I have always been drawing, since I was a little girl. My father used to paint and so did my mother and my sister… Even at high school—although it wasn’t an arts high school—I continued to draw, it was all I did, I didn’t know where I should go, I only knew that I liked it and that I drew. So, I decided to enter the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, but that was not my scene, it was not very pragmatic. I wanted technical solutions, I needed to debate, I dreamt of working in a studio, therefore I entered the International School of Comics in Reggio Emilia, where professional illustrators taught me practical lessons which satisfied my needs.
Once I completed my studies, for a couple of years I tried to work in the art industry, I believed in it, but I am not very sociable when I meet people I don’t know and I had too much trouble establishing relationships, so, although I had never stopped drawing, not even for a single day, I stopped looking for a job in the art world. In my ideal world I draw, I show what I have done and then I disappear in the shadow and keep drawing. I have continued to do only the things I felt like doing, such as ILLUSTRATI, or odd jobs, and out of necessity I started working in retail, maybe to fight against my introverted character because in a shop you have to be sociable if you want to sell. But I only accepted part-time jobs, in order to have the time to do my own stuff, and when I tried to work full time for six months I burnt out, dropped everything and decided to try once again. This made me rich in emotions and personal improvements, nevertheless my pockets are still empty, but for the moment I don’t care.
S’alza il vento (The Wind Rises) is strongly connected with this turning point, with my reflections about changing my life, but I have much trouble talking about it, because it is something very personal. For me this is a tiny little window open to my heart and every time I think about it I always wonder how I managed to open up myself so much, but it was beautiful also for this reason. It involved telling about myself, telling about the part of me I don’t feel comfortable talking about. It’s there, I am there, on the paper and I have nothing left to say. My drawings always start from an emotion, a sensation. I find myself in a peculiar frame of mind, and I start drawing, also because when I have nothing else to do, that is the only thing I usually do, and so it happens that my emotions and thoughts directly come out on the sheet of paper. And when I am done, I find myself in it. It’s like keeping a diary, like writing to feel better. S’alza il vento is a diary, and maybe it is also for this reason that I have trouble talking about it, but not showing it because, on the contrary, this makes me feel very good. I like the idea of somebody seeing it because it feels like I have disclosed a secret. I’ve got the feeling I am sharing something which belongs to me that nevertheless can be read only through images. I make friends like cats do, without saying a word.
Then, when I was showing you S’alza il vento, you asked me whether I knew Maria Sibylla Merian; I didn’t really know who she was, but when I saw the first image I was overwhelmed! Her illustrations are amazing, they are so soft… I started to read up on her, and when I read the first sentence of an online article which described her as neither beautiful nor nice, I immediately saw this tiny little girl with her contorted, twisted mouth, who thought about drawing flowers, caterpillars and butterflies all the time… She was a truly spiritual person, and saw nature as a demonstration of God’s existence, but she didn’t let anyone or anything impede her, not even religion. She was a free woman! A woman who knew what she wanted since she was a little girl and who didn’t care about what other people thought. Furthermore, nature, insects are fascinating! The magic of seeing in detail these little creatures that are so strange that they seem to be made up and yet there are thousands of them all around us…
I also think I am free, but I don’t really feel like that, I’ve got the feeling I am somehow a victim of the system. Sometimes I realize there are conditional mechanisms inside me, I fight against them but they are still there, stupid stuff, such as the appearance I feel I should have… hair removal and the obligation to put on at least a little make up. Every now and then I think about it and feel I am not completely free and I find it a bit annoying, but these are not basic things about which I feel compelled to take action. But I made a promise to myself, that I have been keeping for years: anything I happen to do, be it a part-time job or a job I like, anything in my life, I need to feel at ease. This is the promise I made to myself.