Interview for Constructed By
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Claudio Tosi, I live and work in Bologna, Italy. I’m a digital artist. I worked for several years with architectural and design studies, then I had the opportunity to professionally develop my passion for manual and digital drawing, and since then I deal with illustrations, graphics displays, digital art works and portraits . Today I have a shop in Italy (Mondadori Point – Bologna) and an online site, www.mirrorwalkers.it, through which I expose and sell my works, I accept works by order of private citizens and businesses.
How would you define your artistic style?
I consider my works a mixture of urban style and contemporary art, a meeting between traditional design and development of the digital pictorial art.
What is your favorite medium and why?
I use pencils, pens, a Wacom tablet and Photoshop. The aim is to make the traditional stroke and the main sketch emerge, it’s important that colouring and digital textures find a harmony with the image produced without being prevailing. I like when it’s appreciated the detail of the fast stroke and sketch that gives the final work a special and original warmth, focusing on the main elements and dispersing in the background or in a portrait profile. It’s what happens when we are struck by a particular detail of a face or an image, we focus on it and the peripheral vision is partly forgotten and removed.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I really love old pictures, vintage photography and rock music. They have a clear influence on my works, they are all elements that are recalled through the drawing vivid stroke and the colour.
What is your creative process?
Music first of all. I wear headphones, I try to visualize a story and mentally stop the final image that I would like to obtain. I start with a pencil or pen sketch creating the main image, I transfer the work on Photoshop and through the graphic tablet I finish the details. Then I attend to colour, regulation of tones and secondary textures.
Is there a specific theme/message/emotion you aim to evoke?
It depends on the kind of work that I have to create, I don’t have recurring themes or messages. My work is often focused on the human figure. I focus a lot on the person’s history, on the look and the expressiveness of the eyes trying to capture that particular emotion or expression that the person conveys to me in that single fragment. If you have the feeling of being watched by the figure or emotionally captured in the scene, I’ve obtained the result I expected.
What motivates you to continue to create?
The fact that drawing relaxes me and what I create makes me feel good are sufficient reasons. Our creativity is constantly changing, it’s right to comply with it, to continue developing and testing. I never discard the hypothesis that technique and creativity are evolving and can at any moment take new unexpected directions.
When you encounter creative blocks, what do you do to overcome them?
My opinion is that “creative blocks” doesn’t exist. Sure, there may be periods or phases in which we are tired or simply not much inclined, and mentally we raise barriers that stop our creativity from emerging. Creativity doesn’t fade, for me it has to be cultivated and encouraged, I purposely avoid long pauses between a work and another one, I don’t like to be stuck.
What are your thoughts on the future of art?
In my opinion, and with reference to the country where I live, Italy, is that we are in a transition phase, contemporary art and in particular digital art needs greater visibility and credibility. We have many artists who deserve attention, they should be valued and encouraged by keeping them far from smoke and mirrors systems and marketing. It’s absurd for an emerging artist to be asked excessive amounts with the purpose of filling a niche within a gallery, or be placed inside books apparently important but clearly filled only by those who pay out lots of money, they have no value and are a waste of time. There is no respect and control, it is a real economic exploiting. Partly different is what happens abroad, there are more opportunities, I think it hasn’t happened by accident that some foreign magazines have been the first to publish some of my works, there is more attention and understanding.
There is also a mass still tied to tradition and in contrast to the new artistic movements that show on the contrary a remarkable will to evolve. The information and the message that new technologies can also be used as an artistic tool has not been metabolized yet. But through my own work I see that there is so much attention and will of understanding, the phase in which the inexpert people suspected that the human hand was replaced by mere technology is nearly ended. About a year ago I was invited to events concerning digital art, the aim was to create live digital works. For many it was enough to observe the creation of a work of mine to understand the meaning, the difficulty and the value of a digital work, without the need to illustrate the process. My hope is that digital art comes out from its niche even in Italy, and is considered for all intents and purposes a real artistic movement.
What is something you have had to learn on your own that you would like to pass on to the next Creative?
Avoiding to be taken on a leash from judgment and comparison: if you make comparisons, you are simply repeating something that already exists or simulating the style of another artist. Let your style to emerge. Observe continuously and try, let yourselves be captured by the details of an image, a scene of everyday life. Creativity is rebellious, comply with it.