Daniela De Gregori has an impressive artistic trajectory, from her childhood in Naples, Italy, surrounded by brushes and learning from her artist father, to studying scenography at the Academy of Fine Arts and later owning a ceramics studio inspired by the art of ancient majolica pottery. In recent years, Daniela has been immersing herself in creating illustrations on paper with mixed media, pens, crayons and watercolours. Daniela loves drawing outdoors, observing people and bringing them to her illustrations in her characteristic style, almost like a fairy tale. We are pleased to welcome Daniela to our blog as one of our #PeopleofPaperblanks featured artists.
1. Which Paperblanks notebook are you currently using and which aspect of this style has attracted you most?
I follow you on social media and I fell in love with your brand. I have included many of your items in my wish list to continue drawing my ideas. Your book Aurelia was a gift from my children.
2. How did you start drawing?
I don’t even remember how I started; I think I was born with pencils in hand. My father is an artist, and he pushed me in this direction – he might have seen some gift in me, I don’t know, but I have two brothers who have never been involved in drawing. So, as a child I attended drawing courses, then the Academy of Fine Arts, but in the end, I think that the designer is a being who walks hand in hand with the individual.
3. Have you received formal training in the arts?
I went to art school and then to the Academy of Fine Arts, but I believe that only life can provide training. Everything is built with everyday life and personal growth; time helps the artistic path, it matures, it changes, and even art is transformed.
4. Has anyone or anything in particular inspired your creativity and artistic passion?
You might have noticed that I often draw ancient references. I believe that’s thanks to my father; he has devoted himself for many years to the restoration of frescoes and I was often with him. I saw him draw and decorate in the industry, so this was also part of my training.
5. Do you have a medium you prefer to work with?
I definitely prefer pens, pastels and watercolors, then scribbles do the rest.
6. Do you have a particular topic to which you are attracted?
The main topic is the vision of how I would like to see the world or how we would all look at it, with a smile, with authenticity. Here, I really hope that when someone looks at my illustrations, they will smile and feel happy.
7. The characters in your drawings are very intriguing! Can you tell us about them?
The characters are traditions and customs of my city. They are characters who tell the story of where I live, they are ancient traditions that have existed forever, like the sciòscio that goes around to entertain people on the streets with the power to take curses away. Other characters are the cats I love, and others are the ones I observe on the streets and then I draw.
8. Any advice you would like to share with aspiring artists?
I have no great advice to give because I’d need it for me first, but the only one I can give is always be yourself even in your drawings. And draw the good, the beautiful, the fun and cheerful, because there are already too many ugly events in the world.
9. Are you working on any new projects you would like to share with us?
I am working on two projects, which will surely take time. The first is an illustration book dedicated to the places where I live, and it is actually in the Paperblanks book that my children have given me. The second one is a sketchbook of the cities that I would like to visit, the travels of the imagination.
10. You are a featured artist at the Biennale del Tirreno. Can you describe the work you will be presenting?
I will present two works. One is not published yet; I will show it soon. The other one is already on display on social media. It’s a message of hope for the future, “Let’s support Humanity (2020).” The work represents a message of hope for the future, given the latest events that torment humanity, the desire to find positive change. Illustration is an interrelation between nature and the human being, the time that passes and the time to remedy, so that life does not stop
To learn more about Daniela’s work, you can find her on Instagram as @dania_degreg