Jonathan Calugi is an illustrator and vector artist based out of Pistoia, Italy. His style is minimalistic, both in terms of colour and linework. There is a sense of singularity to his work, an implied interconnectedness. Calugi’s impulse to draw and create is innate, and he is just so lucky that he is able to make a living from it.
Sticking to your guns in a design world which is prone to stylistic trends is an admirable thing. When beginning his practice, Jonathan found Italy to be closed-minded in terms of the future of design. “No young ideas, no young people, no risk taking. That’s not my game.” Any good thing takes time, and as Calugi pushed ahead he found doors opening. The polar opposite of what he encountered in the embryonic stages of his design career.
Jonathan describes his work “as going from chaos to order, following my instincts”. Calugi’s work is contained within tight parameters. Yet, simultaneously he follows the muse, by doing so he keeps his practice inspired. He creates the majority of his work in Adobe Illustrator, specifically with the line tools “cut, paste, draw. Just this, no more than a line”. Calugi’s fascination with reduction informs the minimalist bent to his work, ultimately he wishes to create something so simple that anyone can do it.
Calugi never formally studied illustration or design. As a self taught artist, he has forged an approach to design that is distinctly his own. He claims that his greatest strength is to be continually able to find a new starting point. Thusly, he is never repeating himself, especially when doing commissioned work. Some of his clients include Nike Europe, Sony UK, We Form, 9volt and Apple. While Calugi’s work is instantly recognisable, his commitment to evolving will see him and his work become even more realised.