Vintage Wonderland

Francesca Capellini is an italian freelance illustrator based in Paris. I had seen her work on newspapers and magazines but it was I while before I realized she was one of the girls I followed on Instagram! She was looking for a new apartment in Paris at the time and I enjoyed following her house-hunting process thought her instagram feed. She eventually found a precious house with a beautiful window and I fell in love with it.

"For me, a house without plants is a haunted house"

In 2011 The Italian Association of Illustrators awarded Francesca Best New Talented illustrator of Italy. Black and red ink and collage inserts are the main tools on the work she does for press and graphic journalism. Inspiration comes from the world around her, especially from nature and old pictures. Paris, with its shops and cafes, is a wonderful ally in her daily search for new ideas. "As one of my teachers used to say: if you don't listen to people, how can you draw?"

DIGITAL COLLAGE "When I work for newspapers I usually only have a few hours between when I receive the article I need to illustrate and the deadline for my work. Digital collage is the fastest way for me to bring ideas into life. I have been working this way for a few years now and my personal database/collection of images and old pictures is pretty wide!"

These are some of the works Francesca did for "La Lettura", the weekly cultural insert of Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Ian McEwan

I LOVE YOU "This project was born from my obsession with vintage collage. I collect old photos, I love flea markets, vintage pottery and patterns, magazines and children books. I blended all of them together and gave new life to these human figures that for a while really felt like family to me."

What are your favorite vintage and thrift shops in Paris?

There is the shop of an old lady in Rue de Rosiers in Marais where I go to buy bags and shoes which I pay very little for. I also go to the Monday morning flea market at Porte de Montreuil. It is very interesting and I always find many things. They are usually dirty and in bad shape when I buy them, so if you want to go be prepared to do some thorough cleaning afterwards! Also, you may want to leave valuable things at home when you go there. The Emmaus boutiques are another great source of unique objects. I also love the boutique at Centquatre, but avoid it on Saturdays when it is full of young hipster girls looking to renew their wardrobe!

Freelance work doesn't leave much free time, in spite of its name! But when Francesca isn't working she loves spending the evening with friends, she enjoys a ride away from the city, she likes looking at things from above -so she'll peep her head out any window- and she loves meeting new people who will want to share their story with her.

Self portrait

Francesca loves children. She teaches illustration in some schools in Paris. "French children love books. Schools have rich libraries and teachers are often very prepared. It's a pleasure to teach to kids that are so enthusiastic. Sometimes we look at images and they have to tell me a story related to them: I hear the most amazing, funny and interesting things!"

In the following pages you will find a small collection of contemporary illustrators whose work Francesca particularly admires. As for her, this is her website: And this is her blog: Instagram: @capellina

EMMANUEL PIERRE Illustration for Wired, June 2014 Source:

JEAN JULLIEN Illustration for FT Weekend Magazine Source:



JORGE GONZALES Illustration for The New Yorker, 2012 Source:

PING ZOO Illustration for The New Yorker Source:

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