Many little girls dream of being a Disney Princess when they grow up, but few dare to entertain the thought that they could actually create one. That’s where Federica differed from other girls. Her creative edge and love of drawing drove her further. Through studying hard and sacrificing her social life, Federica earned herself a rare position drawing for Disney-Pixar and Mattel. Wanting others to experience the joy of bringing their work to print and screen, Federica also teaches at the International School of Comics in Rome.
Read Federica's story below.
Drawing on Passion Bracelet
With her favourite colour being pink, the Pink Rubber X links were an obvious choice for Federica’s bracelet. To these she added silver as a perfect match.
Just like the Disney-Pixar movies she works on, Love is a central theme of Federica’s life and the focal point of her bracelet. Well aware of the power of wishing upon a star, there’s also a nod to the role of luck. To add a feminine touch, Federica has finished her bracelet with a Big Bow.
DRAWING ON PASSION
As a child, Federica Salfo once told her mother that she wanted to be Walt Disney. A strange choice perhaps for a little girl in Rome, Italy, but at the time she didn’t understand that something as joyful as animation could also be a profession.
Federica’s childhood largely consisted of blissful days spent lost in her art. Drawings and Disney Princesses dominated. While Tinkerbell and Bambi were treasured characters, Federica most adored Ariel - “the first modern princess.” And it was against this background that Federica dreamed of becoming Walt Disney.
Federica, however, aimed higher. Rather than emulating someone else, she became an artist in her own right. No fairy godmother. No troupe of singing animals supporting her. Federica toiled hard. She studied. She sacrificed. While friends socialised, she worked – sometimes up to 12 hours per day.
Though Federica acknowledges “at the beginning it was difficult for me because there were just a few women that were doing animation and it’s a job that requires a lot of time, commitment and passion”, the rewards are huge; her published works can now be found in book stores and she has managed to secure her (incredibly rare) dream role drawing for Disney-Pixar and Mattel.
Ambitious she may be, but what truly drives Federica is the opportunity to bring “50 minutes of joy to someone else.” She’s also passionate about helping others bring their work to life and so has started teaching at the International School of Comics in Rome, something she never envisaged when starting out.
She takes little credit for her students’ success, however, describing herself as a “guide and support who passes on to them the wonderful art of comics.” Still, she’s happy to revel in the knowledge that her story and drawings can inspire other women to realise their own projects. To those facing challenges she advises working hard, never giving up and always cherishing your dreams.
Her own inspiration comes from strong women, like her mother. She also takes heart from those female artists before her who fought to be recognised for their craft in what was traditionally a man’s domain.
And while Federica may have reached the pinnacle, she’s not ready to rest yet:
”My future is pink. I still have a lot of dreams to realise. There are so many characters to create. So many stories to tell. So many people to make happy.”
FEDERICA'S PERSONAL BRACELET DESIGN