During the month of October we are celebrating Halloween on the blog by featuring dark, fantastical, or downright creepy Redbubble artists. You can check out last year’s Featured Fearsome Artists by clicking here.
This week, I spoke with Italian artist lOll3. Her illustrations traverse a fine line between charming and creepy and possessed. She has an interest in drawing witches and their magical capabilities to interpret the world in different ways. Part teen girl witch nightmare, part undead zombie, lOll3’s illustrations are a weird and wonderful force of their own.
What got you into the iconography of young witches? I especially love “Magical ϟ Autumn” – the crystals, feathers, campfire, and recipe book for witches – what is it about this aesthetic you so enjoy?
Since I was a child I’ve always been fascinated by witches stories. The witch figure is something in which I have always recognized myself. Also, whenever in movies or books witches were represented in a negative way, as evil and wicked, I always felt a sympathy for them. I also always loved the relationship that bonds nature and magic. I like to see magic in anywhere and mine is a magic world populated with marvelous critters and art is the means with which I share my ‘world’ with others.
Have you ever practiced withcraft as a religion?
I think that if we are considering the witch figure as the traditional common vision of it, I can answer that no, I’m not a witch. I don’t follow any specific rituals or “magical” practice. And I don’t consider Witchcraft as a religion, or better, my perception of witches and Witchcraft is different from the common vision of them. My witches are creatures able to see the unusual and the bizarre in life, are able to catch the surreal side of the reality, and I think that this power to find the enchanting aspect of life is a sort of magical power, I think I have this power, so I consider myself as a sort of witch!
"I’ve always been criticized from people and this made me suffer for years, till I discovered that there is nothing wrong in feeling different from the others and I decided to turn my differences in something positive, and I was able to generate art!"
I like the way you seem to use very femme colors and palettes to create powerful, amazing portraits of women being cool and boss. Do you see your artworks as feminist, or supportive of interesting independent feminine characters?
Oh well, this is an unusual vision of my art, I never considered this aspect of my artwork. But I really appreciate when people are able to see “hidden messages” in my artworks. Maybe these perspectives are the result of my subconscious. I never considered myself as a feminist, but I have a clear vision of the woman that is really far from social stereotypes.
My babes are warriors, rebels, brave, and independent, they don’t follow mass fashions, and they are not influenced from other people’s mindsets.
I think this describes something about me. I grew up in a small city, with closed-minded people, and this has been a great obstacle for me, because I always felt different from the masses. My parents were crafters and they always encouraged me to develop my own fantasy, and for my personal identity to always be original. And for my strong personality (that I always expressed with bizarre clothing and an eccentric style) I’ve always been criticized from people and this made me suffer for years, till I discovered that there is nothing wrong in feeling different from the others and I decided to turn my differences in something positive, and I was able to generate art!
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Who or what has been your biggest artistic influence?
I’m a really curious person, and I’m always careful about what surrounds me. I try to take every experience and to turn it into ideas for my artworks. I draw inspiration from movies, books, people, fashion, pop culture, and most of all from the work of my favorite artists.
What materials do you use to create your artworks? Do you start off by hand drawing your artworks?
I mostly prefer traditional art. So a big part of my artworks are hand-painted. I usually use watercolors and water-soluble markers, acrylic paint, and watercolor pencils. At the moment, I’m going through a black and white phase so I’m using a black water-soluble marker, chiaroscuro pencil, and white markers and pens.
I also love handicraft, and experiment with creating handmade critters, like my bat plushies, and when I’m making them I mostly use felt fabric, faux fur, plastic gems and beads.
What’s been your biggest creative learning curve?
Since I can remember I’ve always drawn, then my parents have an artistic streak, so they always encouraged me towards drawing, art, and creativity and this pushed me to follow my art inclination. So after high school I attended an art institute, where I learned the drawing basis, representation techniques, art history, and where I improved my skills. Anyway, you never stop learning, so I always experiment with new techniques, and new art styles trying to improve myself more and more.
What are you doing to celebrate to Halloween?
Well, Halloween is not a traditional festivity here in Italy, so, only since a few years people started celebrating it. Here Halloween precedes All Saints Day and Day of the Dead, usually in those days people go in the cemetery visiting their deceased loved ones, and this always brought me a lot of melancholy and sadness.
Instead, like in Tim Burton movies, I always saw the funniest side of this festivity, and a different way to remember the ones that are not here anymore, without melancholy or sadness; a way to celebrate life through death.
I always loved the Halloween imagery, that funny vision of monsters, weird critters, and death. This always influenced my life and my vision of things. So, when I was teen, having the good fortune to live in a really scary house, me and my sister decided to organize a Halloween dinner. Now, (even if I moved in another house) every year, on October 31, me and my sister invite our friends for the annual Halloween dinner in our parents’ haunted mansion. We decorate the house with bats, spiders, spooky things (there is no need for many decorations, ’cause the house is scary in itself), we prepare creepy dishes, and have fun in this spooky way!
Before Halloween I usually make a horror movies marathon with all my favorite Halloween movies. And on Halloween morning me and my sister watch Hocus Pocus while decorating the pumpkins! This is a tradition!