Jacopo Ascari x Aethos Magazine

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From architecture to illustration

Q&A with Jacopo Ascari

Italian Jacopo Ascari is a proud Aethos Club member and the inspiring artist behind Zaia Café’s exclusive Valentine’s Day Menu and new visual identity. We chatted to him about his background, projects, and the inspiration behind his colorful and captivating creations.

1. Graduated in Urban planning, you began your career as a freelance illustrator: tell us more about your love for art and how it developed through the years. When I was young, I was convinced I would become an architect, but while studying for the very first exams, I realized that each design project lost interest in my eyes as soon as it was drawn.

I ended up turning my attention to illustration, specializing in Fashion, Design, and Architecture drawing. I was lucky: I met amazing people capable of directing and inspiring me. I am now living in a very special moment: dozens of ideas come to my mind daily, and I want to do everything, ranging between different realities.

 

2. Who’s been your mentor throughout the years? Where, mostly, do you get inspiration from?

I grew up in a highly creative and unconventional environment; I owe a lot to my mother and aunt. I am not an easy person; I consider myself extremely divisive: when I was in high school and university, my teachers used to oppose me, and this way, they taught me to argue and defend my ideas.

I also owe a lot to my manager and friend Serena Ruggeri: without her daily commitment, I would not have accomplished this much. On the other hand, my inspiration comes from any kind of art, especially architecture and cinema. I often cite as my masters four very different artists: Massimiliano Fuksas, Luca Guadagnino, Donatella Versace, and Francesco Vezzoli.

3. What does being an Aethos Member mean to you?

Aethos is a “place of the soul” that has brought to Milan a refined space where I love to stay and work, think, and relax. Its characteristic international allure and delightful interior architecture give life to a club I am honored to be a part of.

4. What does “community” mean to you? How do you think art can help to connect people?

When I think of the word “Community,” I immediately imagine a square: a place of connection where people meet and exchange points of view; an independent sphere where different professions debate and contribute to the birth of something different. Physicists and architects, fashion designers and artists, filmmakers and dancers: the “community” is the place to grow and help grow.

5. If you could represent Aethos with a figure, what would it be?

Again, I see Aethos as a postmodern square.

6. What do you do in your free time?

I usually visit museums and go on long urban treks, always bringing my sketchbook.

7. You worked on Zaia Café’s St. Valentine’s Day exclusive menus and visual identity. Tell us more about your creative process working for Aethos.

For Aethos, we worked on a very colorful visual identity full of “Wes Anderson-esque” references. I started from a specific study of the interiors of Aethos Milan and Zaia, thus referring back to the Darsena, a particularly significant location in Milan, a water square overlooked by the monumental, neoclassical Porta Ticinese.

8. Which of the various projects you worked on is the one you’re most proud of? Are there any upcoming, intriguing collaborations you want to tell us about?

In recent months, I have been working on several exciting projects. If I had to mention the latest ones I am particularly proud of, I couldn’t help but note the collaboration with Aethos and the institutional territorial marketing project with Regione Lombardia, literally an “illustrated journey” around the different provinces. Lastly, I am working on a large “urban” scale installation for the Fuorisalone, a project I am looking forward to seeing realized.

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