5 & 3/4 Questions
1. Describe yourself and your work.
I’m average in height, wear big glasses, and have short tomboy hair. I often laugh and fool around. I get excited easily, and I curse a lot. I do a wide variety of work: advertising, editorial, comics, books for children. I always try to be expressive. My work’s focus is on vivid, authentic, relatable characters.
2. How did you get started?
I started drawing as a child and I have never stopped. I guess it’s a typical story among illustrators.
3. What piece of work best represents you and why?
My style is very expressive and geometric, with a strong color palette. My works often refer to folk themes. Werewolf's wife [below, left and center] is a good representative: I painted it in two versions—the first one is gouache on paper, and the other one was drawn digitally. It’s an illustration of a story from Italian folklore about a werewolf who mauled his own wife.
Another good example of my style is my interpretation of Emily Dickinson’s poem Wild Nights [below, right]. I introduced a new lyrical ego there—an ordinary girl working in a kiosk, daydreaming about her lover.
4. What are your current obsessions?
Recently, in addition to regular commissions, I devote myself to personal projects. I’m drawing a new book for children. It’s about a tenement house and its residents. I’m also working on a series of illustrations of crying people [below].
I’ve been also very intrigued by biographies of the world’s tallest people, especially women. I'd love to draw a comic book about them.
5. How do you deal with “creative block”?
I just work. Over the years I’ve discovered that creative block can be overcome by just drawing. In extreme cases, I take a day off from work. Overstrain and stress are much bigger problems for me. Swimming also helps me a lot.
5¼. What book are you currently recommending? Two Serious Ladies, by Jane Bowles.
5½. What song are you listening to a lot right now? Overture: Watermelon City, by DJ /rupture featuring Elizabeth Alexander.
5¾. Which historical figure or famous person would you most like to meet for a coffee and a chat? I’d love to chat with Umberto Eco about our mutual love for Dylan Dog comics. Also, I wish Italo Calvino was my grandfather.