Andrea Mongia Fresh

Andrea Mongia

This Rome, Italy–based illustrator discusses the practice behind his work and his cofounding of the illustration collective Studio Pilar. 

Andrea Mongia

Duration: Four years. 

Location: Rome, Italy. 

Education: BFA in illustration from the Istituto Europeo di Design, Rome, Italy. 

Career path: I have always wanted to make images for a living. As a child, I had it in mind that I’d be a painter; then, as I attended art school, I discovered that illustration thrilled me more than painting—in practice and as a career. So, I entered a competition and won a scholarship to study at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome. 

After graduation, I founded Studio Pilar with three friends. Studio Pilar started as a self-publishing label, but has now turned into a cultural association. From a big studio in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood, we work on and organize different events related to illustration, like book presentations, exhibitions and workshops.

Think of art as a sports routine. Practice a lot and have fun.”


Artistic influences: I love the strong simplicity of Matisse’s art, the freedom and power of Picasso’s reinvention of the classics, and the immortality and timelessness found in Piero della Francesca’s work. I’m also a big fan of Francis Bacon, Willem De Kooning, Philip Guston, David Hockney and Giorgio Morandi. Music from the seventies has also had a big influence on me, especially David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy and Brian Eno’s first few albums; Eno’s Another Green World perfectly describes my aesthetic—it would be amazing to do something great like that in my career. 

Favorite projects: I favor personal projects and exhibition pieces because the images I create for these types of projects can live beyond paper—and not just for one day or one week. I also like commissions that offer me some artistic freedom; I love working with advertisers who think that images, first and foremost, have to be great. 

Work environment: I work at Studio Pilar with my colleagues and friends. We’re all illustrators, so it’s great to always have someone to talk to about everything from work stuff to stupid things. 

Philosophy: Think of art as a sports routine. Practice a lot and have fun. Keep growing artistically; no one should ever be afraid of developing her or his own style. 


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