London-based illustrator Lucia Emanuela Curzi discusses today's image of the day ...
Computer Arts: How did you get into illustration?
Lucia Emanuela Curzi: Ever since I was a kid, I always had a talent for drawing. I got a BA in media design, specialising in filmmaking, in Milan, where I worked full-time as researcher and film editor at a really interesting advertising production company. After four amazing years, I felt like I needed to focus on my own artistic path, so I moved to London. I needed to find my own language. I developed a style recognised for its heavy, black ink strokes, contrasted with thin ones. I consider the use of colour the main aspect of my visual language.
CA: How do you put an image together?
LEC: I do a lot of research until I've assembled a sort of inspirational collage. Then I start to sketch by pencil: it's all about finding the right lines. Colouring is the last and fastest step in the process, although the most important one. Part of it's meticulously planned while another part is devoted to my instincts and sometimes to accidents. I do use pens, ink, pastels and watercolours, applying my own particular technique and research of colours that I've developed over the years. I use colour splatters to add focal points. Some of my artwork is lightly retouched in Photoshop. Just a few tweaks. Others are totally recomposed in Photoshop. I draw in large scale and then resize all the elements, playing around to find the best composition.
CA: Is their one theme or thread that ties your work together?
LEC: Part of my personal work is focused on the concept of beauty and iconic ideas represented by contemporary fashion media. Few lines and strong colours in a white space is a way to depict fragile figures of girls lost in an absence of space. On the other hand, I tried to place these figures in a new universe, adapting different inspirations to the point of creating a dream-like scenarios composed of natural and surrealistic elements.
CA: Describe your average day ...
LEC: I don't love routine, so I like every day be different. When I'm working on a commission, I design from the morning until late without taking any breaks. Otherwise first thing in the morning I check my email, research new images and read my favourite mags online. Then I start working on my personal projects or developing new ideas. I have a lot of things going on: from animation projects to managing my own T-shirts and scarves label Lu'. I like cycling around the Regent's Canal and enjoy local pubs. In the evening, I watch a lot of films. Cinema is my main passion. I watch two films everyday, if I'm not going out to an exhibition opening or having dinner with friends.