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Meet Our Water Illustrator: Sofia Varano

It is a tradition at CreativeMornings to work with an artist in our community to create an illustration for the monthly theme.

A monthly theme inspires new conversations and ideas that we otherwise wouldn’t think about. At our events, speakers are invited to share a story around the theme and what it means to them. After a month, we are excited to see the talks and inspiration that are born out of the theme.

The global theme for March is Water.

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Given that these monthly illustrations are at events all around the world, it’s only right that we get to know the illustrator.


Meet Sofia Varano

Sofia Varano is an Australian graphic designer, specialising in illustration. She employs a variety of mediums spanning from watercolours to digital manipulation to create works which depict outlandish content with an often vibrant aesthetic.

How did you get into illustration work?

I worked as a graphic designer in the advertising industry for ten years. This was very rewarding, but I knew my real creative passion was illustration. I spent a lot of time outside my graphic design job developing my illustration skills until I was truly confident with the stylistic direction of my artwork. I finally took the plunge and began my own business as a freelance illustrator almost a year ago and it has been the best career decision I have ever made.

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How has your work evolved over time and what were some influences that caused it?

My illustrations have evolved stylistically in the past 10 years. Originally, my work was heavily influenced by low brow art and depicted a grungier aesthetic. I was very determined to create a career out of illustration and came to the realisation that I would need to refine my style into an aesthetic that was more commercially viable. With this came a long period of experimentation and research into different styles and techniques. Today, my illustration style is light-hearted in nature, playful and vibrant.

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When you think about the importance of water and how it sustains us, what other ideas or feelings come to mind? What’s your personal connection to this theme?

I feel a strong connection to water as I live in Perth, Western Australia, which is renowned for having some of the best beaches in the world. Australia is a very dry climate and is prone to droughts, therefore water is viewed as a precious element that should be used efficiently.

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What are some projects or plans for this year? How do you personally want to grow?

This year I will be concentrating on continuing to build my brand as an illustrator. I am also working on some personal projects that I am looking forward to sharing with everybody in the coming months.

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What’s something that you recently learned or was inspired by that’s influencing your work or life?

I’m always inspired when I stumble upon an artist who utilises unusual techniques. I like to analyse their artwork and figuring out what their creative process may be. Sometimes it can be a bit of a puzzle to work out, but it can introduce you to some really interesting and unique techniques.

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What does the future of illustration or graphic design look like to you?

I think to a certain extent the future of illustration and graphic design will be affected by AI, making some design tasks more automated. This will hopefully allow a designer to spend more time on the creative process of a project giving them the opportunity to continually raise the bar higher.

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Tell us something about yourself that we can’t find on Google.

I am a true crime junky.


Discover Sofia’s work on her website, Behance,and Instagram.

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