Hello Emi, first of all, tell us something about your upcoming work. What are you into at the moment?
I‘m busy with several projects. After I took part to the spot “Dream On” to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Adobe Photoshop with my work “Cosmogony: Origin of the Universe Reloaded” and my cooperation with Goodby Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco and Adobe my works gained an incredible visibility. I’m currently working for many clients and in these days I just finished the cover of the Italian edition of “Vanishing Girls”, the latest book by Lauren Oliver, which has been published few weeks ago in the United States. Then I will create the cover of the previous book by the same author, still unpublished here in Italy but whose success is so huge in the States that the Universal Pictures has already bought the movie rights for this work. I also have some personal projects to work on, new things to test…my style is in a constant evolution.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: where is home, and how long have you been an illustrator?
My home is in Monfalcone, located in the north-east of Italy. I’m a digital artist and illustrator since six years ago. I begun with painting and drawing when I attended the art high school. Then I discovered the digital art and I connected this great passion of mine with technology, taking a degree in graphic design and commercial art at the Istituto Design Palladio in Verona.
Would you give a brief walk through your workflow?
My work starts from a photo and the first phase is its retouching. Afterwards I digitally import various hand-made elements such as scratches, ink marks, acrylic or watercolor stains. Before working into digital art and illustration I begun with drawing, painting and then with graphics. I always loved the gesture and the warmth of the sign in a sketch, in stroke with acrylic or oil color, in the splashes of watercolor or ink.
So today when I start developing an image I try to include my manual skill in the sign and in the use of color digitally importing it into my artwork. I combine in a single image hundreds of Photoshop layers with many and many graphic elements and textures. All the Blend Modes, layer masks, Adjustments layers I use, make the starting image less digital and more similar to a painting or a drawing. This phase of manual elaboration is then merged with the strictly digital one. Selecting parts of different photo images I try to blend with the double exposure technique the human body with nature and its four elements, fire, air, water and earth.
How has your work evolved over the years from when you were beginning?
In my first works I focused on a graphic style based on construction and deconstruction of the human body using various tools and graphic effects that render it almost a sketch.
In my recent works I tried to merge the human body with nature or rather with the four elements of fire, air, water and earth, and even with a fifth esoteric element: the Aristotelian ether, that includes all the others, the essence of celestial bodies, eternal and unchangeable in comparison with the earth as a place of change. The result is the vision of my imaginative world hanging between reality and fantasy, dream and utopia and in which color and sensitivity have the predominant role.
If you could change one thing about being an illustrator, what would it be?
The difficulty for a client to understand the economic value of a creative process.
Who’s the first artist that comes to your mind in a second?
Klimt. I love the inner strength of some female portraits, the magic poetry of its landscapes and also the taste for decoration and its use of the shapes.
What kind of music do you listen to while you’re working?
Music is the key of my creative process. I could mention Sigur Rós, Radiohead, Bloc Party, Coldplay, Bjork etc.
Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.
So many things! I’d love to travel more in the future. I’d like to see the United States, especially California and San Francisco.
Something you want the world to know about you.
I am a big fan of cinema: it is a great inspiration for my work. I love every kind of movies especially indie movies and art movies.
Something that annoys or frustrates you about people.
People who don’t have any interest or passion and those who are not able to find positivity in themselves and others.
What’s overrated/underrated today?
The constant use of smartphones for anything: chats, social networks, games, etc. at the expense of a normal conversation. Literature and culture are underrated.