graffiti | Interview with Sara Conti by Iva Kancheska 06/08/2012
Hello Sara Conti! Honestly, It's a real honor to make an interview with you! I'm pretty sure that your unique style inspire a lot of people out there. You seem to be very dedicated and passionate artist. Some people would probably say that you have a very simple way to express your emotions, your thoughts but in a mater of fact you designs are not so simple.
Seems like all designs you've made are like a message that tells a symbolic meaning, something that people should see, understand. Really Impressive! Let's start with the basics...
Q: What made you to become an artist?
First of all, thank you very much to let me express my thoughts on Skin Artists!
Iva, your first question is not so simple. Are we becoming artists or are we artists from the birth?
In my personal case, my father was a sculptor (even if it was not his main profession), so he showed me (and to my sisters too) a lot of Italian museums, archeological sites, etc. and I saw him work hard in his studio all his life long.
Anyway, from 15 to 21, I was the singer of a useless rock’ n roll band and really thought it would become my profession. My dream was to become the famous singer of a famous band! lol At the same time, I was studying at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Plastiques et Visuals in Mons (B) I always needed to find a way to express myself. But I’m really unable to tell you if I became or if I was an artist from the start.
Q: What was the most inspiring (thing or person) for you in the beginning?
A: I think: comics, music, death. I’m sure I forgot to mention important things, but I never think about it. I’m a very instinctive person when it comes to work. Things are in me and my inside mixer shakes it all to make his own soup.
Q: What kind of art interested you the most at the time?
A: My interest went to Mexican muralists, Giotto, tribal art and also the Baroque period… (if I remember well).
Q: Your art style seem to be pretty simple but eye-catching. How did you learn the drawing skills? Did you attend fine art school?
A: Yes, I attended fine art school. I never never never cared about the performance in drawing. I care about poetry. I have my own style, I express myself in a particular way because I’m a particular person. That’s it. I’m doing things on my own way. I use the computer vectorial drawing as an armor because I open my heart to the people.
Q: Do you remember your first creation?
A: Ahah yes, there’s a little story my parents used to tell me (so I don’t remember it myself).
When I was 6 or 7 month, they were always hearing a little whistling in the room, asking themselves from where it came from. Then they figured out that it was me, in my cradle. I was pursing my lips and whistled! You see, I was a bird before I had to turn into a human being.
Q: Looking at some of your artworks, tells me that you like to play a lot with color. Why? Is there any particular color mix you like the most?
A: I think I’m quite colorless than the traditional urban artists. I even made a whole year with only black and white pastes up. But I like color. I use max 4 or 5 colors in each paste up. Always very flat, without gradation or shades. I’m always experiencing new mixes. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
Q: Like I said before, your art style is very unique. How much does the character design help you to express your own personal stories? Why did you choose the character design as your main creative line?
A: In 1989, my mother took me with her to travel to Moscow and Leningrad (which is now St. Petersburg) in Russia. The matriochkas weren’t known at all, and I discovered those beautiful dolls up there. It is a very symbolic object to me. I associate it with the figure of the mother. So, years later, I constructed an imaginary universe inhabited by matriochkas, symbols of femininity.
They’re goddesses, a feminine presence in the streets, as Venuses of Willendorf of the XXIst Century. You know, I’m a woman so I simply use a woman character to express myself. And I use it, and will use it again, until I will have nothing more to say about what I feel about my life and the absurd world on which we’re living. It’s important to paste up feminine characters in the streets of this man’s world, don’t you think?
Q: Looking at your art world makes me feel like I'm part of the story. Tears, love, compassion all those emotions that actually describes the female nature. Actually, seems like you're inspired by the female personality. There is also a bit of a surreal note too. What would you say that your style gives a feminine note the most?
A: I don’t really know… maybe the choice of the paper cut instead of the spray… this gives a sense of lightness and poetry… Maybe the ephemeral lasting of my works (which remember us that we’re all mortal) I don’t know...
Q: Can you make a comparison between your art style and your personality?
A: Probably but it’s not very interesting.
Q: Can you tell us about the making process? Do you have a sketchbook?
A: Yes, most of the time, it starts with a little drawing on a sketchbook. Than I’m developing the idea with illustrator on my computer. Then the project is up to a print shop where they make big Xeroxes. Then I hand cut the print and put the color on it (hours and hours of work). When it’s all ready, I paste it up on urban walls. I always do my pasting's during the day to photograph the work. My work is ephemeral, so it’s very important to fix it. The photo is the memory of my work.
Q: Nowadays, there are a lot of art mediums that help people to express their creativity. How much street art could effect the society?
A: This is a question you should ask to art historians or sociologists. I have no easy answer but I hope that pasting in the streets makes art gets closer to everyday people. Street art is not only what you see, it’s taking the freedom to act. So I hope it encourages some people to get off the beaten tracks.
Q: Is there any red line?
A: I don’t really know. I’m not sure to get the meaning of the question. A redline in creation? In being a street artist?
Q: You also work on interior designs. Really amazing! Is that a great way to get even more inspired?
A: An interior exhibition is another way of working and it also means selling. I may show paper cuts, silk prints, drawings, aluminum printed, stickers. It may mean working on a chosen theme, making things that go together well, being coherent, going deeper on myself to take things out. It’s less instinctive than going in the street and paste up.
Q: Have you ever thought to work in team? Or you simply prefer to be an independent artist?
A: Honestly, I’ve never been part of any team, even when I was a young girl at school... And maybe I’m wrong because I see very good works from urban artists teams. A team means energy, encouraging each other, feeling more powerful. But it is not in my temperament. I’m helped by some very precious persons during my work process. For the cutting. Even for the pasting. I couldn’t make it alone. And I like to collaborate with other artists.
Q: Do you have any role models?
A: Madonna, Beth Ditto, Marianne Costa, Margherita Hack, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Iggy Pop, my friend Paola, my sisters Marzia & Ornella, my mother, and many many many many many more. Ah! And Susan Downey because she’s sleeping with Robert Downey Jr! lol
Q: Since your style is well-defined, have you ever thought to change it and start doing something different? Maybe working as a graphic designer etc?
A: It’s a lot of work getting a strong signature and the style is always in process. Working as a graphic designer? I think I’d be a disaster ahah
Q: Art could be a great influence on someone's personality. What is the best lesson that you've learned from your art journey?
A: Humility. Hard working. Finish what I started. Don’t count the hours of work. Patience.
Q: Being an artist is a real joy, right? What is your major excitement, challenge in this job?
A: Let’s be realistic: being an artist is not always a real joy. Sometimes, I wish I was someone less sensitive. But in my personal case, art helps me to accept myself a little bit more. And it’s also a big playground. The major excitement or challenge is not being boring to myself! So I’m always in search.
Q: Do you have any advice for
the beginners? Please feel free to share your feature plans about your work and
your work info(website).
A: None ahah… My friends never listen to my advices; so I suppose I’m not a example to follow lol
My website: www.saraconti.com