is prolific and not only creates the most fun graphics and characters that make you smile, but she also paints and draws magnificently. I love the children's book artist Miroslav Sasek popular in the fifties, of course Jim Flora was a happy man from the look of his work. Love David Hockney, Matisse, Rex Ray, Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin. Love the blog and just for inspiration...I could go on and on and on.


Zamzam Design said...

Love what she makes. The color combo of the first photo us one of my favorite... Thanks for sharing :)

veronica said...

I love this interview. So the part where he explains how he gets inspired.

MoonDoggie said...

I really like the colour combinations she uses. Love the gift bag.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for my 15 minutes of fame Jenn!

Kathy Weller said...

Yay Robin! You are an inspiration yourself.

Thank you for this interview.