Name: Francesca Longo
City/Town: Piedimonte San Germano
Places: I’ve always lived here and I’ve not travelled much. I’ve been to Rome and Naples, but I’m going to visit Poland and then Venice. However, I do hope to travel more in the future. I would especially like to visit London, Paris and New York.
Teachers/Education: I’m studying art in high school in my town. I’ll graduate in June and then I would like to continue studying art at an Academy of Fine Arts in a larger city.
Occupation: I’m a student, but in my free time I make portraits and other little works of illustration on commission.
Loves: I especially love drawing (I’ve been drawing since I was a child). I also love cats, chocolate (I eat it every day!) and books, especially English literature. Finally, I love my school, my friends and sunny days.
Creative Works: This is my Facebook page. I share all my artwork here.
Quote: “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso
What would one find in the pages of your Paperblanks journal?
The pages of my Paperblanks show everything that is in my mind through images and text. It’s a creative diary: you can find my thoughts, my feelings, emotions, quotes and important memories that I don’t want to forget. Moreover, there are drawings that accompany the texts, sketches about the work I intend to paint and collages of images that I like.
Do you have any personal philosophies you’ve come to develop about writing, art, creation or culture?
I think that everything that comes out from our hearts and expresses our feelings is art. Writing, drawing, music, etc. are just different ways of expressing art. Art isn’t just a painted canvas, it is the emotions mixed between the colors; it isn’t just a story, it is the feelings hidden between the lines; it isn’t just a song, it is the emotions hidden behind the notes of a melody. Art is in everything, and the artist is the one who opens his heart to the world and, with his skills, manages to share his feelings with everyone. The artist is the one who wants to capture his life in a book, on a canvas, in a song; to leave an indelible mark that will remain forever.
Do you have any specific themes you refer to frequently?
My themes are often born from the imagination. People always tell me that I live with my head in the clouds, in a world of my own, and in fact I love fantasy and the imaginary world of magic. So I like to represent fantastic creatures like fairies, witches, mermaids, fantastic animals (especially phoenixes). I also love the sky and stars, and they are frequently featured among my writings and drawings: they represent hope, dreams, wishes and the infinite. I’m a dreamer, so my favorite themes are those that relate to fantasy and to magic.
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 that art has always been part of me. Art has always been such a part of me that I don’t remember when I started drawing. The earliest memories I have as a child are of me with colors and paper in hand. I grew up in the countryside in the company of other children of my age, playing outdoors, inventing worlds and stories in which we were the protagonists, not playing with dolls and video-games, and I think it was this that developed my imagination. At every birthday I haven’t received toys, but boxes of crayons. I liked to draw comics, clothes and magical creatures. When I was fourteen, I had the chance to choose the art school where I am currently studying, but I had to rely on my own strength and fight to go there, because no one encouraged me. “We don’t live with dreams,” they all said. But I kept believing in my dreams and I went ahead alone. Today I can say that it was myself, the only person who inspired me to make art part of my life, and now art is all my life.
How did you find Paperblanks?
I was in Rome, to visit a museum with my school. We had a few minutes to spare before taking the train and I ran into the library. I was looking for a cute diary for my sketches and my thoughts; I wanted something different… artistic! And I saw the Paperblanks display. It was love at first sight! There were so many, and they were so beautiful, that I lost track of time just looking at them and I wasn’t able to pick one to buy! Back home, I spent full days on the internet in search of them and in the end I ordered two diaries. But I already know that I’ll buy many more… they are all wonderful!
What sets Paperblanks apart from other journals you’ve used?
Certainly their design. They aren’t just journals, but true artworks and because of this they give greater inspiration. They make me want to take them and create something equally magnificent on their paper.
Do you have a favourite Paperblanks design?
I love all Paperblanks and it’s hard to pick a favorite. Each design is different, each one better than the other. Among all, I think I prefer those inspired by artists and writers.
Do you have any advice for other creative people?
Always believe in yourself, in your dreams. Never give up, don’t stop at the first hitch. Find your way and follow it to the end. Use your art to show everyone who you are, and make your passion your strength. No one can destroy your dreams, they are your life. So, live!