In the Studio with Gaia Stella

HomeStudio Visits

Gaia Stella digitally opened her home for Artsted's Blog readers. She's done editorial illustrations for clients such as The New York Times, Vogue Bambini and The Boston Globe. Gaia’s colorful and geometric imagery is inspired by a variety of (sometimes unexpected) sources: architecture by Mies Van De Rohe, a chair designed by Gio Ponti, photos by René Maltête, illustrations by Vladimir Lebedev, short stories by Gianni Rodari, and the packaging of Asian food. She lives and works in Milan, Italy.

Gaia Stella

Walk us through your academic experience. How do you think your education shaped your career?

I attended the Steiner School since my first grade, a German school in which manual activities and institutional subjects have equal roles.
Having been able to experience so many different ways of expressing myself has certainly influenced my future, including my working life.
Having said that, my education made me someone that isn’t too afraid to risk or make mistakes.

Gaia's kitchen | courtesy of Gaia Stella

What is indispensable while working in your studio?
Apart from my usual instruments, I just need to be by myself and a good breakfast!

Gaia Stella, Playground fun, 2021 | available here on

How do you define yourself within the creative industry?
I define myself primarily as an illustrator, who likes to experiment in different fields and markets.

Gaia's workspace in her home | courtesy of Gaia Stella

Who are your favorite artists and who are the ones that built your creative imaginary?
For their effective visual synthesis, and at the same time hyper recognizable and authentic identity: Olle Eksell, Lora Lamm, Taro Gomi.
For how they knew or know how to use the picture book to tell stories Eric Carle, Tomi Ungerer, Ruth Krauss, Remy Charlip, Jon Agee, Jon Klassen.
And who knows how many names I’m leaving out.

Gaia Stella, Cozy Afternoon, 2021 | available here on

What is your relationship with social media and how do you use them?
I often try new platforms but I always maintain my confidential nature. On one hand, I want to be updated on social media but on the other hand, I only tell one small percentage of my life.
However, on my to-do list, I have a drastic digital detox: so I can go back to when we did not have social media.

Some of Gaia's illustrations in the making | courtesy of Gaia Stella

How do you research materials for your creative process?
My research is consistent, but when I'm stuck or feel the need for a change, trying a different technique usually helps me.
i worked with digital instruments for a long time but only recently I went back to more traditional tools and this helped me a lot in the process of illustrating.

Written by
Anna Frattini