Tavi Veraldi is talented Chicago-based illustrator, film buff, and overall stellar person.
With her edgy, comic-book style, horror-inspired art, and pop art look, Tavi’s style is distinctive and reminds me of Chicago neighborhoods like Logan Square and Wicker Park.
Her work is infused with her love for film, and we’re so happy she was available to illustrate our Comedy issue cover. We spoke with Tavi about her inspiration, influences, and hopes for women in the arts.
1. Where do you get your inspiration? Who are your influences?
Inspiration is everywhere. I always get a lot of fuel for my work when I challenge myself to seeing something new, or traveling to a place I’ve never been before. My favorites to inspire me is going to the Art Institute here in Chicago, or even asking a friend out for a drawing date. My biggest influences currently are Kelly Reichardt, Peter Bagge, Cookie Mueller, and Gary Panter.
2. Describe your artistic style. What films do you identify with most in style?
Bright, bold, thick, and playful. I’ve fallen in love with making everything into a wallpaper-like pattern.
The films I think of on a day-to-day basis that represent what I try to capture with my art are “Welcome to the Dollhouse” (1995), “Nowhere” (1997), and “House on Haunted Hill” (1959). I’ve drawn countless odes to all three of these films. From being bullied, to conversations about sexuality, and even a good ghost story are all tales I love.
3. What was your process like creating the Comedy issue cover?
I was really excited to be asked to draw something from “Clueless.” I was originally thinking I wanted to draw a bunch of phones and jeeps, but after rewatching the film to get some inspiration, I realized the whole movie wasn’t about Cher, but really about Tai. I knew I wanted to incorporate some aspect of Cher, so of course, the yellow plaid as the background.
4. What are you looking forward to for women in film (or the arts/design/illustration)?
I’m excited for all of it. I’m excited for the viewer’s hunger to see new stories that are not just regurgitated remakes of stories we have already seen before. To see original stories created by women and nonbinary voices. The need for creatives to help people narrate these stories is crucial. I am most excited for more queer representation in film specifically.