* Alistar Illustration
How and why did you decide to pursue illustration as your career?
Since I was a little girl, drawing was something that I knew how to do very well, it was natural for me, and it was clear to everybody around me that I would go on to do that all my life.
Colors, more than drawing have always been extremely fascinating to me, I never really had to learn some rules about colors, it's always been my natural talent.
Later, studying at the School of Art, all those rules about colors were only confusing me, I had that as a natural talent , I got the secret, I just wanted to be free to explore.
Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?
Of course !!! There was no other school for me than the school of Art, and mine was not just an ordinary school of Art, it was like living a fairy tale!
I studied Art in the beautiful Renaissance city of Urbino, on the green hills of central Italy and the school was just inside the historical Palace of the Dukes of 1500, it was at that time the most important cultural center with Florence, with artists , writers, musicians, literary men, poets and home of the Great Raphael, the painter.
The school was not really how you imagine a school , entering there in the morning you were just entering in another time and we could still feel the presence of all the people and artists who were passing by there. Their spirit was still alive !
I’ve studied Animation and Photography
Do you have a favourite picture book or recall one of the first picture books you saw?
Alice in Wonderland !
… and all that nonsense and colors and bizarre oddities ...
and all those wondrous Antique illustrated books!
What was your first commission as a professional illustrator?
When I started studying Animation and Cinema and Photography at the School of Art, I was not supposed to be an illustrator, my passion was pictures in motion, cinema, light and photography, I grew up in a family of photographers, my great grandfather was a photographer at the end of 1800,and then my grandfather and all his family members and everywhere I looked was photography , I always had images in mind, and I felt coloring with light was in my DNA.
Illustration came my way after I had a long previous career in animation.
My 22 years of career as an illustrator just happened by chance, after working as an animator for years, first I worked and published in Italy then working with companies worldwide, books, magazines, covers, apps, games and more..
I’ve started working as an animator before illustrating, and the first paid work was in the animations studios in Milan where I’ ve worked for cinema and tv, but I don’t really remember what was the subject, it’s been a long time ago.
One of the first illustrated book was a short story of Gianni Rodari,for Emme Edizioni , Trieste.
Gianni Rodari is one of the most loved children’s writer in Italy .
Was a lovely lively story about a weird little boy called Giovannino , ‘the walk of an absent minded ‘, it’s been a success and the illustrations participated to many exhibition around the world, that book opened a large way to me in the world of illustration.
What is your favourite medium to work with and why?
I started with colors, pencils brushes and all that stuff when computers didn’t even exist, it was the only way to draw.
But since computers came to life I fell in love even with the rudimental early softwares for painting at the beginning of the Computer Age.
I soon realized that this hardware was opening up a vast horizon of possibilities.
Since that time I never used brushes, pencils, oil colors, watercolors again,I had everything and more in my computer !
I still use a blue pencil, though, for sketching on paper, the one that I 've used for sketching animation drawings.
Which project has been most instrumental in developing your personal style?
The projects I ‘ve worked on for years with Crocodile Creek,USA !!
They gave me plenty of freedom to work with my own personal lively, colorful , playful,style, they trusted me ,they loved my work and I loved them !!
Our collaboration has been successful since years.
Working on toys and games made me understand it was the next development of my work.
Talk us through the process of creating one of your latest illustrations or books.
I prefer to sketch on paper more than on a screen with a software, I can handle the drawing better with a pencil and paper, I can turn the sheet all the time I like.
I don’t really love sketching , I prefer coloring, but I love doing it in the creation phase when I start a project.
I am used to drawing with a blue pencil I ‘ve used to sketch animation drawings, in this way the sheets and my hands don’t get all black and dirty as with a graphite, and I love the color blue !
I start working on the project roughing sketches, and little by little the story and the characters come to life, when they are ready, I show them to the client we start to discuss and we go back and forth until we reach the perfection.
After that I start coloring on computer, this is the part I prefer, I feel free to explore any style I like ,depending on the project I’m working on.
Take us behind the scenes and describe your studio / workspace.
Being a person that never had a permanent address, my studio has been travelling with me. Everything is always ready to be packed and moved to another place.
I’ve changed many places along the years, lately my studio has been between the Italian Adriatic seaside Riviera, Genoa and Berlin.
Who or what have been some of your major artistic influences?
Since I can remember it has been the LIGHT.
I was staring at the rays of light with millions of tiny ,shining, dancing particles of dust for hours looking at the reflections of light on the walls since I was a little girl.
The light has been my teacher.
When I started studying Art, two of my earliest teachers were Lorenzo Mattotti and Edward Hopper, both had a strong relationship with colors and light.
And I absolutely adore Mary Blair the Disney concept artist of the 40’s.
Do you have a favourite soundtrack you listen to when you’re working?
My partner is a singer and a musician and since he arrived in my life in motion, with his huge collection of thousands of old records, I love when he surprises me with a good old record choice…and I love when he plays the piano and sings while I’m working, this is what inspires me while I’m working at my desk.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Magic is something you make… is written over my desk
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
That’s what Wolfgang Goethe said to me when I started working in this business long time ago.
How many times do you tend to draw a character until you are happy with it?
It’s a creation, a new being is coming to life, it needs a bit of time, you have to feel it, listen to it, and little by little it will come out, and we feel happy together.
Outline your dream project.
An interactive tridimensional globe, no doubts, I’m made for that, maps and globes!