Name: Pia Ravenari or just ‘Ravenari’
Country: Western Australia
Places Travelled & Place lived: Oh, I’m entirely boring, I’ve only ever lived in Western Australia and visited the Eastern States of Australia. Plan on changing this though!
Loves: I’m currently re-reading (and re-loving!) Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves and Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. As for artists, goodness, so many. I follow the work of hundreds of artists. At the top of my list at the moment are Ryohei Hase, Jennifer Perry, Marc Civitarese, Carne Griffiths, Michael Shapcott, Himmapaan, May Ann Licudune (Mall), Ciaran Duffy and Aaron Paquette. I love all kinds of music, contemporary classical like Ludovico Einaudi, to dubstep and downtempo, all the way to pure pop culture like Lady Gaga.
Teachers/Education: I have a BA in Communications and am currently pursuing a Masters in Communication.
Occupation: I work as a professional artist, and I’m also a student.
What would one find in the pages of your Paperblanks journal?
A real hodge-podge of material; sketches in pen and ink, collages and pasted in bits of what I want to remember in life, like ticket stubs, poetry, book outlines, character work ups, university material, long and rambling personal journal entries, pros/cons lists for major life decisions, recipes, tarot reading results!
Do you have any personal philosophies you’ve come to develop about writing, art, creation or culture?
Since I’m frequently ill, I try and pursue a gentle life philosophy that enables me to rest adequately so I am always in the best possible position in terms of energy and health. I used to be someone who ran myself into the ground; I come from a family of workaholics and I slip back into it easily and can get very sick, very quickly. So my personal philosophy is to approach the world like a snail does; slowly, with a sense of myself as being interconnected with my greater environment, with as much grace as possible.
Do you have any specific themes that you continually refer back to in your work?
In my art, animals are probably the most specific theme; and the bulk of my illustrations have been of animal totems for those people who have a special or meaningful connection with the animal in question. But no matter what style of art I go to – whether it’s steampunk, or the illustration of symbolic pieces like the Wandsuna series to express trauma and the recovery from abuse – animals are always there acting as symbols, archetypes, totems, or simply because they came into the illustration and demanded to stay. I explore themes relating to interconnectedness with nature, primal and animistic spiritualities, as well as themes relating to my connection to local places; so Western Australian animals and plants will often feature.
No matter what type of creative art you make, what or who first inspired you to make it an essential part of your life?
I think it’s more of a ‘what’ than a ‘who’ for me. I have been compulsively writing and drawing since I was a child. I think, back then, it was a way for me to get my intense feelings out of myself, because I didn’t find it easy to share my emotions with others; I still don’t! And it’s okay, because I can then bring my visions of the world to people in colours and words and symbols, and that’s an amazing gift.
How did you find Paperblanks?
I was at a local newsagents, in a suburb on the edge of what feels like civilization sometimes, and there happened to be a fully stocked Paperblanks stand there. I was captivated. My first two were a Crystal Flower midi that I use for poetry, and an Evangelii ultra. I went home, googled it and found an online store in the Eastern States that stocked the full range and ordered too many (not enough!) I have two midis and five ultras now.
What sets Paperblanks apart from other journals you’ve used?
The paper really does take ink in a lovely way, it begs for you to keep writing or sketching, and I like that connection between my hand and the page; I feel the same way about a really high grade of illustration board or pastel paper – the medium wants you to work with it, and this keeps the work flowing. I also love the diversity in designs and sizes; and particularly love the different cultures and places that many of the designs come from! I love the feeling that I am holding something well-wrought and well-crafted which I feel inspires well-crafted words and sketches. As an artist that uses a lot of symbolic motifs and repetitive designs, the lovely patterned designs in particular really appeal to me.
Do you have a favorite Paperblanks design?
The recent Silver Filigree series. I have an ultra in blush pink and I love it. The Evangelii Ultra is also equal second and everyone comments on it.
Do you have any advice for other creative people?
Honour and respect yourself. Make time for your crafts; whatever they are, whatever your skillset, whatever your responsibilities, find the time to honour and enjoy your craft. I really believe that through the respect, confidence and time you give your crafts, others will be drawn to this and come to respect and give your crafts the time that they deserve. Remember to take time to collect experiences from a wide range of people and places, these feed the soul, and let faceted dimensions of life, love and energy enter all of your endeavours.
Our Artist Series features snapshots of the creative people who use our journals. From all parts of the world, and all walks of life, we celebrate the infinite number of ways in which creativity can be expressed. If you would like to have your story featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org.