Our section Meet the artist this week gives us the opportunity to tell about a talented Italian illustrator, Nicoletta Ceccoli, whose illustrations are by now internationally famous. Her women are intense, full of charm, the environments magical and timeless, the characters created by her imagination take us to distant places of our childhood, allowing us to daydreaming.
We interviewed her for you:
Could you explain how was born your passion about illustration? Could you tell us about your studies and your work experience that led you to be the artist you are today?
I grew up in my father’s shop, he was a carpenter. He gave me pieces of wood, glue, nails and then I created toys, dolls and animals. My mom gave me a love for books. She was a teacher and she always encouraged me to follow my dreams. When I grew up, I never stopped to surround, to love and to smell lots of books rich in figures.
The city and the school where I studied, left me a deep imprint. I attended the Art Institute in Urbino. The school is located in a building of the sixteenth century and preserves the important masterpieces of Piero della Francesca called the Flagellation. His painting is so frozen, measured and metaphysical and impressed me so much as well as the city of Urbino with its Renaissance architecture, that is like suspended in time. I’ve made my first steps in the illustration field, but only after many years and illustrated books I started to make drawings with more personal content.
Which technique you prefer and why?
Lately I use mostly acrylic, colored pencils, graphite and airbrush on paper. In the past I have also made many experiments with digital for my children’s books. I like to alternate traditional mediums and computer techniques. Each technique offers different challenges.
The characters of your drawings are very exciting. How they born? What feelings or stories they represent?
The characters express their fragility but also strength, cruelty and sweetness. I often like to suggest a mischievous sensuality. My girls are not yet women and even girls. They seduce without being fully aware. This delicate passage strikes me as the mystery of adolescence, when the innocence vanishes and overlooks the idea of sin. The skirts are an element with I always use to play. They are extensions of the body that exude magic and power, often found at the center of the transformation of my little women. The skirts explode like lush flowers, float like fragile eggs, encase birds.
My work is also ironic, they play with the contradictions, they are the dark side of a nursery rhyme, disturbing and tender at the same time.
From what your creativity draws its inspiration? What or who particularly influenced your artistic career?
I’m inspired by things I’ve read, experienced and observed. I feel like a tree that draws sap of its experience, its roots and turns slowly in new leaves. There are so many artists and illustrators that inspire me, but I mention only a few: Mark Ryden, Jeronimous Bosch, Remedios Varo, Edward Gorey, Domenico Gnoli, Alberto Savinio, Balthus, Paolo Uccello, Dino Buzzati, etc.etc.etc.
Could you tell us about your plans for the future?
I am currently working with the Japanese “Mae Gallery” to the realization of a resin figurine. It never happened until now an occasion like that, I’m curious to see the result.
Nicoletta Ceccoli – website http://www.nicolettaceccoli.com/
Image Credit: Nicoletta Ceccoli