Interview with

Linda Cavallini

Illustrator

Hello Linda, welcome on board and thank you for your availability.

Thanks to you!

 

1. You born in Florence, how this city influenced you, in choosing your professional future?

I do not know, Florence is universally recognized as the “cradle of the Renaissance” is true, but it is not as open to novelty as we would expect.
Let’s say that its influence lies in having treasures from the past, in museums and on the streets downtown, not in a real and present artistic ferment.
I must say, however, that for me it was very easy to find everything I needed (schools, practical courses, materials, etc.), very close to my home, I was very lucky.
It seems trivial but it’s true, Florence has made everything more “smooth”, especially during my studies. Growing up then it is easy to stay anchored to your dreams, also because it ends up being shared by your friends who also face your own phases and problems.

Linda Cavallini

WEBSITE

2. When was the transition from traditional drawing to the digital one?

It was quite gradual. I’ve always been fascinated by technology, as soon as I could I stole my father’s pc.
I remember that I always tried to experiment with every graphic program that was happening to me.
The first big step I did when I had the opportunity to collaborate with a graphic studio that also dealt with digital coloring of comics for France (we talk about 2003-2005), in that case I had to learn a method officer who made me able to do the job professionally and started using Photoshop.
Even later, when I worked on my commissions as an illustrator for children, I used this method: I drew and inked traditional, then I scanned the whole thing and colored it digitally.
The definitive step was my Cintiq, my first graphic tablet.
No longer being obliged to mix mediums, I can now separate them and decide which one to use based on what I want to do.
I do not think digital should be used to make compliant copies of works obtained with traditional techniques, but I am convinced that digital drawing and coloring are real techniques (comparable to all other traditional techniques) whose result is unique and certainly unrepeatable by other means.

3. Tell us a little about your style. What is the recognizable touch in your works?

Good question … but I can not answer ?! I can not really define my style, perhaps because when I look at what I do I can not do it impersonally. I see the initial idea and how it was managed, I see the errors to be corrected, I feel my state of mind as I realize it, I try to feel the feeling it transmits, if it matches what I wanted to express, but I can not see coldly the whole, if not with an eye or analysis of the result. Indeed I often find myself overwhelmed by the many stylistic currents and strong personalities that come from the network, until I feel crushed, and before a new job I always think: “how will I do it powerful enough to survive in the midst of all others?” . I’m not sure that the answer I give is right, but usually it reassures me, I say: “the only thing you can do is not to think of others, do not think to try to have a style, I know, edgy , realistic, abstract, cartoon or boh, any other adjective, rather do what you are, without claiming anything except the top, both in technique and in substance “. What comes out however I can not define it objectively, however I think that in general, the work of an artist always resembles the artist himself … there is always some detail, above all abstract, that filters somewhere. I think it’s because, in my opinion, style is the sum between technical baggage, visual archives and above all else the designer’s personality.

4. After years of freelancing in the field of illustration it comes Lumina, a project created in collaboration with Emanuele Tenderini. What did it represent for you and what was your role in this beautiful work?

Lumina was a turning point for me, it still is. It’s lucky to be able to work on what you like best in the world. This does not mean that there is no commitment, sacrifice and effort, but the pleasure and satisfaction that derive from it are a good fuel to deal with any negative element. When with Emanuele we decided to throw ourselves into the project, I had several years as an illustrator in the publishing for children, a work that was also pleasant and full of satisfactions but repetitive, uncertain and fluctuating. Moreover, although I have always had the good fortune to meet serious and kind editors and clients, it is very different from owning your own business. When you are the editor of yourself, everything you do is yours, you choose the times and the ways and above all it is you who accompany him “in the world”. It was like that with Lumina. We decided everything, from the first to the last detail. We have included in this project everything we wanted to experiment both technically and narratively, we have chosen the contamination between genres, the inspirations from videogames, the composition of the soundtrack, and the creation of an immense universe. We have also decided to share directly with the public all the process of realization, including through crowdfunding. We shot very high and we are still running to reach that goal, which is continuing to run too, because it is a continuous relaunch. It’s a strenuous race and extremely difficult to maintain, but I love the fact that it is so.
It is the greatest fortune I think I can have, being in constant motion completely absorbed in this far-away goal, with the confidence to reach it and with the feeling of having done so much, but with the awareness of having to do a thousand times more.

5. TataiLab, your publishing house, is coming from Lumina. How did it start? What do you do?

Tatai Lab was born on the occasion of the publication of the first volume of Lumina, an almost exclusively bureaucratic move.
But when understood that we had in our hands a potential publishing house, a small but big baggage of experience (I talk about the management of crowdfunding, contacts with printers, distribution, warehouse, accounting and other dynamics from “publishers”) and when, above all, we have known the work of other talented young authors and with our own ideals, the next step has been natural.
We are still a small company but what we hope is to become a publishing house whose name is a guarantee of quality and that gives life to fantastic stories, always with an eye to innovative topics and techniques and that above all takes care of every project as if it was right.

6. Together with Emanuele Tenderini you turned to Blizzard, can you tell us how it went?

At the end of Lumina 1 crowdfunding campaign, while we were checking the shipping addresses, we realized that some of our supporters were artists who worked at Blizzard.
This made us very happy and even more, so when a few months later we were contacted by an Art Director of the software house that asked Emanuele to color an episode of a Starcraft comic strip. After that experience they spent a couple of years and the publication of Lumina 2, a few months ago, the same Art Director called us to create a comic episode of the new expansion of World of Warcraft!

In short, we understand that Blizzard “spy” us, eheheh, and as soon as we finish a volume of Lumina, they contact us to take advantage of our “free” time to propose these projects!

7. Let’s help to future cartoonists … based on what and how do you choose a new comic to publish?

In Tatai Lab we evaluate the quality of people, both from the human point of view and obviously from the artistic point of view. The projects that are proposed to us must be consistent, we do not prefer one style rather than another (it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that we only publish comics that wink at the Asian style), but we want consistency.

If the artist decides to undertake a specific aesthetic and narrative path, he must bring it to completion by guaranteeing a high quality in all creative aspects: history, design, color, rhythm, “atmosphere”, etc.
Being ourselves authors, we realize very easily what are the strengths and weaknesses of each artist and we work with them to emphasize the former and buffer the latter!

 

Thank you so much for being with us and see you soon ?

Thanks again to you! <3