The artist of this week is an artist in my opinion exceptional, able to teach through her beautiful shapes and colors. Each illustration tells a story, an anecdote or something to learn from. Meet Alessandra Loreti!
Hello Alessandra! I'd like to start by asking you for a brief introduction about yourself and how you started illustrating!
Hello Chiara. In the meantime, thank you for involving me in this project.
For those who do not know me, my name is Alessandra and I am a graphic illustrator from Rome, currently living in Bologna. I had an academic training in the field of advertising graphics, graduating in 2009 from the Academy of Arts and New Technologies. Then I continued my studies to train as an illustrator at the International School of Comics. Like most of the people who have chosen to make illustration their profession, I too have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I draw and write, in truth. I love any form of creative expression! I entered the professional world of illustration relatively recently (a couple of years). My main revenue channel has always been related to visual communication for companies but during the quarantine period I had more time for myself, to get to know myself better, to experiment on paper.
This is how the illustrations of the Myquarantine series were born and shortly thereafter, the illustration also became an integral part of my professional career.
I love your illustrations, not only from a technical point of view, but also from an educational point of view. There is so much to not only admire but also to learn. Can you tell me more about it?
When I was in middle school I had great difficulties with studying. Memorizing concepts, dates, events was very tiring for me.
But when years later I found myself in the role of the elder sister of 2 much younger brothers, I returned to the texts of secondary school.
With them I took up the study again, I helped them with their homework, and I discovered that the didactic topics can be proposed in a creative, stimulating way, just like a game.
This way of doing, of conceiving learning, I brought with me also in drawing. I like that my creativity can be an instrument of knowledge and dissemination.
In this regard I manage a site, La Fabbrica dei Sogni, where together with other illustrators we create tutorials to approach the technique, the basic concepts of drawing.
But over the years I have also developed another section in which we provide free material to help teachers and parents make school subjects more engaging.
Today these people make up a large part of our target audience.
Sincere congratulations! In this regard, in your opinion what role does creativity play in schools today? Speaking for me, that has always been an aspect that I had to manage a bit by myself in a separate office. Do you think this aspect is finally changing?
I think that the Italian school system has never adapted to the learning needs of the new generations. Young people need to be actively involved in the study process, not to find themselves memorizing 3 pages from the textbook. I remember a couple of years ago I interviewed the mom of a child with learning difficulties for my blog and was fascinated by the way she helped her daughter study. She told me that when they were struggling with the ancient peoples she did not limit herself to having her study history in books, but she cooked with her the typical dishes of that people, they built scale models of the temples, they designed their characteristic clothes.
Here, I am convinced that this is an excellent approach. Learning that involves the senses, that which passes through experience, has a decidedly different impact compared to the purely notional method of those who accept the lesson learned by heart.
At the same time, however, I can say with great pleasure that many teachers are training and trying to bring different methods and tools to their children. Maybe the system is backward, but those who are part of it are starting to understand the importance of a new, more creative and engaging training approach.
I change the subject and return to a rather crucial point for all artists. I refer to your post in which you mention:
"I know it may seem absurd to you, but believe me: the illustrations you find on Google don't draw themselves."
Why do you think this happens? Why do you think it is so easy to appropriate the work of others? Blame the web, the fault of the people… maybe it doesn't discuss enough about the value of digital work? That is, if you were a lawyer and I came to your office, I would never dream of taking away your document folder with your work. Does the fact that today much of our work is online authorizes people to think they can take it without worrying about who or what is behind it?
Simply because we have never been educated to understand the value of specific professions. For the collective conception, who is it that draws? The children. When I talk about my work as an illustrator, I realize that for many it is an absolutely new concept. If you think about it for a moment, the illustrator often works behind the scenes, she contributes to the realization of a project (editorial, record or advertising). But how many do you think are wondering who is behind that project?
People must be educated to understanding. You can't truly appreciate something if you can't understand the value of the work behind it.
Here, we should sensitize others to these specific issues.
I always ask illustrators what they can't do without while they work, because for example I can't do without music in my creative phase! What can never be missing in your room while you work?
What is never missing in the room when I work is certainly the notebook on which the ideas or insights that come to mind during the creative process.
Another element that I think is very important is the window that allows me to look outside and be inspired by the surrounding world.
My last question for you is the one I ask all artists, which is what do you wish for the future as an artist and as a person!
The greatest wish I can make myself (and it is the same one I address to anyone who does the same profession as me) is to be able to continue living on what I love.
I hope that illustration, writing and creativity can ALWAYS remain the pillars of my existence.
And if it is true that we are made of the same substance as dreams, then it is worthwhile to keep dreaming big!
Good life to everyone!
Thank you very much Alessandra for your availability!ツ
Thanks to you for your patience, a hug!