1. Hello Silvia, welcome! Tell us a little bit about who you are and where did your journey as an artist begin.
Hello Anna, thanks for your welcome. Everything begins where it begins: my mom, when I was ten months old, put a pencil in my hand. Since then, I have never stopped drawing. After attending the artistic High school in Padova, while I was beginning to work as a painter, I went on studying design and illustration at several academies. In Italy people wasn’t exactly crazy over digital art, so I had to make economic sacrifices to pay for my online courses. At some point I was going nuts and I stopped: it felt like all my efforts were useless.
Since I loved science so much, I applied my studies to designing user interfaces for very cool industrial machines (medical and dental equipment, jewelry, laser, 3D printers). But I never found my emotional balance until I finally discovered the CGI master’s degree in Verona. That’s where I fell in love with 3D, animation and augmented reality, because they allowed me to create works that I could never have made using a simple photographic editing software.
2. Why did you choose concept art as an artistic expression?
I don’t know. I think it’s like falling in love. Maybe you understand that, despite all the person’s flaws, it’s worth being with him or her. In the end, I have come back to drawing, in spite of all my changes of direction. I think concept art is the complex of an endless series of questions and answers: when you see something you like, it’s hard for you to forget it. An image remains etched, it becomes a memory you can draw from to evoke feelings, it’s the interpretation of the reality we see. I don’t love it because of drawing: drawing is just a tool. Maybe I love it because it gives a visual answer to a question and because, in my opinion, images are the biggest, most immediate and universal communication tool.
3. Among your illustrations you often portray dragons. Can you explain us why?
I used to play and dream about imaginary monsters as a child. Some were huge, some were small as a mouse, but the monster par excellence was the Dragon!
A lot of times I would have liked to get on him, to fly away from bad situations, or to find the strength to incinerate somebody when I needed to.
Dragons, to me, represent the strength to take and overcome painful decisions, but are also a source of energy and Power, Unlimited Power! (cit.)
4. Beside 2D you are also proficient in 3D. Do you often use both techniques in your works?
Oh yes, I use 3D a lot, and unfortunately I paint too little.
Production times are quite ruthless, and to solve this problem you start thinking and designing in three dimensions, so that you can quickly replace or correct what the art director wants.
By drawing you cannot satisfy those requests, because it’s a destructive way of working: when you finish realizing an image you cannot rotate the camera by 10 degrees on the left, you can’t add or remove too many elements because otherwise you would destroy the composition, you can’t change the lighting or the climate conditions.
You have to start all over again from scratch and neither you nor the market can afford that.
5. Life as a freelance: do you prefer it or do you also like working in a studio? Which are the differences?
I can’t speak for all but, to me, being a freelance is for dragons.
You have the chance to fly from a project to another one, you organise your day and your time management, and you choose your quotations based on what you know you are worth, not on a value given by somebody else “because those are the salaries on the market”.
You need to run, I also went through several crises, you have to deal with your own problems on your own, but this helps your personal and artistic growth so much, since you cannot call in sick. In the end it’s a huge satisfaction, despite all sacrifices.
On the other hand, it’s not like working in a studio isn’t for dragons, but maybe you are a less free dragon: you have schedules to meet, you need to justify every choice.
I’d like to approach art direction and, in order to do that, you have to work in a team, which I miss because it allows you to have instant feedback on the project, you solve problems together, you recieve impulses from people with different cultures, you don’t need to pay for softwares or tools which may break down, and you can create new friendship. It’s through confrontation that you can improve.
There are a lot of studios which allow you to work as a freelance collaborator, but in my opinion this is convenient only if you stay there for a few months, because in the end, if you need to move, company benefits – such as insurance, medical expenses, visa and so on – are very useful.
6. I would have seen a lot of your works well as concept art for big film productions. Is this idea appealing to you?
Of course it is! Unfortunately I still haven’t had the chance to take part in a full film project, but I can smell a nice pray very close to me. Meanwhile, I keep on studying every day to improve: I’m very harsh with myself, because my big dream is to become an Art Director and to have a platoon of concept artists under my wings. So come forward, because in a few years I’ll be the one who will be hiring.
Thanks a lot for the time you spent for this interview. We at Nuts wish you the best for your future!