Anna Parini’s colourful illustrations depict the ups and downs of everyday life

Anna editorial illustrations depict everything from relationships to money pressures with an artful simplicity.

Anna Parini has a knack for beautiful, simplistic illustrations that have made their way onto the covers and pages of a number of high-profile editorials. It takes talent to capture an entire complex issue or concept in one or a few illustrations, but Anna does so faultlessly. 

Born in Milan and now working from Barcelona, Anna has been recognised and exhibited by Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, American Illustration and Society for News Design for her illustrations. She draws on inspirations from scenes of everyday life, sarcasm and hints of dark humour.

Fostering a strong relationship with The New York Times, Internazionale, and The Guardian to namedrop a few more times, it’s suffice to say Anna has mastered the art of editorial illustration with her simple, colourful and conceptual style.

Image: The Last-Born, Internazionale, Anna Perini

Having to often work along the guidelines of a brief, Anna says the process she enjoys the most is reading an article or a brief for the first time, "when your head is still blank and ready to work". 

"First I start by writing down a few keywords, brainstorming and sketching very small thumbnails. Then, I try to translate the image I have in my head in the simplest way possible, to make it accessible to everyone," she says.

Image: Can TV Be Fair to Muslims?, The New York Times, Anna Parini

She says The New Yorker and the New York Times, along with their art directors, are her "absolute favourite" editorials to work with.

"Creative freedom is important but most important is to work with someone who understands your language, and that’s the case."

Image: The Families That Can’t Afford Summer, The New York Times, Anna Parini

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One of her recent cover illustrations for The New Yorker, Out and Up, depicts an article about the Underground Scholars Initiative. The initiative was created in 2013 to develop a prison to school pipeline, and to support the formerly incarcerated so they can graduate from UC Berkeley.

"The deadline for sketches was for the day after; the first round of sketches got rejected because they were looking for something more specific to the story which would show a much more clear transition from the prison hallway to the Berkley campus," she says. 

"I had to come up with an alternative idea within an hour and I decided to play around the idea of the two towers: the prison tower and the Berkeley Sather Tower. The result was an image of an inmate with a book under his arm who’s looking ahead and beyond the prison gates."

Image: Out and Up, The New Yorker, Anna Parini

One of her favourite editorial illustrations to date is for The Guardian’s humorous yet poignant piece - How to cohabit (and live to tell the tale): 10 essential commandments.

Image: How to Cohabit (and Live to Tell the Tale), The Guardian, Anna Parini

A very excited Anna is currently working on a commission for an illustration celebrating the return on Twin Peaks – 25 years later. 

"I was six when the show was first released and, as a kid, I clearly remember how my blood would freeze every time Angelo Badalamenti’s theme song was playing. That songs still haunts me but now I love it."

Image: On Fake Instagrams, a Chance to Be Real, The New York Times, Anna Perini

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Image: Ugh, She’s Being So Passive-Aggressive, Real Simple, Anna Parini

Image: The Blood Donor, John Hopkins Health Review, Anna Parini

Image: The Mid-Career Drift, Chatelaine Magazine, Anna Parini

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