Fonzy Nils AKA Alfonso Cirillo is an Italian illustrator based in London. His work focuses on the interaction of shapes and layering of bright, bold colours. It’s simple, design-led and always possesses a great narrative. Having been featured by the likes of le Cool Roma, Ape on the Moon and LdN magazine, we caught up with him to discover more about his home from home in our fair city and what he’s been up to recently.
Fonzy, whose brilliant pseudonym we can’t quite get over, studied architecture and design in Italy. After graduating he began his exciting foray into illustration, making connections in publishing and media and winning clients across the world. Now living in London, his personal work follows the lives of the people and situations he sees from day to day and his commissioned work could depict anything; from vivid jungles to dream-filled nights.
‘I build images with intersections of colours , lines and shapes’ he says, ‘I speak a graphic language and for me it’s easy to understand. I love to draw characters and natural elements, but usually all of my ideas are based on continuing an experimentation with new palettes and shapes.’
Inspired by his walks around London, sketching in new places and taking in his surroundings, Fonzy admits to finding just about anything interesting, regardless of how it may appear to other people. Like many creatives he enjoys a good illustrated book and a cup of coffee but draws many of his ideas from cinema and music too. Fonzy’s images are a blend of hand-drawn and digital styles and this mix can be clearly identified in each of his illustrations. He tells us,
‘Usually I’ll start with a sketch of an idea and once I’m happy with it I’ll begin to digitise it with my Cintiq. Often I’ll only work using digital means like vectorial software and sometimes I’ll add textures or patterns, layering them into the composition. At the moment I’m working on a project for a collective event in China, a few personal prints and a some characters for an emoji pack for a new app. The last one’s a top secret project.’
Whether interpreting the often miserable faces of people on the tube or whipping up blobby monsters and slick editorials, Fonzy applies the same attitude to each project. ‘Passion is the most important thing. If you want a creative job you must have it’ he says. ‘I believe that illustration may not save the world, but it will make it a better place’. We couldn’t agree more.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth