I am Elisabetta Benfatto, a cartoonist, illustrator and art teacher living in Padua, in the foggy but charming North East of Italy. | Contact: elisabetta.benfatto@gmail.com

I am an author of short comics and I drew the graphic novel Anna Politkovskaja, written by Francesco Matteuzzi, published by BeccoGiallo and Steinkis Éditions. I work as a freelance illustrator for publishing houses and advertising agencies.

I am an illustration teacher at the Academy of Visual Arts and New Media – Scuola Internazionale di Comics – in Padua. I also teach intensive workshops in collaboration with bookshops, associations and institutions, including Mart Museum | Education department.

I graduated in Painting and Engraving at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. Afterwards I received a scholarship from Fabrica, a prestigious communication research Centre where could experimenting with different languages – comics, illustration, animation and graphic design – which merged into my artistic and professional development.

My surname, Ben-fatto, in English means “well done”… which is auspicious!

Sono Elisabetta Benfatto, fumettista, illustratrice, e insegnante d’arte.

Sono autrice di fumetti brevi e ho disegnato la graphic novel Anna Politkovskaja, scritta da Francesco Matteuzzi, BeccoGiallo Editore e Éditions Steinkis. Come illustratrice freelance lavoro per case editrici e agenzie pubblicitarie.

Insegno al Corso di Illustrazione presso la Scuola Internazionale di Comics – Padova e conduco workshop intensivi in collaborazione con librerie, associazioni e istituzioni, tra le quali Mart | Area educazione.

Mi sono formata all’Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, studiando Pittura e Grafica d’Arte. Ho completato la mia preparazione con una borsa di studio a Fabrica, sperimentando con fumetto, illustrazione, animazione, grafica: discipline felicemente confluite nel mio sviluppo artistico e professionale.

Vivo e lavoro a Padova, ma sono cresciuta in provincia, al confine esatto tra le rovine incantate del mondo contadino e l’esplosione industriale del mitico Nordest. Ancora oggi vado orgogliosa del costume da Uomo Ragno indossato al Carnevale dei miei cinque anni, unica bambina supereroe in uno stuolo di fate e principesse.

Recognitions / Awards

2019  Bronze Medal · Autori di Immagini | Annual 19

2018  Merit · 3 x 3 Magazine | Pro Show

2018  Honorable Mention · 3 x 3 Magazine | Pro Show

2018  Silver Medal · Autori di Immagini | Annual 18

2018  Bronze Medal · Autori di Immagini | Annual 18

2018  Selected · Premio Illustri

2011  Shortlisted · Napoli Comicon | Premio Attilio Micheluzzi

Exhibitions 

2020  Fil Rouge – contro la violenza di genere · Trento, Spazio Foyer

2019  PawChewGo (exhibit / market) · Milano, BASE

2018  Premio Illustri, La Mostra · Milano, Gallerie d’Italia

2018  AI ANNUAL in Dublin · Dublin, Istituto Italiano di Cultura

2018  Il Magnifico Viaggio · Venaria Reale – Old Town and many more locations including Bologna, Museo dei Campionissimi

2018  I Colori del Sacro – Il corpo · Padova, Museo Diocesano

2017  Guardatemi il più possibile · Venezia, Ca’ Pesaro Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna

2107  Illustri 30 x 30 · Vicenza, Palazzo Chiericati

2017  Drawjob · Cremona, Spazio Tapirulan — Bologna, Zoo — Trento, Studio d’arte Andromeda

2016  Merry Fabrica (exhibit / market) · Treviso, Fabrica

2016  Inchiostro Festival (exhibit / festival) · Alessandria, Chiostro di Santa Maria di Castello

2014  I Colori del Sacro – Il viaggio · Padova, Museo Diocesano

A more extensive biography for the press communication of Éditions Steinkis · 2016

I started drawing as a child inspired by Japanese cartoons. Even if I was the first in my family, I had no doubts that I wanted to draw and I decided to attend an Art School and then the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venezia, graduating in Painting and Engraving.

After that I received scholarship from Fabrica — the acclaimed communication research centre founded by Luciano Benetton and Oliviero Toscani  in Treviso — and started experimenting with different languages, including comics, illustration, animation and graphic design.

In collaboration with Fabrica I created Variazioni, a highly experimental web comic, and I was so privileged as to present it at the 2004 edition of the Angoulême Festival, where it was much appreciated.

When the scholarship ended, I worked as a graphic designer for some years, but eventually went back to my first love: drawing stories.

I wrote and drew some short stories for ANIMAls, a magazine founded by Laura Scarpa and published by Coniglio Editore and was noticed and eventually selected by Centro Fumetto Andrea Pazienza and Napoli Comicon for the 2010 edition of Futuro Anteriore, a review dedicated to emerging Italian comic artists.

It was in this happy moment of my career that I received a phone call by Becco Giallo Editore. They invited me to join a project on the biography of Anna Politkovskaja, which was born from an idea by the writer Francesco Matteuzzi.

I must admit that accepting this job was a great challenge as I knew the incredible story of Anna Politkovskaja only superficially. Being an author of intimate and “local” stories, it was difficult for me to deal with so distant, vast and complex themes, but in the end it turned out be a decisive step for my professional growth.

The book was published in Italy in November 2010 and in the Spring of 2011 it was shortlisted as best comic for the Attilio Micheluzzi Prize at Napoli Comicon.

The book was an occasion for Francesco and I to tour most of Italy and meet people in schools and at festivals. I particularly enjoyed being a guest at Perugia’s Festival of Journalism, where we talked about communication languages and human rights together with brave journalists who shared their experiences at a table organized by Amnesty International.

Mini intervista per la Scuola Internazionale di Comics – Padova · 2021

Quali sono gli autori importanti per la tua formazione? A chi ti ispiri?

L’imprinting è stato con i cartoni animati: L’Uomo Ragno della serie TV degli anni Ottanta, e gli anime giapponesi. Da bambina disegnavo perché volevo riprodurre quei personaggi e soprattutto il loro movimento. Mi è rimasto molto di quella prima ispirazione: è da lì che arriva il dinamismo nel segno e nel carattere delle mie immagini, insieme alla voglia di raccontare storie.

Dopo sono arrivati i fumetti: Hugo Pratt, Grazia Nidasio.

E poi i pittori: da Giovanni Bellini che mi commuove sempre, al misterioso Giorgione, ai giapponesi Hokusai e Hiroshige maestri della grafica e della leggerezza, a Picasso, che amo particolarmente nei suoi disegni e incisioni.

Tra gli illustratori vorrei citare Arthur Rackham, imbattibile nella composizione, e due artisti che hanno in comune l’essere anche scrittori: William Blake e Dino Buzzati.