Amber Vittoria, an artist living and working in New York City, has a unique and whimsical illustration style, often using bright, bold palettes to express her moods and celebrate the power and strength of women. Through her artistic work, she seeks to reclaim the female form by desexualizing it, challenging the traditional “ideal physical female” often depicted by male painters and highlighting her own ideals of femininity and sense of the female form instead. She has had her work recognized by It’s Nice That, Computer Arts, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller, and 20x200. A selection of her notable clients include The New York Times, Lenny Letter, Refinery29, Medium, Saks Fifth Avenue, Adidas, 7 For All Mankind, CB2, Framebridge, Amazon Fashion, Victoria’s Secret, and Interscope Records. Here, Amber shares with us how she first began pursuing this career path, some of the inspiration and meaning behind her illustrations, and the message she hopes to convey through her artistic work.
How did you end up pursuing illustration as a career?
The design program at Boston University heavily involved drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking; this foundation combined with design thinking naturally guided my work towards illustration.
Tell us about one of your favorite pieces of art that you created and why it is meaningful to you.
A recent favorite is "Blue In The Face" as it explores a more deconstructed approach to form; breaking out into a new visual approach creates a feeling of discomfort, allowing me to learn more about myself as an artist.
How do you hope people will react to your art?
The ability to create conversation amongst viewers is something I consistently strive to achieve with my work.
What message are you trying to convey through your illustrations?
The deconstruction of the "ideal physical female," and societal assumptions that have been placed on women as a whole.
You mentioned that reading teaches you and influences a lot of your work. What books have been most influential to you, and how?
Recently, Milk and Honey, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, and Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember have had an incredible influence; the ability to experience life through the lens of another enables me to think beyond my own lens.
What are your personal and professional goals for the future?
The ability to travel, learn, and experience life through the perspectives of others would be an amazing goal to achieve.
Portraits by David Zhang