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We propose again this interview with Emma Bresola, which we made in 2009, because in the meantime Emma relocated to another country, and we believe it is very interesting to show how she managed to keep her professional identity alive. From Romania, Emma Bresola moved to Canada, “a country so vast that seems endless”. In between countries, Emma realized some digital art works that participated in exhibitions and projects of public art. After the first adaptation period, she started looking around. Like for many of us, the net has been providential, since she found a work opportunity on the Internet. She had to propose some drawings to paint the utility boxes placed along the streets of the City of Calgary, where Emma is living at present. A sort of authorized “street art”. Emma Bresola sent her proposal, which was accepted, and in summer 2011 she painted “Dino Sounds”, some funny and very colorful dinosaurs that play musical instruments. One year later, she painted “Dino Transportation” and “Western Dino Band”. At the same time she illustrated a series of covers for the GUS series of Giunti editions, Florence.

In 2012 Calgary was nominated the Capital of Culture, and within the frame of the cultural celebrations Emma won the CCIS New Canadian Artist Award, that was delivered at the “Mayor’s Lunch for Art Champions”. With this prize the judges have recognized the whole of Emma’s work: her artistic, graphic and illustrative side. Congratulations Emma!

This year the “City of Calgary Parks” has asked her to organize artistic workshops in several parks to promote the children and young art competition “Get to Know”, which takes place in Canada and in the USA. In the last of these workshops she also realized a work of interactive public art, “On the Wing”, a collage of colorful paper birds made by children.

In a couple of years Emma Bresola has managed to build a working circle in her new host country, and to do interesting and highly stimulating things. Well done, Emma, keep on like that, you are the perfect example of the creativity and tenacity of many expat women.

October 2013



Western Dino Band

Dino Transportation

Dino Transportation

Western Dino Band

Western Dino Band

Original interview:

I met Emma Bresola in the occasion of the Rumanian stage of Expatclic’s exhibition “Citizens of the world”. As she was the Graphic Designer in charge of both the catalogue and the installation I have obviously been in strict contact with her before, during and after the event – sending her the pictures to display at the exhibition, selecting and editing all the texts and articles to be part of the catalogue and so on.

In the last weeks prior to the event, our exchange of messages had reached maximum level, as we wanted to check and recheck everything and leave no unchecked detail behind… A really hard work, that we managed to achieve also thanks to Emma and her kind and sympathetic encouragement.

When I eventually arrived in Bucharest to launch the exhibition, it was with great pleasure that I finally met this tenacious and patient woman who was working with great commitment and enthusiasm to the best of Expatclic’s project.

Emma Bresola is Italian, married to a Somali with whom she has two beautiful children and whom she followed to Bucharest when he moved there on professional grounds.

Emma is a woman with a humble personality, a bit shy perhaps but truly affectionate and extremely generous.

So generous in fact that she has offered to help us prepare and edit our newest project, the Expatclic Calendar 2010.

Her volunteer collaboration has been a great honor for us not only because we like the idea that behind the work there was an expatriate woman, but because it is thanks to Emma’s professional and artistic eye that the Calendar looks so harmonic and… nice!

With this interview we want to introduce Emma to all Expatclic’s friends because we’d like to thank her for what she has done for Expatclic and because we find her experience and her expat life very interesting and perhaps stimulating for many of us.

Thank you Emma, for your patience, your endurance and your magic touch!


Born in Milan, you have moved several times within your own country – how did it feel?

The first time I moved I was 6 years old and although it was just a few kms away (from Legnano to Milan) I remember I was very happy to go live in another town. Then we moved from Milan to Trieste because of my parents’ work. I liked Trieste at once because of the sea, I have always loved the sea. At the beginning it wasn’t easy, I was 12, I had to adjust to the new environment, find new friends… but then when school began, everything went smooth.

What brought you to Bucharest? Has the past experience in dealing with changes and relocations (though within your own country) somehow helped you when you moved to Bucharest?

My husband’s work took us from Milan to Bucharest. Certainly, having already packed and unpacked boxes and suitcases several times already in Italy has prepared me for this new expatriation. However it is never so simple to always have to decide what to take along and what to leave behind.

How is Romania today? Are your children happy? How does your husband feel at work?

We are happy here. Romania reminds me of a “pot pourri” for her diverse peoples and cultures. There has been a significant development over the years, many firms and companies have invested in the country. The new generations are highly motivated, determined and well prepared. And yet, as any other country, Romania has to deal with her own contradictions. My children are positive. When I hear them talking in Romanian or English – that they have also learned by their relations with peer children – I realize how integration has to do with the contact with other people.

My husband is happy with his colleagues and often we organize outing with them, be it an excursion or an evening at the theatre. As well as weddings, celebrated at the Biserica and then on with food and dances till early morning…

Emma at the "Citizens of the World" exhibition in Bucharest

Emma at the “Citizens of the World” exhibition in Bucharest

A Somali/Italian couple in Romania… How are you regarded? How do you feel? Which is your “center”? and what is your family culture?

I never felt to be considered as something special. We are two people who met and decided to share the path, our lives. My husband has a scientific background, mine is rather artistic. We both love art in all her forms and I wish to be able to transfer to my children what elates the mankind.

Let’s talk about your work: you are a graphic designer so you can easily work from anywhere you are. Has moving to Bucharest affected your rhythm? Or was it easy to keep working from there as well?

With what we have nowadays, internet and a good computer, a graphic design can work anywhere. It is actually here in Bucharest that I started working in this way and I’d like to keep on like this. In Italy my presence was always requested, and when I had my children became impossible for me. Now it is different and instead of rushing to go to work I can work “in remote”.

Let the children play - digital art

Let the children play – digital art

You are an eclectic artist, you have done lots of things, collaborated with many projects, written and illustrated children books, worked on websites… What do you like the most?

Anything that rouses my curiosity, that involves me and that is funny, that amuses me. I have a certain “parcours”, I have worked in different fields, always with the same enthusiasm. I certainly want to keep working with Graphic Design, but also with illustration and I would like to develop projects of contemporary art…

Tell us about the mural you painted in Bordano…

Bordano, in Friuli Venezia Giulia region, is known as the “Village of the Butterflies” for their remarkable presence. There was a contest, I took part in it and the draft I presented was finally selected among the many that had arrived. When I actually went to start painting, over the external wall of a house there, I draw on the Madama Butterfly by Puccini… It was several years ago, but it is still intact.

Any plans for the future?

I guess our children will shape the next ones…

March 2009
Emma Bresola website: https://www.emmabresola.com
Photos  ©EmmaBresola
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