Italian illustrator Matteo Berton’s work focuses on a “synthesis in shape and composition” put together using complementary colour palettes. Working on a range of personal and editorial projects, Matteo enjoys drawing landscapes to communicate the concept as it allows more room for experimentation. “I generally start deciding the ‘weights’ in the illustration by working on really simple forms until I find the composition that works best in terms of story telling. Once this is decided I go on with the sketch, then choose the colours and start on the final image,” explains Matteo. “I spend a lot of time trying different solutions of form and lighting.”
A series which encapsulates this approach is a commission that involved creating 16 different illustrations to depict the course of legendary rivers from around the world for Editions Amateera, which all appear in a flurry of creamy purple, blue and peach hues. Throughout Matteo’s portfolio there’s big sprawling landscapes that encompass an incredible amount of detail and character, conveying a place or atmosphere that’s bold in colour and thoughtfully composed.
The illustrator has created commissions for a myriad of clients including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Le Monde, Moleskin, Liberty London and Pitchfork Review. Matteo’s commissioned projects often provide the opportunity to explore new topics. “Very often you know little about or totally nothing about what you have to draw,” he says. “I enjoy doing a lot of research and being caught up in the stories and environments I have to represent.”
Through the briefs he’s set, it’s the personal satisfaction Matteo gets that drives him. “I’m addicated to that thrill you get sometimes when you look at the final image and see everything’s in the right place, where you manage to find a new synthesis of forms and when the story is only partly evident, luring the eye of the spectator.”
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