BohNoBeh!

Here is one of the many participants of the fourth edition of the Ratatà Festival, which takes place from the 20th to the 23rd of April. It’s a collective under the name BohNoBeh! We decided to ask them a few nosey questions to get you to know them. Enjoy!

Introduce yourself and your work.
‘BohNoBeh!’ is a container of all our ideas.
‘BohNoBeh!’ is the mood accompanying us to the desk for every new project, from the unsteady start, to the temporary disappointments and to the final satisfaction.
‘BohNoBeh!’ is a game.
Our names are Chiara Abastanotti, Erika Lerma, Francesca Bartalucci and Roberta Garzillo.

What is the distinctive trait of your artistic work?
We draw comics and illustrations. We create pins and prints. We love to leave a mark on what we do by seeking personal styles. This is why we prefer to work on anthologies each by herself, cooperating in the editing phase and sometimes collecting them in a series.

How do you get your ideas? What is your source of inspiration?
Our source of inspiration is often the nature surrounding us, some other times it’s what happens to us, and more often the stories told by the places.

Why did you decide to take part in the Ratatà festival?
Ratatà is a place where we hope we can share with other professionals and enthusiasts. We hope to learn and get inspired. We think that it is the right place to see interesting things and to promote our self-production.

Blanca: Martina Tonello&Noemi Vola

Here is one of the many participants of the fourth edition of the Ratatà Festival, which takes place from the 20th to the 23rd of April. It’s a collective under the name MaPerò. We decided to ask them a few nosey questions to get you to know them. Enjoy!

Introduce yourself and your work.
There are things that everyone considers wrong and inappropriate. We funded MaPerò because of this feeling of uprising towards the things you’re not supposed to say or do. For what concerns our name, the union of the two conjunctions “ma” and “però”, which both mean “but”, the Accademia della Crusca specifies: “For clarification we can say that the use of both conjunctions “ma però” together is not to be condemned, despite what grammatical traditions and school education affirm.” Dante Alighieri has also used the words “ma però”, and kids do too.

What is the distinctive trait of your artistic work?
In our work, we try to deal with issues that are important to us. We try to do that is a way that’s simple and fun. What we want to do while drawing is to have fun. We enjoy playing by finding new ways to tell a story. For instance, our first volume is composed of a case containing 32 illustrations of daily life objects transformed into other things – so forks become table vehicles, barbeques become clothes dryers.

How do you get your ideas? What is your source of inspiration?
Our work rises from the need to say what we think without having problems. These ideas don’t come from a desk, but they come when strolling down a street, walking the dog, cycling in Bologna.

We care about grammar accused of being incorrect, about things that are just the way they’ve always been, about umbrellas tired of being above our heads, about clouds that are supposed to be in the sky, about square roots that can’t be planted, about Gianni Rodari, Bruno Munari, Leo Lionni, Fischli e Weiss.

Why did you decide to take part in the Ratatà festival?
We like Ratatà festival because it’s the best festival of self-publishing in Italy, because when it rains outside it brings you a warm pasta, and because it has awesome exhibitions.

Interview: Alessandra Oricchio

Here is one of the many participants of the fourth edition of the Ratatà Festival, which takes place from the 20th to the 23rd of April. Her name is Alessandra Oricchio. We decided to ask her a few nosey questions to get you to know her. Enjoy!
Introduce yourself and your work.

My name is Alessandra Oricchio (aka Gas) and I don’t consider myself to be an illustrator. I’d rather call myself a careful observer. I collect moments of daily life, I listen to stories of strangers and stories of people that I’ve known forever, and I always do it with curiosity and a desire to learn. I let these stories lay down and then I give them back to whoever borrowed them to me or to whoever sees them, in the form of an illustration.

What if the distinctive trait of your artistic work?

The synthetic line is a constant with my works. However, I’m surprised every time people see an illustration and figure out that it’s mine. I wonder how do they manage.

How do you get your ideas? What is your source of inspiration?

I have ideas every time that I cross people and situations. In those moments, I feel like a sponge – I absorb. I think that life is my biggest source of inspiration. My being thankful to life determines my creations.

Why did you decide to take part in the Ratatà festival?

I decided to take part in the Ratatà festival to live and share with other people an experience that will leave a mark.

Interview: Elena Pagliani

Here is one of the many participants of the fourth edition of the Ratatà Festival, which takes place from the 20th to the 23rd of April. Her name is Elena Pagliani. We decided to ask her a few nosey questions to get you to know her. Enjoy!
1. WHO ARE YOU AND HOW DID YOU FIND RATATÀ FESTIVAL?

Hello, my name is Elena Pagliani and I am an illustrator and cartoonist working mainly in Bologna and Modena. I decided to come to Ratatà Festival because it seems lively and varied: there are not just the same old big names, but it ranges from illustration to silk-screen printing and animation, and it brings international artists to Italy, whom I wouldn’t have got to know by myself.
2. HOW DID YOU CREATE YOUR WORK?

I attended the course of Comics and Illustration at the Academy in Bologna and this helped me to create illustrations for professional fields such as that of the publishing industry.

In particular, my latest book Radiations was created as an improvised illustration, which first became a figure, then a sequence and then a 100-page comic book.
3. IF YOU COULD ONLY SAY ONE THING TO MAKE YOUR WORK UNIQUE AND RECOGNIZABLE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

I enjoy outdoing myself and try out new things, both concerning the most recent trends in illustration, and my personal life. Often, it happens that as soon as I finish a long work I start a completely different one, which gives me new impressions, new visual incentives, different techniques, etc.

4. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM THIS FESTIVAL? WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO YOUR COLLEAGUES?

Yes, absolutely, I’m sure it will be amazing. I can’t wait to check out the several artists that Ratatà has invited as guests (of course after setting up my Radiations exhibition, which will be pretty invasive ahah)

5. TELL US ABOUT YOUR FUTURE PROJECTS. WHAT WILL YOU DO AFTER THE RATATÀ FESTIVAL?

In the short term, I will participate in another comics festival in Milano, the AFA, and right after that a collective exhibition in Bologna within an illustration and street art festival.

Beyond that, I am focusing on research and studying. I am preparing a series of portraits focusing on freedom of techniques and composition.

6. IS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME AT THE RATATÀ FESTIVAL?

Yes, both as exhibitor and guest of the call for self-publishers.

7. DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTION FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO ENTER THE ARTS WORLD?

Speaking from experience, what strikes me about people doing arts nowadays is innovation. By this, I don’t mean contemporaneity or modernity – I’m talking about originality, exploration, blending with the many trends from abroad, without being afraid of not being unique or aesthetically flawless. So, I would suggest bravery and artistic honesty.

Interview: Serena Schinaia

I always only use black India ink, ruined brushes, toothbrushes, bamboo nibs, but also branches, stones, and whatever helps me smear the paper.

Serena Schinaia was born in Taranto, but now lives and works in Rome. She studied in Bologna, initially Aesthetic Philosophy and then Illustration and Languages of Comics. Her illustrations have been published in many Italian and international anthologies.
She works as a freelance illustrator in Rome, where she owns a graphic design studio called CO-CO.

During the fourth edition of the Ratatà festival, she will launch “Un pezzetto alla volta dentro un punto nero che finisce col diventare tutto quello che c’è”. We asked her to tell us more about her project:

“Un pezzetto alla volta dentro un punto nero che finisce col diventare tutto quello che c’è” is a project of artistic research. I wanted to experience the relation between my line, painted in black India ink with different tools (rollers, brushes, bamboo nibs or basic small brushes) and paper stripes of many sizes, usually printer or typographical waste. These experiments merge into one large sized paper installation, made of many hand-drawn elements.

Your style is characterised by strong contrasts, a sharp line and the use of black and white. Have you always been faithful to these choices or have you started with different experimentations? How come did you decide to embrace these features and avoid the use of colours?

When I started, I used to draw light thin lines, which were almost pale, and I used to use many colours (Cyclone, 2012). Sometimes, I used to get rid of the outlines, simply filling the colours with crayons. While working on my first comics, I happened to avoid the use of colours and thicken my line, to make it more expressive and vivid (Deriva/Drift, RamHotel, 2014). I think this turning point was quite spontaneous and, over time, it has become my stylistic hallmark, making me recognisable even when the overcolourings and the graphic lines were at their most popular in the world of the self-produced comics in Bologna. But I think that this visual approach is appropriate for the kind of stories I want to illustrate, with little text, no balloons, characters without a name and often even without a face. I like a synthetic narrative and black and white represent the best way to do that. More recently, I have started working on two-toned illustrations (Ceniza/Cenere, Ediciones Valientes, 2016) and grey backgrounds, which allow me to give depth to the pictures (Vicolo cieco, Crisma, 2017). Probably, I am looking for new patternings to tell new fierce stories.

Do you also organise performances?

Yes, I do. Some of the works included in the “Un pezzetto alla volta…” installation are created within a live performance, in which I paint on the spot basing on musical improvisation by Polisonum, a collective of artistic sound research with whom I work. They have a transformed my working table into a real musical instrument. It has sensors and microphones transforming my movements into sound. The result is like a map of sound patterns, sketching places and landscapes made of India ink.

Is there anything inspiring you, or helping you produce your work?

Literature, music, cinema, palm trees in the wind, neon signs in a metropolis, atmospheres.

How important is it for you to add the text to your works? Do you enjoy reading? Which are the books you are fond of the most?

The text is fundamental to me, and I also think that it is the most interesting part of my work. Both when I am writing down the stories and when I am setting up a sequence, I try to create a visual rhythm that accompanies the text without making it a caption. Even in my abstract works, I consider the writing part fundamental. I didn’t choose the title “Un pezzetto alla volta dentro un punto nero che finisce col diventare tutto quello che c’è” by chance: it’s a concept, it helps to understand what it is about and to make sense of the creative process and the idea behind it. I love the less known contemporary Italian authors Genna, Vasta, Schillaci, but also the classics such as Pavese, Parise, Tondelli, and more generally authors who lived controversial lives. I read American literature a lot, Foster Wallace, Franzen, Carver, and also Eastern European authors such as Agotha Kristof, who is probably my favourite.

In Serena’s biography, there’s this sentence: “I love music but I don’t disdain the silence.” We asked her about her relation with music – when is she with music and when does she prefer silence, and what helps her the most in creating her works.

Music accompanies most of my work, both because I listen to it a lot while drawing and because there are albums that help me become absorbed in the atmospheres I need in that particular moment, in order to think of a story or a character. Silence, paradoxically, helps me get the rhythm of a story the general course of a narration.

Are you working on any new project right now? What is it about?

Crisma #2 will be released soon. It is a comics anthology produced by Lab Aquattro (Rome) that includes Vicolo cieco, my latest comics short story. During the last few months, I have worked on an album. I will publish it in June, during an event organised by my studio in Rome, Co-Co, and dedicated to Just Indie Comics, a website that collects the most interesting international self-produced comics. Moreover, soon CBK Comics (C’est Bon Kultur), in Sweden, will release an anthology that also includes one of my stories. I am very happy about it because I would love to broaden out my work and publishing abroad is highly stimulating, cause it allows me to meet different authors than the ones I already know in Italy. At the same time, I wish that “Un pezzetto alla volta…” may continue to expand through new setups in larger and larger spaces. I would like to collect this year’s work in a structured project with expanded installation and sound parts.

The end of the interview concerns Ratatà and her previous experience.

I took part in last year’s Ratatà edition for the first time and I consider it to be one of the most important illustration festivals in Italy, both because of its international dimension and because it gathers the best works in the Italian self-produced industry. I honestly hope that it will become one of the main festivals for producers, self-producers, and for the growing number of enthusiasts.

Interview: Carlos Hebles

1. WHO ARE YOU AND HOW COME DID YOU PICK RATATÀ FESTIVAL?

Hello, everyone! My name is Carlos Hebles and I am a Spanish artist, cartoonist and illustrator.
I have started only recently to exhibit and sell my works in this typology of events, and, since I met a few people who went to Ratatà and told me about it, I decided to participate too. I was very impressed by the high-quality works by the artists of the Ratatà festival, so I decided to try too.

2. HOW DID YOU CREATE YOUR WORK?

To be honest, I have drawn since I was a child (just like everyone, I suppose) but I have never stopped, so I studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Granada.

Initially, I wanted to be a fully-fledged painter, but I got tired of that form of art and I found out that the comics and fanzine worlds were the best way to express myself.
3. IF YOU COULD ONLY SAY ONE THING TO MAKE YOUR WORK UNIQUE AND RECOGNIZABLE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

Never erase.
4. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM THIS FESTIVAL? WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO YOUR COLLEAGUES?

I expect to meet a lot of famous artists and a lot of people, have fun, drink something and maybe sell some of my works, thus making this experience just perfect.

Interview: BVG – Jacopo Riccardi

  1. WHO ARE YOU AND HOW COME DID YOU DECIDE TO EXHIBIT AT THE RATATÀ FESTIVAL?

We are a recently founded collective of students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and from the IED in Milan and our name is BVG. We are Agnese, Alessio, wiktor maciej odron, Davide, Fagiani, Grillo, Pigna e Disordine. We decide to exhibit at Ratatà Festival because some of us visited it last year and we thought that it would be a good starting point to get ourselves known.

 

  1. HOW DID YOUR WORK START?

Some of us were already friends, while others met each other at the Academy. After getting to know each other’s style, we decided to start working together.

 

  1. HOW DO YOU WORK TO YOUR PROJECTS?

We are still at the beginning so we find it quite difficult to answer to this question! We go from comics to illustration, from painting to animation; each of us works very differently form the other.

 

  1. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM RATATÀ? WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO YOUR “COLLEAGUES”?

We expect an opportunity to grow as a group as individuals in this kind of environment. Those amongst us who have already been here as visitors are already aware of the wide range of events in program and the advantaged offered to whoever would like to get inside the self-produced industry, so we would definitely recommend it to our “colleagues” and friends.

Interview: Paulina Tkacz

We already know her, but we were so curious that we felt the need to ask her some more question. We are talking about Paulina Tkacz. Her work will be exhibited at BAR FIRENZE from Thursday 20th April to Sunday 23rd April.

 

Let’s talk about you! Who are you? What do you do? What are your interests?

I am from Poland and I am a graphic artist professionally bounded to the Ecomuseo Villa Ficana in Macerata in which I work on the visual communication of the museum. My passion is travelling and getting to know other cultures. For almost three years I’ve been living in Italy and I found a great pleasure in discovering the wealth of Italian culture. Before that I’ve lived in Germany for more than a year. Both of those experiences shaped my view on many aspects of life.

When you decided to be an illustrator?

There wasn’t actually a moment of decision. The way in which I express myself in this moment of my life stems from a collection of events and a previous experiences.

Let’s talk about your art. What are the themes that fascinate you? 

Since a long time the underwater world is the theme which interests me the most. I draw fish and the sea creatures which are not a true representation of nature.

What technique do you prefer above all? 

I use inkers to draw a fantastic aquatic world. The academic course of applied graphic and especially drypoint had a great influence in choosing this kind of technique. I don’t practice anymore applied graphic but the echo of this experience is still present.

Is there a meaning behind those sea creatures? 

The drawings are not created to illustrate any particular story or a book. I do create them just for my pleasure as a kind of meditation and a moment of reflection. What I illustrate through them is my mood and my emotions.

However it is not the same regarding my posters. The graphic design requires a different attitude. A design has to be an answer for a particular need/problem and it has to has to provide a solution.
During my studies at Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź (Poland) I was trying to find a meeting point for those two different fields. This topic is still fascinating me.

This year you’re gonna be one of the exhibitors of the Ratatà Festival. Are you happy to take parte in this event?

It was always inspiring to watch every year many interesting works presented on RATATÀ. I am really happy to be able to take part of the Festival this year.

Give us some spoilers (but not too much) about your exhibition! What are you gonna show us?

I am going to show a collection of posters: created for different purposes. Those are designs created to provide a visual communication of text combined with illustration. These are my alternative propositions for the language of advertisement. The important values for me in my design are colour and composition.
The other part of exhibition is made up of my illustrations of the fantastic sea creatures created with the usage of black ink on paper. It is a kind of preview of a not realistic word, sometimes funny but sometimes also worrifing.

 

 

PAULINA TKACZ THROUGH THE WEB

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