Comic book illustrator : Natalia Pierandrei form Italy
I am and art and comic book illustrator living and working in Italy.
Drawing was my obsessive passion from the time I could hold a pencil in my hand. Throughout childhood and adolescence I mainly drew images based on cartoons, anime and comic books I read - I was and I am an avid reader!
Art was a passion, I studied History of Art in High School but at that time drawing and illustration was only a hobby. I didn't think of starting with a formal art training in order to become an illustrator.
It was during the University years - I graduated in Oriental Studies with a specialization in International Trade - that a friend of mine introduced me to the Fantasy Art and Elfwood website. I didn't realize yet I wanted to become an artist, but I started discussing about Fantasy Art and drawing with other young illustrators from all around the world, and in few months a UK based publisher contacted me in order to have few of my drawings featured in the fist of a series of art-books about Faeries.
I currently work part-time as freelance illustrator. My art appeared on several art books and magazines all around the world, and in 2013 I was selected for inclusion in Spectrum 20: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art.
I recently also started showing my work in art galleries, both in Europe and US.
What does art and design means to you
Art is about expressing myself, my emotions and thoughts, it is about wonderment and magic and passion, it is about to play! It is also therapeutic! Painting is a huge stress reliever... at least for me!
How would you define your personal style
I am self-taught. I 'learned' how to draw by literally reading tons of comic books and mangas since I was very young. When I was an adolescent, my interest for mangas has developed into a vivid passion which culminated in a whole year spent in Tokyo as foreign student. At that time I had many chances to get in touch directly with the local manga circles. Finally, my work unifies Japanese comic book style and Western painting tradition, and I every day commit to working on a drawing style which is personal and distinctive.
What is the process of your work? What kind of materials do you use
A mix of marker and watercolor on paper was my favorite technique for years though recently I started painting just in ink, watercolor and gouache and practicing with colored pencils and soft pastels. I like challenging myself in different artistic ways and experimenting with new techniques. I think artists always must try things they have never done before. It’s how we find our way to the next expression.
How do you get your inspiration
I couldn't really single out inspirations because they can be anything and anywhere. Sometimes the best ideas come to me when I am driving in the car or walking in the street :)
I find inspiration through the Art Nouveau and the past masters anyway, I love old traditional art!
I indeed love visiting museums and art exhibitions: actual paintings are so impressive and inspirational! Listening to the music and looking at fashion magazines also helps me to not stress out and find good inspiration and reference material for new illustrations.
What is your most critical challenges in your work
I love being an illustrator, I love the artistic process, I love doing the research involved in making images and writing books, I love making things look beautiful and well... that's the secret, isn't it? To enjoy what you do! The only thing that I find mostly boring is the bureaucratic one:) But this is also part of the work....That said, no critical challenges in my work!.
What are some of your goals
To continue doing what I enjoy the most, I mean illustration! And to continue making people dreaming with my drawings. At the same time, I would like to keep my interests fresh and explore new techniques and ideas and art processes.
What is your dream
Writing and illustrating children books!
What is your motto in your work and life
'Wonders never cease'. I like the idea you will never stop wonder to what you can see, feel and experience in life.