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In the Studio with Rebecca Coltorti

Rebecca Coltori's work combines the more traditional techniques of drawing, painting and collage, with the digital; producing quirky odes to femininity. This month we sit with Rebecca to find out more about her muses, and the inspiration behind one of her latest works.

When did you first begin to see yourself as an artist? 
 
I have always been seen as the artist of the family since I was a child. I liked to draw, paint and in general create. Growing up I started drawing realistic pencil portraits and so people started to see a strong artistic vein in me. I think I started to see myself as an artist during that time, even if my creativity evolved into other forms later.
 
Where are you from and what was your upbringing like? How has this impacted your work?
 

I was born and raised in Spoleto, a small town of 40 thousand inhabitants in the heart of Italy, far away from the fashion capital, Milan. 

I actually don’t know how and if it affected me as there’s really nothing fashion related here.

Paint us a picture of your artistic journey. What inspired you to first pursue, and then continue to practice, artistic work? Was there a pivotal moment when you felt you were on the right track? 

During high school I started to dabble in pencil portraits, choosing mainly female models. At the same time, I continued my passion for graphic design. 

The approach to collage came when I realised that I had to find a way to mix all these techniques I really love and the Fashion world allowed me to express my aesthetic. 

An important moment in my path was when I had the opportunity to work with Sisley Italy – they contacted me and I didn’t even have a portfolio yet. I thought that if someone so big was interested in my work, I had to keep working in that direction.

What’s the message of your work? How would you describe your aesthetic? 

My artworks express my inner world and when I create, I try to transpose my vision through them. It’s like opening the door of my mind to the observer.

When I start an artwork I never know where I am going to end up, I simply follow the flow and see where it brings me. I like to be surprised by events and mistakes.

I would describe my aesthetic as bold, feminine and quirky.

Who/what are your greatest influences? 

Quentin Jones is my biggest inspiration. One day I came across her work and said: I want to do this.

Speaking of things, flowers and textures always give me great ideas.

An unexpected source of inspiration?

Faces. Sometimes I’m scrolling my Instagram feed and boom, I see a portrait and I immediately want to create with it. And I never see it coming.

Nude In the Jungle - @quentin_jones

Are your works planned? What do you want people to take from your work when they view it? Do you have the audience consciously in mind when you are creating?

My goal is always to surprise the observer’s eye, to let it enter into the artwork and therefore into my world.

Once a girl wrote to me: ‘I love your work. I have been following you for a long time and you have never stopped surprising me‘. For me it was the biggest compliment.

When I create I don’t ask myself whether people will appreciate the work or not because my focus is different: to create something that is better than the latest work and that satisfies me 100%. I am well aware that my followers love artworks where the subject is a portrait, but it is also my preference so things naturally overlap.

What events in your life have mobilised change in your practise/aesthetic? How has your art evolved? Do you experiment? Do you see any parameters to your work? 

I don’t think my aesthetic has ever changed, rather it is evolving with practice. My critical eye is evolving and so I am looking for more and more interesting visual results.

Obviously I experiment with new techniques, I like to include new influences in my work. But there are two constant parameters I care about: balance and a result that is never boring.

What are your ideal conditions or catalyst for creating a “good” piece of work?

When I have images that I love, the creative flow is much more natural. Then I just need some good music and my image archive.

Tell us about the inspiration behind one of your (consignment) works?

Cardiography is an artwork born from the desire to create something within the shape of a heart.

At the end of the work I realized that it perfectly describes my most hidden part. That’s why I gave that title, it’s like the visual result of the scan of my heart.

 

Cardiography by Rebecca Coltorti

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