Andrea D’Aquino’s Creative Approach Is Messy and Spontaneous

There’s a certain rawness to Andrea D’Aquino’s illustrations, but that’s just part of their appeal. It’s also part of the creative process. Relying on intuition and experimentation, D’Aquino’s work is situated at a crossroads between illustration and collage art, with her creative process including cutting up paper and moving it around.

“I use a mix of medias and have a spontaneous approach,” she remarked once, in an interview with Bibelot Magazine. “It’s often collage, but not necessarily photo-based.” Sometimes, the collage work is based on painting and drawing. “I draw and paint, then I cut things up and see what happens,” says D’Aquino, adding that “being contrary by nature,” she doesn’t like to stay inside any box that is too pre-defined.

Based in New York, she has illustrated three books so far, on top of regular features in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Financial Times. But D’Aquino’s experimental approach to illustration and collage art, has also attracted commercial brands, collaborating with brands as big as Anthropologie, Conde Nast Traveler, and Chronicle Books.

“Some of the best things I’ve made are mistakes,” she says, “however – this does not imply sitting and waiting is any kind of effective choice.” Take a look at some of her creative observations in the gallery below: