Leo Cardini was born in Florence. An artist of few words, he employs many mediums: acrylics, graphics, comics, play-dough and snow. He is a founding partner in Flod communications agency and The Florentine / TF Press, where he works as graphic designer and illustrator. You’ll find his works in Deidre Pirro’s book Italian Sketches: the Faces of Modern Italy and in her column by the same name, where he draws each photo by hand on a graphic pad – without applying any automatic filters! His comic-style vignettes appear in Linda Falcone’s first two books, Italians Dance and I’m a Wallflower and If They are Roses.

Leo uses a bicycle for daily transport and an airplane for annual leisure, traveling with his wife and two sons, who always manage to grow taller before they get back home again. The Curva Fiesole in Florence’s soccer stadium is his home turf and people-watching is his favorite activity. Elderly cats are life’s only authority figures. Though Leo’s art is wide-ranging, his tastes are one-track: red-hot chili pepper is the ideal complement to every single flavor. His drawings arrive late and disheveled—sometimes off beat—and always in search of a smile.