Hi! We are Pupette!
Maria Vittoria Benatti aka hi! works as a freelance visual designer based in Modena, Italy, one hour half away from Milan by train. Her works are characterized by cute and lovely figures which she calls them as Pupette. Started off by participating in the Domestic's wall sticker project, her Pupette will spread across the world and might soon come by to your town!
Could you introduce yourself including your background?
Hi! I am Maria Vittoria Benatti. I was born in 1977 and live in Modena, Italy. I have just obtained a degree in sculpture at Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, three months ago (February 2009). It was a long long degree course for me, 6 years. In the meantime I have worked as a freelance visual designer collaborating with some agencies of the area of Modena.
What's your recent and ongoing projects?
I am often involved in design work for an advertising agency. I am currently working on a beautiful illustration project for an exhibition space in France. Unfortunately I am not allowed to sign this work, neither to show it or give more information about it. I like working as a freelance, it is the best way to experience new signs and styles, the drawback come out when you can't show your work, because of your name can't appear!
PUPETTE - First project for Domestic Wall Drawing © Maria Vittoria Benatti
Please introduce your work for Wall Drawings by Domestic. How did you get involved in the project?
The collaboration with Domestic was my first and lucky chance, and for me is a real honor to be part of a collection of great artists and illustrators : Matali Crasset, Antoine& Manuel, Laurent Fétis, Geneviève Gauckler, Jeremyville, Tado, Fafi, Jon Burgerman, etc.
I was involved in the project, sending to Domestic a lot of drawings. I have misunderstood their "Domestic contest" : instead of sending them one of their stickers applied on my home, I sent them millions of my sketches, I thought it was a new proposal contest! At the end they decided to produce one of my drawings, 12 figures in black and white, that I called Pupette. The guys from Domestic, Massimiliano, who is Italian like me, and Stéphane are very nice people, I met them three times and had a lot of fun.
In 2008 I designed a second project "Dream size 37", pink and red Pupette adoring a stiletto shoes.
DREAM SIZE 37 poster. Personal project © Maria Vittoria Benatti
I sent them drawings of my Pupette through mail, for both publication choose the drawing, that Curvy also used as advetising image.
Artwork for Grafuck 3 book release art show at Gallery Nucleus © Maria Vittoria Benatti
How did you start to pursue becoming an illustrator?
My first time as illustrator was more than twelve years ago, trying to design some tshirt for Bronco, an early project of my friend Lorenzo Fonda, aka Olle aka Cembro aka Cerberoleso, great artist/illustrator/director/skater, big talent from Modena. Then I started with computer graphic and gave up with illustration for many years, until three years ago, when I make a fresh start with illustration using pencil and computer.
Is your artist name "Hi!"? If so, how did you decide the name?
I have a very long name, I needed to have something easy, friendly and short to introduce myself.
What's your inspiration? What your main idea behind your creation?
Nothing particularly, many of my illustrations came out directly form doodling, I like drawing in a simple and synthetic way, but at the same time I am searching for expressiveness and decorative style.
Sculpture for graduation at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna © Maria Vittoria Benatti
What is your favorite fashion, art, design, music, people, and anything you can
In this period I am quite interested in sculpture, I have realized some pieces for my graduation thesis. I love Erwin Wurm, Ernesto Neto, Studio Job, Tommy Støckel, Kate MccGwire, Jan Vormann. Today the border between sculpture, design, street art and illustration is very thin.
Music, I like a lot of indie band and artists, like Cat Power, Fiery Furnaces, Bernard Fleischmann, but my favourite so far are NoMeansNo, they are powerful, cynical, and brilliant.
What was your idea for the SHIFT cover design?
I tried to animate one of my texture. I would like to create an emotion starting from a static and decorative image.
What do you want to explore next in the future?
I'd like to get in depth into the matter of the 3rd dimension, whether it comes from sculpture or from animation.
Maria Vittoria Benatti
Text: Mariko Takei