Giving Your Right Brain a Regular Workout

Featured Artist: The Ghostly Work of Gianna Meola

"I love little details and I love leaving hints in my drawings, it makes it sort of interactive…”

Gianna Meola by Haley Caldwell

Illustrator Giannameola has a hauntingly beautiful style. Her ghostly line drawings coupled with her delicate palette of pinks and purples make for gorgeous illustration. Gianna took a few moments to speak to me about her attention to detail in drawings and the way her love of music motivates her to create art. If Gianna’s mesmerising use of light and shadow leaves you intrigued you can find her artworks available across a wide range of our products.

Do you hand draw your work first? What’s the most time consuming part of making your artwork? 

All of this is sort of dependent on the piece, but the most time consuming part is usually the idea and the initial sketch phase— it can also be a little disheartening because this is where I mess up the most, so I tend to take more breaks during that time too. I almost always do an underdrawing unless it’s a sketch or something. But sometimes it’s by hand and other times — especially if it’s a comic or there’s a lot of straight lines involved — it’s digitally and I use a light table to trace over it. Generally speaking, I freehand a lot of little details and pretty much all plants with ink though.

I especially love the work “Premium Natural 2,” how did this work come about? 

This was a pretty self-indulgent piece! It was drawn for the cover of a mix tape I made for a friend and it was a combination of things I really felt like drawing at the time: arctic lupine, hands, ripped stockings, and boots. I’m glad you like it, I had loads of fun drawing it and I think people can tell.

"Premium Natural 2" Tote Bag by Gianna Meola

I see a lot of comic book influence in your work, how does narrative play into your style? 

I’ve heard that my art reminds people of comics quite a lot and while it’s not really an intentional choice I’ve been reading comics my whole life so it definitely must have rubbed off. I’m starting to get more and more into drawing comics as well, and I take a lot of inspiration from Franco-Belgian comic artists like Moebius, for instance. I try not to worry about style too much but I think one just comes naturally to me, I mean even my choice of pen I think influences that.

Who has inspired your work? 

It’s hard to say wether or not they influenced my art, but aside from Moebius, who I already mentioned, I’m a big fan of Vanya Zouravliov, Jae Liu Wubao, Sachin Teng, and Paul Madonna. Music has been really important to me too, probably even more than other artists because nothing is better than a good album to motivate me to draw. I’m also a big fan of manga and animation, especially shorts like Genius Party, and of course, Studio Ghibli films.

"Boat House" Throw Pillow by Gianna Meola

I love in your work “Boat House” featuring an empty architectural space. What do these types of images of mean to you?

I like the idea of quiet or haunted places, and I think that shows. With “Boat House” I was trying to convey a sense of loneliness, y’know, a house on stilts in the middle of nothing with the lights all on. One of the reasons why I like to do art like this is because I love little details and I love leaving hints in my drawings, it makes it sort of interactive, almost, and a lot of fun to ink and color.

"bum summer" iPhone 6 Case by giannameola

Do you see your work as feminist?

To be honest, I don’t really set out to create art that is feminist per se but I certainly don’t mind the title. I just enjoy drawing girls, and as a female myself, representing women comes easy for me. Also girl clothes are super cool!

Lastly, what three art materials would you take if you were stranded on a desert island?

Oh man, this is a hard question but I’d probably bring mechanical pencils, a ruler, and Bristol board or 005 size pens.

Discuss Giannameola’s artworks in the comments below and be sure to pick up products featuring her artwork over at her shop.

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