What is the best thing that I love about my work?
The fact that I can travel a lot (when I work as a graphic facilitator at events) and also working from home when I have some illustration jobs to do.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Pizza and movies with my friends/boyfriend on the couch. I’m often travelling for work, so the simplest things are the ones I cherish the most.
What is my greatest fear?
I’d say losing the use of my hands, or my eyesight, since my job is based on visuals and illustrations! But I’m quite optimistic I’d make a living even without drawing, stubborn as I am. So I think my greatest fear is losing my loved ones in a tragic accident.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
Sometimes I say sorry too much, like I’m excusing for being alive! But I’m trying to “claim my space”, starting from having a good posture and working on my self esteem.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?
As an illustrator, I admire Olimpia Zagnoli, mostly for being an amazing entrepreneur in a difficult field like illustration. As a graphic facilitator, I admire a lot of people I work with, like Lucia Fabiani.
What is my greatest extravagance?
Even though I’m seen as a quiet person, when I’m on the dancefloor I’m a real queen. Also, I’m always being mocked for my passion for marketing books, which I started reading at 16 years old. I also read them before sleeping, like they were novels!
On what occasion would I lie?
I’d probably lie about a surprise! I don’t usually lie, especially if someone is asking an opinion about his/her work. This way, once I tell them that I love the final result, they can be sure I’m not trying to please them.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
I really love my work, even though sometimes I feel a bit lonely. And also, while working at events, it’s really easy to gain weight eating at the buffets!
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
I’ve recently worked for Oxfam, drawing a huge panel (we call them “Knowledge Walls”) which followed a 3-days workshop that involved activists on a global scale. A girl told me that what I was doing was “illustrated activism”: I really felt heartwarmed, and helpful.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
I’d love to be a little bit more charismatic. But I don’t think it’s necessarly a thing you need to be born with, I think is something that you can develop growing up, and by working on yourself.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
Even though it was quite traumatic for me, I think it’s the first time I had to deal with a big client all by myself. That episode showed me my resilience, the ability to hold my nerves, and convinced me that I can face situations that I thought I wasn’t able to handle.
Where would I most like to live?
I love my current city, Bologna, but sometimes I think about moving to Bruxelles, where I lived for 6 months during my Erasmus. I love places when I can speak French!
What is my most treasured possession?
My shoes! A good pair of shoes can change an outfit.
What is my most marked characteristic?
People told me that I’m kind and sweet, but also really determined.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
I really love Bologna’s public library, Sala Borsa. I love the fact that I can find a book about any argument I’m interested in, and it’s the perfect place to relax.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
My favourite place to eat and drink is Les Pupitres, where every Sunday I meet with a friend for breakfast. I also love the coffee shop “Zoo”, they make a perfect carrot cake!
What books influenced my life and how?
I’m an avid reader, so I’ll only say my most recent discovers. For my birthday I’ve bought myself some feminist essays, because feminism is a word commonly used nowadays and I wanted to be more informed about this topic. I’d say “Feminism for the 99 percent – A manifesto” by Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhatta, Nancy Fraser and “Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto” by Jessa Crispin.
Who are my favorite writers?
My favourite writer is Roddy Doyle. I love Irish writers in general. The last book which made me cry is “Lie with me” by Philippe Besson. I also love the books written by Kyung-Sook Shin.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
Whenever I have to do something I don’t want to do, like cleaning or working out, I always listen to some pop music to cheer me up…I think that on my last day would be the same, I’d like to dance with my friends at least!
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
I would have loved to say someone from a book, but, let’s be honest…Lizzie Mc Guire, I loved the fact she had a “cartoon double” in the series.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Michela Murgia, Giulia Blasi, incredible writers and feminists. Every day I meet so many incredible and inspiring people and I have the honour to hear them talk…it is really hard to choose!
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Parasite, which recently won the Golden Palm at Cannes.
What role plays art in my life and work?
A fundamental one! But sometimes life and work are so linked that it’s really hard to relax. So I try to concentrate on other forms of art, like singing.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My boyfriend, Raffaele. He really understands me, and he always makes me laugh!
Whom would I like to work with in 2020?
My dream is to record a speech from Martin Lindstrom, a marketing and business transformation expert.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2020?
I’d love to meet facilitators from other countries! It is fun to exchange ways of working and techniques. Same with the illustrators, I don’t have someone specific in mind.
What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on?
I’d love to publish my graduation project: a visual dictionary about startups, designed with a Business Angel in order to teach (visually) some fundamentals about this world.
Where can you see me or my work in 2020?
I want to travel the world like I did last year, so hopefully in many places (physically). My works are always on http://www.irenecoletto.com and on Instagram (@irecoletto). I also have a comics account, @doodletto.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
That no matter if you try to hide that you’re passionate about something, it will come out! the way to be truly happy is doing what you love, whenever you can.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
I don’t want to choose between my friends illustrators, so I propose the singer Oh Mu (Estelle Marchi), the photographers Rosa Lacavalla and Anita Sciano, the creative entrepreneurs Elena Bobbola and Marie Louise Denti.
How can you contact me?
Write an email to email@example.com or a dm on my social network profiles.
My book: The life of a Graphic Facilitator