My dad loves downhill, and I love my dad!

Last Saturday was a beautiful Father’s Day. Since my daddy wasn’t there when I was a bizarre kid, he hasn’t had the pleasure of being overwhelmed by handmade gifts. Like paperweight shaped like a turtle, penholder made with playdoh, fake ties with nice quotes about how handsome he is, you name it. He lacked in self-esteem as a parent, missing those cute-and-at-the-same-time-horrible presents, I suppose.

So I decided to give him this thrilling sensation, just to be the VIP of the day. And he is a very very very VIP to me.

And he loves downhill bicycle, and downhill itself. He is also a graphic designer, and that’s pretty cool (you know, having a graphic designer as a father is such a badass thing). But it also mean that he has a very trained eye on design (of course), colours, shapes and so on. So I sweated a lot preparing this drawing.

vector art downhill bicycle father's day gift male

This is the result. I’m pretty proud of it, and I loved to colour as a vector-style…style. It’s like a zen coloring activity and I enjoyed every second. It took me about 2 hours and a half, and I’ll continue on this style with other subjects (requests and suggestions are welcome!).

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I can do it, right?

These days are pretty intense and stressing, but they give me lot of satisfaction indeed. It’s time to move in my new home with my partner, and this is actually the first time in years for me (since I was a little child, at least). I’m nervous and excited at the same time, and this schizophrenic mood affects my work a lot.

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I can not paint if not reluctantly, and is one of the worst things to do as an artist, I suppose. I mean, not to be…fresh and spontaneous in your works. All my sketches seems to be really bad, or at least not as I wanted them, and the result is not always acceptable. Everything seems a great waste of time and I end up wondering whether it is worth, trying to give birth to something that doesn’t want to come to life at all.

And then I realize that perhaps this is the point. The core. The button that triggers everything, that makes a person with a brush in his hand or her hand a real artist. The struggling with your inner self and your intentions. Giving birth is a very difficult thing, I know. I have not tried the physical experience of childbirth, but I heard stories and I’m experiencing the similar “stuck on something” sensation and pain as I draw, so I guess it requires a great willpower and an extraordinary concentration. Not something you can see everyday.

Connect with your inner self is not easy. Meditation can serve, yoga can serve. But if you’re not gonna answer your call itself, from the inside, well . Perhaps even prayers would not be enough to help you. And then I also thought of letting the pain to manifest. Mental contractions and soul must arrive if I want to give birth to ideas, lines and colors. It’s not something that can happen without a minimum of investment and involvement, a deeply emotional commitment.

It ‘s funny because I always thought about art, drawing and stuff as something as extremely simple as the flow of water in a river bed. Never thought was more wrong, I guess. To draw, to paint, to create in fact requires (at least on a personal level, and that’s what I discovered these days), an endless internal, complex and often emotionally destabilizing research.

All this topic is sure obvious to many of you. But to understand that what you do is not at all a game and, in fact , is much more serious than many other daily activities that the society presents as very serious activities (as get a job, take care of your house, of the family, have commitments to respect), it is enlightning. It ‘s like having understood that there is a step to do: I can stay on a mediocre level (as a personal investment, I mean) and let the art flow around me gaily and freely, or I can make my art something that can touch me and others in depth.

And I suppose to know the answer.

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The mindfulness of the fan-art

I really love to read. Along with art, is one of those things which I simply can’t live without. I feel sick in case I can’t read for a few days in a row. Can we call it a disease? 😀 A very good one, indeed.

I often make sketches based on the books I’m currently reading, on some situations, or about some characters that I prefer. I think that art and design are closely related, because they can evoke invisible images in someone else’s mind, and allow unknown worlds to pop out from our imagination.

gone to earth mary webb illustration
Illustration from “Gone to earth”, a book by Mary Webb

It seems a lot simple, but in fact it IS really simple. Is one of the simplest things, to open your mind and allow the words finding their place on the paper (thanks to your colors, your pencil and so on), leaving them to stimulate parts of you that are forgotten, hidden or simply unknown. The most difficult part is, actually and obviously, to become aware that you need this state of mind. It’s like a…mindfulness state.

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell illustration
Main character of “Vampires in the Lemon Grove” by Karen Russell

So the relevant question is: how to enter in this state of mind? If I knew the ultimate answer, I would be a less more stressed artist, I suppose. By now, meditation and yoga are helping me a lot. Even walking in nature helps. And I know that you probably have heard those thing one million times, but are pretty true. At least give them a try!

The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis by karen russell illustration
Illustration inspired by “The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis”, by Karen Russell

 

the shadow over Innsmouth lovecraft illustration
Winner of the Prize “The worst photoshoot about an illustration”. Just kidding (meh), illustration inspired by “The shadow over Innsmouth” by H.P. Lovecraft
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Farewell, dear Professor Snape

Few weeks ago a great Artist passed away. Alan Rickan was a big actor and he was the star in so many good movies (and others not…but that’s how life and work actually work). One of them was , obviously, Professor Severus Snape. Now, I’m twenty-gnew-years old and so the whole Harry Potter’s saga it’s something more than special to me: it was my training gym for feelings like friendship, loyalty and…real love.

I read a lot, but I never found a better and struggling and sweet and delicate love story as Piton and Lily shared. Never. I don’t know why, you know…tastes differ.

So I’ve tryed to explain all my feeling involved in the loss of Alan R…emh, Professur Severus Snape in a portrait. This is my first work on canvas, and I was pretty amazed and scared.

Piton and Lily fanart

It’s a mixed techniques, as you can see. I used acrylics, watercolors, Letraset markers and my old-but-gold typewriting machine (original one, vintage-style!).

Detail: Piton and Lily Detail: Expecto Patronusses Detail: "After all this time?"

I know it’s a silly thing: the actor is actually dead and not the character but, ehy, I’m the artist so I rather can not choose the subjects or the idea. I just thought it was something nice to say goodbay to someone. So farewell dear Prof. Piton, or Alan Rickman for all the Muggles.

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Waking Life (and the art of letting go)

Never thought about drawing in my file. I mean, actual and real drawing, not that thing you usually do in your math class, bored. First because I didn’t know where and how to start; in second place, because I’ve thought for a very long time I was unable to. I’ve always seen those beautiful, colorful and (almost) perfect drawings and illustration on Deviantart, then Facebook, Instagram and so on. But everytime I tried to commit myself into this thing, drawing magnificent pieces of art, I was defeated by my lazyness. I didn’t find my style, and that were actually the problem: I was copying and, though I am a very good impressionist, I can’t be another artist. I was cheating.

I realize it in June, 2015. I was sick at home and my eyes just stared at the wooden box of Winsor & Newton’s watercolor my boyfriend gave me for my birthday. Untouched for nearly three months. I opened it and simply started to paint, without any inner judgment or expectation. What came up was very nice to me, and I was radiant: first time in my life, I’ve made something by my own, not searching on Pinterest or Instagram for any suggestion, style ideas, or everything else. There were me and my tools, my paper, my ideas.

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Not so simple, I mean letting (actually) go all the voices in my head saying that I wasn’t good enough, that people wouldn’t appreciate my works because they were too simple and plain. The strongest part of me screamed out for a metaphorical silence, just asking acceptance. Respect. Expecting those two things from me, to start. And hoping to find them also in the other’s words.

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