Andrea Ucini Illustrator Interview

Andrea Ucini

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Can you recall the first time you realized you were going to be an illustrator? What were your earliest impressions?
It was when I was 6-years-old. I liked to draw chairs. I don´t know why but there was something special about chairs. I drew every chair I saw. Drawing was pure relaxation.

Who or what influenced your art when you were young?
I think my art has been greatly influenced by music. I remember that while playing the piano I was thinking of what it would be like if the song was a drawing.
I started to draw what the music suggested to me. Today music has become the metaphor of my artistic language.

Do you remember what your first artwork looked like? Do you still have it?
A chair and I unfortunately I threw it out!

Why did you choose illustration as your life’s work instead of, for example, filmmaking, law, or even medicine?
I honestly always imagined becoming a pianist or something that had to do with music until a few years ago. I graduated in classical piano and music composition at the Musical Academy of Florence.
I moved to Denmark a few years ago and my passion for design and color returned. Because the weather is mostly grey here in Denmark, I needed color more than sound.

Did you study art in school?
Not drawing. I’m self-taught.

Where does your inspiration come from; your impulse to make art? Do you have a source for your ideas?
Inspiration comes from anything that strikes me. There is nothing specific. It depends on the moment, the situation, the mood. At its essence, however, is a critical sense of the world we live in. Let’s say melancholy inspires me more than joy.

How would you describe the process of creating art?
It’s like bringing water from a gaseous state to a solid state resulting in ice.
Basically, ideas are abstract, not tangible, except in the mind’s eye. Finding ways to freeze an idea and make it visible in the real world is what I love about the process.

Do you have a favorite illustrator? What is it about that illustrator’s work you like?
Not one, in particular. I love the creative mind of Chrisoph Niemann, the style of Gary Taxali, the textures of Edel Rodriguez, the minimalism of Nora Bar, the atmosphere of Emiliano Ponzi, the humor of Brian Rea. I try to hold them near while speaking with my own voice which is sometimes difficult.

If you could do something else, other than creating art, what would it be?
I’d find another way to create art.

Do you have a favorite illustrator supply, a favorite method, or favorite location, where you like to create artwork?
Any place would be fine as long as there is silence and no one around me. Music would be my only company.

If you could give a viewer clues to understanding your art, what would you say?
I try to find metaphors that reflect everyday life. Then I add a little deception so an illustration’s content is not immediately understood.

Do you think illustration has the eye of the public or could public awareness of this field be improved upon?
I think that illustration is attracting more and more people.
Illustration can have a very strong impact. It’s a quick and intelligent way to describe what’s happening in our times.

Why does art matter to you? Why might it matter to the world?
I think art is the perfect mix of intelligence, naiveté, and senility. The world needs these things to change and become more beautiful. Everything revolves around money today. Art doesn’t.

If you could look back or forward a hundred years, do you think the life of an illustrator was or will be better than today?
I have three jobs, but I´m happy to make a contribution with my art. I hope I’m wrong, but I think in one hundred years, art will be seen as revolutionary: a form of propaganda. It’s happened in the past.
Ethical and moral ideals will be invaded by an unnecessary hunger for power. Something very important will be lost. We will need to rethink art. Fortunately, art will have yet another Renaissance.