Featured Artist – Gianluca Foli
Artwork by Gianluca Folí
How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
Becoming an illustrator has always been a “one way road” for me. When I was a little boy I used to draw a lot, but then while other children grew up and stopped drawing I just kept on and on until… well until today! Everything I saw was just another subject to be drawn.
I tried to feed my passion by attending an Art Institute during high school and then I went to the Accademy for almost a year. However, while I was there, I soon realized it was a place where the words “Art” and “Artist” were abused, and didn’t provide any inspiration. I suddenly came up with the idea that I had to find my own way just by myself if I wanted to work with my “art”.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I trust my own ideas more than anyone else’s, but I can be inspired by anything as long as it fascinates me.
What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
When I was eight I remember we had a wooden box containing sweets. It was Christmas and my mother asked me to decorate it. I drew some reindeer, trees, snow and a picture of Santa smiling, I was so proud of it! I guess I could say that was my first commission.
What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
I prefer, by far, working in a studio, with soft lights and converging lamps fixed on my drawing desk. I work surrounded by an essential environment of wooden floors, white walls and a big, beautiful window surveying the times of day and seasons.
Listening to music sometimes helps, but only when I am executing my artworks, because the initial creation of them is an act during which I prefer good old silence.
As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
Good question. You should always find some time for your drawing because that’s what always makes you go forward, even in the market field. I believe that customers come to us with jobs because of our own need to express; because we have to find new ways to communicate with our art.
Iʼll never stop saying that we should develop a personal conscience devoted to our individual development, not only for external approval but in order to reach the intent and clarity every drawing should have.
What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself and creating art that is commissioned?
The difference lies in the ultimate purpose. Iʼm an illustrator just because I know I canʼt do anything but draw and my drawing path must be spaced out with “stations” where I lend my skills to someone else, to express their own purpose. Sometimes it’s just interesting to see what comes out of a commission as it can be so different from our first intentions!
The perfect situation is when you manage to put your own research into your client’s work; results can be fabulous but itʼs a matter of melting together two different sensibilities.
When you are creating commissioned work, how do you take yourself out of the project and focus on the idea that needs to be conveyed?
I donʼt really take myself out; I feel more like an actor who has to dive into his character’s shoes. I put my body and soul into each project to make it unique and alive. I listen to the customerʼs wishes to capture those few keywords that help me see the first images. Then comes the magic
What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
Visit Gianluca Folí's porftfolio page →
Iʼve got a little bit of everything. Of course, I have some of my own works (those that I never get tired of) as well as prints of Impressionist paintings to sooth the nerves, shots of Scandinavian artists recalling mystical landscapes and Japanese prints, like Hokusai’s “Wave”, reminding me to always keep moving forward.
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News published at 6:07 am, Monday, June 11th, 2012