Elena Bussolaro Wrangles Complex Ideas into Elegant Illustrations

by Adobe Stock Team

posted on 07-08-2019

Elena Bussolaro’s illustrations capture the essence of complex ideas — from the benefits of meditation to the intricate interplay of technologies in a net-zero home — with crisp simplicity.

Elena came to the digital art world by way of an old Atari computer. Since then, she’s honed her skills in digital art, along with her attention to detail and philosophical approach, to create a unique illustration style. We talked to Elena about her creative inspiration, what it’s like to turn big ideas into beautiful illustrations, and how she feels about working in stock.

Image source: elenabsl / Adobe Stock (left), elenabsl / Adobe Stock (right).
Hi, Elena! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background.

I discovered digital art in the early ’90s when my father taught me how to use our old Atari computer. Since then, it’s been really interesting to experience the amazing evolution of computer graphics, from a black-and-white display to a billion colors.

I’ve also been interested in human sciences, communication, and arts in general. After completing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, I realized that illustration, rather than text, would be the best way for me to elaborate on the topics that interested me most.

I decided to continue my studies at Fine Arts Academy where I learned about art history and graphic design. There I met the stock industry for the first time.

How would you describe your style?

I think a designer’s style is the mirror of his or her personality, something that is recognizable but keeps evolving along with time, so it is not easy to define. I like working on simple and clear illustrations using geometric shapes and a few colors that are easy to understand and enhance the content. I like giving depth and uniqueness to my illustrations by adding details that can catch the viewer’s attention.

Image source: elenabsl / Adobe Stock,.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?

I believe everything is connected. So anything that we experience can be a source of inspiration to create new content, from the media shared on social networks to the patterns of nature. It is important to keep ourselves up to date and be aware of global issues and international events.

I am mainly inspired by people — my family and friends, but also people from all over the world. I like to ask them what they think is important and which issues concern them the most.

I also follow visual trends and other designers’ work. I love seeing how styles and topics are developed by the contributor community and how we grow looking at each other’s work.

Image source: elenabsl / Adobe Stock,.
You specialize in conceptual illustrations of complicated processes. With so many moving parts, how do you approach composition and balance?

I love working on this kind of illustration because every time it is a new, exciting challenge. First, I research and learn about the topic that I’m going to illustrate and gain at least a basic understanding of it. Then I start working on the image, designing the main concepts first. Once I make sure that the process I want to depict is clear and correct, I add more elements and secondary details until it is complete. I like to think of it as an expanding fractal.

Image source: elenabsl / Adobe Stock,.
Do you use Adobe products in your work?

Yes, I use Adobe Illustrator. It’s my favorite design software and, in my opinion, the best professional software for vector graphics. I use Adobe Bridge to add metadata to my files, which is very useful for quickly adding keywords to the stock images I upload. It is definitely a time-saver.

I’m also learning how to use Adobe After Effects to create simple animations based on my vector illustrations.

What are the biggest challenges and rewards of working with stock?

The biggest challenge is that, as contributors, we have to put a lot of effort into producing outstanding images, both in terms of style and content, and keep ourselves up to date all the time. Our work will be used in different parts of the world, and so we have to keep in mind the diversity of customers’ requirements and cultures. Achieving these results and seeing a design becoming popular is absolutely the best reward.

Image source: elenabsl / Adobe Stock,.

My most popular image is “Business People and Technology.” It’s a virtual isometric setting with corporate teams working together and using contemporary high-tech devices. I think people like it because it reflects how we feel nowadays. We are surrounded by technology that enhances our potential and productivity but that does not replace our need to belong to a community.

Image source: elenabsl / Adobe Stock,.
What’s the most interesting or surprising way you’ve ever seen your work used?

I was once at a local hospital for a medical exam and there I saw a poster on Zika virus prevention that was made using my vectors. It was a very nice surprise and very satisfying to see that my designs were useful for this purpose.

Check out more of Elena’s work on Adobe Stock. And if you’d like to share your creative work with millions of designers around the world, read up on how to get started as an Adobe Stock contributor.

You can also learn more about the most important visual trends we’re tracking in stock this year.

Topics: Creativity, Design, Illustration

Products: Stock, After Effects, Illustrator, Creative Cloud