I am from a small town in the south of Italy, but I have been living in London for the past seven years. I gained an MA in illustration from the Camberwell College of Arts in 2012, and since then I have been working as a freelance illustrator, artist, and more recently as an illustration tutor. I work from my studio in East London, which I share with two other artists and my dog Kira.
I primarily use gouache painting and coloured pencil. I mostly work on paper, but I have recently experimented with ceramic as a new canvas for me to paint on.
What surrounds me is always quite inspiring to me, even if it is not directed translated visually into my work. I am attracted to decorative motifs like flowers and leaves, as a representation of the natural world I feel a connection with. The female figure is also a big source of inspiration, being a woman myself. My illustrations and paintings reflect my personal life and emotions, and the way the characters evolve reflect the way my perception of myself evolves through time.
Depending whether I am working on a personal project or a commission, I analyze my idea and I do some research or look for inspiration in books, films and music. I start with a very rough sketch, which I then redraw more carefully, so I can proceed to paint it in gouache. I like to visualize quite clearly how I want my final image to look like in my head – obviously that can change a bit during the process.
Everyday I start my day with a walk in the park with my dog Kira. It’s always quite helpful to get away from your desk and be able to come back to your work with a new perspective.
Reading is always a great source of inspiration too – when I am quite busy I sometimes forget how important it is to dedicate some time every day to a good book.
I am very critical towards what I do, and what I like one day I might hate the day after, and viceversa. One of my favorite project I worked on (and still ongoing) is maybe a series of paintings illustrating the life of two old friends of my grandmother, Elvira and Giulia, living together in a house where I spent a lot of my childhood. Every painting is very personal to me, and it reflects how I remember that house and that time. I have lots of happy memories associated with them.
It was probably when someone pointed out that my work would be quite suitable for fashion. I grew up surrounded by fashion magazines because of my mum, and I have always been very attracted by the shapes, materials and patterns, but I never thought of my work in the context of fashion illustration. Then last year I had the chance of collaborating with Gucci, Erdem, and Show Studio, and even if I don’t define myself a fashion illustrator I loved the experience, and I would like to collaborate with more fashion brands in the future.
I have been influenced by a variety of artists since I begun to approach illustration, some of them are still a big inspiration now. Matisse, Tove Jansson, Jonas Mekas, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Luc Godard, Alexander Girard, William Morris have all influenced my work in different ways. I also find old botanical illustrations very inspiring, so every time I visit a second hand book shop I buy a little illustrated book of plants and flowers.
Living in a western country I don’t feel that many restrictions in the way I can express myself as a woman. I am lucky enough I never thought I had to censor my creativity to adhere to the expectations of a particular culture or my gender. But I know that is a privilege not all women have, whether it is dictated by culture or religion, and men are not affected by it in the same way.
My dog, coffee, being in a forest, snow.
To search for what is important, inspiring and personal to them, and use it to express what they want to say, whatever the medium.
I have been preparing some work for exhibitions in Seoul and Madrid. I would like to have a solo show this year, so I keep working on personal paintings alongside commissions to have a good selection to choose from.
I also have a few more projects I would like to bring to reality, but I am still at the stage of researching and sketching.