Currently based in Brooklyn, New York, the Russian creative Zutto is a prolific illustrator and animator. Zutto, meaning “endless” or “a list of things” in Japanese, truly reflect her limitless imagination. Zutto’s distinct style can be characterized by her dreamy landscapes and bubbly cartoon characters, which appear throughout her illustrations. Her whimsical style has attracted a long list of clients, including Apple, Google, Procreate, The Washington Post, and Hasbro to name a few.
Zutto created our April 2020 Calendar illustration and took time while quarantining with her toddler son to chat with us.
April 2020 Calendar Illustration
A Moment with Zutto
How are you staying inspired during quarantine?
I’m trying to do something useful, though it’s not so easy sometimes. We go for long walks or bike rides to the ocean, it helps a lot.
Describe your illustration style in three words.
Colorful, cartoon, 3D-like.
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a freelance illustrator?
I was about 23 when I realized that I can be completely free in my choice of what I do in my life. What makes me really happy and keeps inspired all the time.
What’s your favorite color?
I don’t have a special color I love, mostly it’s a combinations of colors, contrasts and gradients. They work the best together! My preferences change over time, some influences come from projects.
You’ have lived all around the US, from Miami to Los Angeles, and now New York, where is your favorite place you have lived in?
Every place has it’s own fascination and advantages. I have loved New York since my first visit in 2015, I always dreamed of living near an ocean and amazing architecture, so now I’m enjoying being here. Though Miami had the most beautiful nature.
What’s the best part about working as a freelance illustrator?
You can go for a walk any time during the day and choose the most convenient time for work.
What do you do to recharge after an illustration project?
I start on a personal project or go on a trip.
What is your favorite illustration project you’ve ever worked on?
In some way I like everything I work on. Maybe the best project is my first big one, because it made me who I am now. It was designing environment and characters for The Glitch Game in 2010.
What is your favorite meal to cook for you and your son?
A special Russian vegetable soup called Borshch.
What inspired your April 2020 calendar illustration?
It was the idea of life as a magical trip in which you don’t really know where the path goes. I wanted to create a trip inside your mind, a beautiful experience full of strange creatures and bright colors, you’d never expect what’s waiting for you around the corner.