The Mind Behind Playful Designs: An Interview with Bianca Pozzi of Flora & Bear

Woman sitting at desk designing watercolor

Have you ever stopped to appreciate the adults who’ve never lost touch with their inner-child? Thanks to creative geniuses like Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss, everyone can believe in magic once they enter their worlds.

Adults who can capture the essence of childhood have a gift that many people desire. One woman who found her way back to childhood fantasies after turning 30 never expected so many doors to open for her.

With a little experimentation and a love of all things that are cute, Bianca Pozzi was able to reinvent herself as a successful artist.

Keep reading to learn more about her and her fascinating journey.

How did you start working in the stationary and children’s industries? Have you always loved creating cute characters, animals, and floral designs?

I actually tried watercolor for the first time when I was 30. I’d never painted seriously before then. I liked painting and drawing as a kid, but unfortunately I, like many people, stopped doing it after I grew up.

When I went back to college for the second time in my life, I studied fashion design. I started getting interested in art again after I had taken some illustration techniques classes. I fell in love with watercolors and that’s when I decided to learn everything I could about it.

Bianca Pozzi of Flora & Bear
Bianca Pozzi in her studio

I’ve worked in the fashion industry by developing prints for fabrics. I used watercolors and hand-painted illustrations whenever I could. I ended up having some jobs related to the children’s market later and it felt like a natural transition for me.

Shortly after, I focused exclusively on working for the children’s industry. Eventually, I started working with a UK-based agency that licensed and sold my work to many great companies in Europe and the US. Since I was able to decide what kind of artwork I wanted to do, I naturally chose cute characters and animals since it’s what I enjoy doing the most!

What’s your favorite thing to paint? I also noticed you have a cute pet. Does your dog inspire any paintings?

Animals are my number one choice, but I also love drawing people, especially kids. Having the cutest dog in world definitely helps me create my animal illustrations. 😉 She is so small and always makes cute poses effortlessly, so I take photographs of her to study later whenever I can. Sometimes she looks like a little fox!

What does your typical work day look like? Do you ever struggle with getting started or staying focused on your projects? How long does it take you to complete one piece?

My days vary a lot as I might be doing some client work, adding new illustrations to my online shop, or studying something new. I’m a morning person, so I get up really early and try do to all of the creative work during this period. I might sketch, research references, or experiment with colors. I usually paint with traditional paints and finish all of my work digitally with Photoshop.

After that, I might answer emails, update my social media, etc. I don’t have any problems with staying focused, but I do struggle with finding enough time to do personal work. I know how important it is to learn and experiment, but sometimes things can be very chaotic. Personal work just seems a waste of time, but I know it isn’t. It’s a constant battle!

Lots of your art combines many different kinds of animals, flowers, and other objects. For example, one piece has a rabbit, mouse, bear, and pig flying planes and driving cars. What’s your creative process for imagining these unique scenes?

I always try to stay aware of trends, especially in the children’s market. I mix those trends with other things I enjoy painting, too. I’m also greatly influenced by classic children’s books, so I believe my work is a result of all these elements getting combined and filtered.

Bianca Pozzi of Flora & Bear card & invitation designs
Tiny pilot birthday invitation / Just married cardBirthday barn invitation

What do you enjoy most about running your own Etsy shop/business?

I love everything about it. I have control of the products I can offer and I get feedback from customers on a daily basis. They give me suggestions and new ideas. I love those exchanges.

Also, I know that my designs are helping other people run their own businesses, which is very satisfying. Lots of people have written messages to me describing how important my artwork is to them. I feel like we all grow up together and I love that sense of community. 

All of your cards are so friendly and inviting. If you had to choose one scene you’ve created, which card do you wish you could live inside for a day and why?

I’d probably go to Alice’s Tea Party set, which was inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It is one of my favorite books, so I’d be very happy to spend some time there. 🙂

What inspires you most as an artist?

Children’s books, classic stories, movies, fairytales, and of course animals and nature!

What are your favorite hobbies? Do you do any fun or silly activities to stay in touch with your inner-child? Do you have a favorite children’s movie or book?

When I’m not working, I like to play with my dog, watch documentaries and other movies, and read. I also take classical ballet classes, which I absolutely love. It helps me stay focused for the rest of the day.

I can think of a few movies and books that I love: The Sound of Music, Anne of Green Gables, A Little Princess, Where the Wild Things Are, and many more. I have lots of shelves filled with them.

Watercolor and sketched animal designs

If you had unlimited time and resources, what is your dream project you wish you could work on?

Definitely picture books. It’s my number one passion!


Want to Check Out More of Her Work?

If you want to keep up with Bianca’s latest work, you can check out her website. Be sure to also follow her on Instagram @florandbear and @bianca.pozzi.