In my creative life I have always focused on my surroundings, especially people.
That’s why it would be senseless to keep my art separate from people.
When I started doing my personal creative work after my “break”, it took me a while to start showing things around. It was for me, it was my thing, the thing I needed to do because people, bodies, humans are fascinating creatures and the more I draw them the better I understand them.
I thought that by keeping my work private I was protecting it.
Now I realize that what it really needs is just to get out there.
So this is what I’m doing now. I’m sharing the experience of being an artist that is not a “real artist” (no gallery, no agent, no official market value of my art) but just someone that can’t help but see things, and draw them.
I care about my creative work, and that’s why I’m sharing it with you.
On this blog you’ll find words about my creative process, my life, reviews of places, experiences and art materials.
Why (and how) I started to draw
When I was twelve I decided I wanted to learn to draw (I completely sucked at it, no natural talent here, folks. I was that kid who drew people with hands attached to their shoulders.), and since I liked manga, I wanted to draw manga.
But I was living in buttfuck nowhere – a small medieval town in the middle of Italy – so no comics schools there. The only available option was a class held by the old local painter, in a small room behind the church, where he worked on his futuristic abstract paintings and his commissions of huge painted wooden crucifixes for other churches, and where he would gather anyone who wanted to learn.
There were all sort of people: neat old ladies, middle aged men, some twenty somethings and me.
I wanted to draw manga.
He didn’t know what manga were.
He told me that whatever wanted to draw I had to start with watercolors. And still life.
I still remember my first lesson: a composition of white wooden boxes.
After that there were countless wooden dummies, teapots, cloth flowers, stuffed dolls: these were the characters that I looked at every friday and saturday afternoon, from 3pm to 7pm.
I kept trying to draw manga, but I soon discovered that I wasn’t that good at taking characters out of my head.
Yet I realised that if I could draw a dummy from life I could also draw a person.
So I started drawing people around me. At first the others in the art class. I just took a black marker and drew. Fluid lines, no second thoughts. It felt close to comics, I was happy.
After a while, fascinated by the works of Keith Haring, I asked my master if I could paint an actual painting. A big one.
He looked at my new, barely started sketchbook and told me: after you fill that up.
I kept drawing. Mostly my best friend (while she was sleeping). My schoolmates, during class.
And even if I was definitely the underdog in my high school, drawing people turned out to be an easier way to interact with them.
Everyone wants to be seen, after all.
My paintings then were compositions of those sketches, with backgrounds filled with words and bold black lines separating the flat color fields. It was so pop. (I have no idea where most of them are now. If you have one in your house, please take a nice picture and send it to me! 😉 )
Once I finished high school I decided that I wanted to study Painting. But I didn’t want to become a painter, strictly speaking. I wanted to be around creative people and create things together. So I moved to Milan and I enrolled in the Brera Academy of fine arts.
But that’s a story for another day.