Add Character to your Walls with Original Art Prints and Watercolors
Lagom Artist Profile: Marella Moon Albanese
By Jan Milliman
Marella Moon Albanese is a Brooklyn-based illustrator. At 21, she’s already been identified as a rising star by Packaging Strategies Magazine, and had her work featured in The Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition 62, but she got her start in small-town Western New York.
Even as a kid, Albanese was already into drawing. Her mother, Brooke Albanese (Lagom’s owner) gave Marella her first exhibit, posting these early works on her bedroom door. Now, Brooke is proud to feature her daughter’s work for purchase in the shop.
Albanese has always been into art but didn’t find out about illustration until she was about to graduate from high school. She quickly fell in love with the art form, earning her BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology and taking first place in FIT’s 2020 Senior Show with her piece “Hot Head.”
Ask Albanese why she decided to go into art as a career and she’ll tell you “It’s the only thing I know how to do.”
Finding her niche: It took Albanese a while to settle into her style and figure out what she likes to draw. At first, she worked in a digital format and had a messier style more inspired by Ralph Steadman. But on the side, she was doing caricatures of people. Eventually she found a way to combine these two styles.
Inspired by art and book covers from the 50s and 60s, she experimented with different styles and materials until settling into work that is based on real-life moments. Her illustrations are teaming with energy, color, and mood they feel almost like snapshots taken by an unseen observer.
She had already developed her style by the time she learned about the 1930s social realism movement, but she also takes inspiration from the way artists like Ferenc Pinter and Ben Shawn depicted real life moments in their work.
Handmade: At first glance, Albanese’s current illustration artwork may appear digital, but these pieces are actually gouache paintings. This gives the finished product a painterly appearance, yet these illustrations play well with her earlier digital work.
At Lagom, you’ll find her paintings and art prints ready to add charm and character to your walls. The sheep and goats in Albanese’s watercolor paintings aren’t just fluffy barnyard friends -- they have attitude and personality. And you can almost hear the bustle and rumble of conversation in the framed prints of her gouache paintings depicting patrons of her favorite local bar. Add a splash of originality to your décor with these unique pieces.
Home: To Albanese, home means having your own, comfortable space that feels calm when you walk in. When she’s at home, you’ll most often find her at her desk in her bedroom.
Movies: Albanese loves watching movies and she’s been working through a list of movies to watch during the quarantine. Her top 3 favorite movies are In Bruges, An American Werewolf in London, and The Night of the Hunter.
Music: Albanese also recommends listening to music and dancing. Check out her series of “Favorite Song Spots” illustrations.