by Lia Tuia

In my opinion one can talk about inspiration in two different ways. We are constantly hit by a huge amount of images, but only a few manage to stick and grow in the background  of our mind. There is an inspiration given by the things that attract us instinctively, and that shape our aesthetic taste, like a filter through which we see the world. In my case they are cultural references and very precise formal solutions that I can summarize as follows: Medieval art, the Golden age of illustration, naif and folkloristic elements and 60s/70s illustrations.

This mix of our favorite elements, although fundamental to develop your own personal style, is only the tool to translate an idea into something you can admire on paper. Unless it is a commission, I rarely start from a real concept to make an illustration. In my case, the idea for a drawing is sudden and indefinite, and starts from an image that I see or from a song that I listen to. Sometimes I only realize its meaning later.

“Roots” is one of the last illustrations I made, and it’s a very personal piece. Not so long ago I lived in a big city, but I was very unsatisfied, so last year I came back to my small hometown. This is the first spring that I spend in my new home, and I’m taking my time to arrange my lovely garden. The tiring hours spent between plants and roots, removing weeds and planting seeds and bulbs, has made grow in me the need to draw all those intertwining stems, leaves and flowers that frame a girl almost to protect her. While working in the garden, there was a great sense of gratitude in me: I was taking care of something that I would see grow, because I had decided that I was finally fine where I was, and all those roots were just like they were mine too.

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