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Barbara Fondrieschi is a Freelance Digital Illustrator and Designer based in Sydney, working with both start-ups and digital agencies worldwide to create meaningful and delightful illustrations to bring their stories to life. Read about Barbara’s journey and her work with top clients such as Adobe Live in this #DesignwithDot interview.

That’s exactly how I got in touch with Adobe, after sharing my work on Instagram!

Meet BARBARA FONDRIESCHI: a freelance Digital illustrator and designer in sydney, AUs


Barbara isn’t your average digital illustrator and designer. She’s worked recently with Adobe Live doing Brand and Ui Illustrations,  to present the unique personalities of the Adobe CC products: Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. It’s such a pleasure to have you on the #DESIGNWITHDOT blog Barbara!

1. You were a traditional illustrator and now a featured digital illustrator on Adobe Live, can you tell us about what that transition was like and how you got featured by Adobe?

I’ve always been very passionate about illustration, I’ve always been drawing and doodling since I was little but the biggest change for me has been to go digital. That is what has turned what was just a hobby/passion into a job. I focused on learning the digital tools first (illustrator and sketch to start with). Then that allowed me to move from paper to digital while exploring different styles.

Exploring different styles (and not being focused on just a specific one) has also been very important. Why? Because I was able to show a variety of different clients a style they could identify with and exactly what they were looking for.

Finally, to put my work out there, to share it, and that’s exactly how I got in touch with Adobe, after sharing my work on Instagram!

2. For illustrators trying to build a freelance business, what are the biggest challenges?

To constantly have a stream of work coming in. As an illustrator it might be challenging to work directly with the client, and creating illustration work as something separate.

Illustration is especially valuable as a part of branding and working with products. We can take something that is not visually beautiful and help solve design problems, turning pain points into something delightful. That’s what gives real value to it and to a business.

Being part of a studio and being able to work together with brand and product designers has opened a lot of opportunities and then allowed me to focus on honing in and improving my work.

3. What’s your dream? Where do you want to see your life and the world in 10 years? Year 2030!?

My dream is to keep doing what I love, to keep illustrating while constantly improving, so I see myself doing what I’m doing now but better.


Take the chance to push a little bit further with every new project, add something you don’t know how to do  that keeps making every new project just a little bit better than the one before. And then repeat!

4. You’ve worked with so many amazing brands and projects. What type of projects are your favorite and why?

At the moment I’m working with a few startups and I think my favourite projects are the ones where I can work not just on illustrations, but also on the whole branding.

5. What advice would you give to your younger self 10 years ago?

Go digital! And do it now. That is what’s really changed everything for me, and I just wish I has started doing that earlier in life. Believe that this passion can become your job and completely change your life, so do it and do it now!

Start learning, start experimenting, create and then put your work out there! Do not wait for it to be perfect, because it will never feel perfect. It’s one of the most important things you can do. Also, never stop learning.

Take the chance to push a little bit further with every new project, add something you don’t know how to do that keeps making every new project just a little bit better than the one before. And then repeat!


Follow someone that inspires you, to be constantly exposed to some great work and then take all that inspiration to improve your work.

6. What are your thoughts on social media? Hate it? Can’t live with out it? Give us your best social media tip or insight.

I think my approach to social media has definitely changed a lot over time. Before it was something more personal, and now it has become a business and an inspirational tool. So I think it’s amazing to share your work, connect with other people (and potential businesses) and get inspired by the work of some other amazing designers and illustrators.

My tip would be to keep sharing your work and also to follow someone that inspires you – being constantly exposed to great work and then take all that inspiration to improve your work.

7. What is your philosophy about life? Or a mantra, quote or proverb you want to share with us?

I know it’s really cliché but “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”

8. What’s your dream travel destination or the next place you want to visit? #TravelWithDot

I was planning a trip to the US at the beginning of this year that of course didn’t happen (thanks covid) and I would also love to go to Japan.

9. What’s your favorite food experience you would take me to in Sydney, and what would we eat? #EatWithDot

Fish and chips with an ocean view! There’s some many incredibly beautiful spots here in Sydney, I would definitely take you there, get some take-out fish and chips and sit on a bench, facing the water, and maybe spot some whales!

10. Who has been a mentor or someone you have looked up to for advice and inspiration?

No doubt my husband, Lorenzo, I really need to thank him cause he’s not just inspired me (he’s so incredibly passionate about design) but he’s also helped me transform my illustrations into a business.

I tend to focus more on the creative part of being an illustrator, but I tend not to be as focused on the business side of it.

So together we’ve worked on a plan, laid down all the steps (all the things I had to learn, etc.) and then worked on one thing at a time.

11. Dragon or Unicorn? Why?

A unicorn! I find it incredibly valuable to get exposed to everything design oriented, not just illustration, like in my case, but also branding, product and motion. Even if you don’t necessarily work on all of these things yourself, it really gives you a much better perspective on the whole project and help you deliver something more valuable.

The Fast 5


1) Your favorite Instagram feed right now:


I follow so many great designers and illustrators and it’s really hard to pick just one!
I would say that Muzli and Dribbble are great to discover new projects and new creatives. And I also love the work of Attitude Creative and Pet Foolery. They are super fun!

2. What is the Best Life advice (or lesson learned in business) you ever received:


Get sh*t done! Just do it, go for it, not being afraid of sharing your work. Even if it’s not perfect! It’s definitely more important to have something you don’t consider perfect out there, than a beautiful image sitting in a folder on your computer.

3) Best website/destination you go to for inspiration: 


I love instagram, I follow a lot of amazing designers and illustrators and it’s great to get constant inspirations throughout the day.

Then when I’m working on a specific project and I’m looking for specific inspiration, then definitely Behance and Dribbble.

4) The App you can’t live without?


Adobe Sketch on my iPad, I always start from there when I create some illustrations. I quickly sketch and put down ideas and then move to Illustrator.

5) Book we should all read?


“The subtle art of not giving a f*ck”. I think it’s given me a nice perspective on the things that are worth caring about.

Thank you for being part of #DesignWithDot! click here to read our interview with ilan dray. 

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