The Heroine’s Journey of Gaia Picorelli

What is the best thing that I love about my work? What I love about creating stories (being illustrations, comics, or short stories) is the birth of the idea. The feverish sensation of feeling this idea being born and evolving in the mind, connecting with the
farthest points in one’s head. Every time, it is a mental rebirth made of research and of slow construction, bring forth a sense of complete fulfilment.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? For me, happiness means to be able to be faithful to one’s goals, involving a sense of what’s beautiful, regardless of the size of these goals, of whether they involve everyday’s situations or beauty as a light emotion.

What is my greatest fear? My greatest fear is to shut myself down, becoming apathetic and indifferent, without any passion giving myself a goal, fulfilling me.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Of all the flaws I have, the worst are the haste I have and a certain mental rigidity, forcing me to plan and control everything all the time. An ever-present urge to reach given goals in a given period of time,
lest I feel frustrated and disheartened, paralyzed.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Undoubtedly, comic book artists Manuele Fior, Davide Rviati, Bastine Viès and illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti are a source of continuous inspiration for me.

What is my greatest extravagance? I’m not sure it’s an extravagance or just a sign of idiocy, but I love to have mental dialogues with imaginary characters: anxiety, silence, or even the dream world are figures with which I routinely entertain monologues in my mind.

On what occasion would I lie? I can only lie with difficulty, generally I would rather not say what I think with silence and keep an accommodating attitude. I generally lie when I do not want to create conflict or create displeasure for situations in which my opinion is not really worth much or that do not interest me at all.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Although I am pursuing the path to become an author since I was a child, I have a very conflictual relationship with my work. For good or bad, creative work is not something you can “turn off”, once you
have finished your working hours or projects. It’s like an obsession that reaches you whatever you do, everything becomes material and annotation. In addition, generally speaking, the harshest critics of creative people are ourselves. There is no right way to do what we do, but endless possibilities to do it. This generates frustration, a slight dissatisfaction and too often a tacit and fierce sense of competition.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? The biggest moment of joy, in each project, is to see the first printed copy at the printer. I have no children but it feels like having finally given birth after a long and not always easy labor.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d like to have more mental flexibility and improvisational skills.

What is my greatest achievement in work? The greatest success in my work is not only to take into account my self-imposed limits, but to make them my strong point. The best output, I think, are those that don’t come from having total freedom.

Where would I most like to live? In the future, I would like to stay in Italy. I am very attached to my country both for the language (fundamental for my creativity), and because I feel that my self coincides with my territory in many aspects and values. I would like to return to Bologna even if the coast and the sea have a strong appeal lately.

What is my most treasured possession? Anywhere I go, the first things I take with me are my books and my cat. I guess these are my treasures.

What is my most marked characteristic? Unfortunately, I’m really orderly and methodical. It’s a mental trait, before anything else.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? While my roots are in Italy, I’m not rooted in any specific city. In any case, the places that inspire me most are not connected to the city, but to the countryside, be it hilly or flat. The best ideas and the best
moments happen when I walk alone for a long time.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Generally, I adore osterias, I don’t like posh, too luxurious or too modern places, they feel soulless. An osteria is more authentic I like it best.

What books influenced my life and how? “Uno, nessuno, centomila” by L.Pirandello; “Heart of darkness” by J.Conrad; “Notes from Underground” di F.Dostoevskij and “Lettera ad un figlio mai nato” di O.Fallaci. They are listed in the chronological order of
the phases of my change that they have accompanied. They also helped me to understand aspects and thoughts of myself with the right words, making me feel understood and “in good company” in difficult moments.

Who are my favorite writers? J.Conrad, F.Dostoevskij, N.V. Gogol, J.R.R Tolkien.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I would like to hear the sound of the waves, I find that their sound nurtures thoughts.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I don’t have fictional heroes… The paradox of a cartoonist.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The first Rocky, absolutely. Hands down.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is a constant, willy-nilly, a lifestyle. Sometimes, I’d like to get away from it, as a kind of rebellion, or because I am tired. But in the end, the best moment are always accompanied or inspired from some art
masterpiece or another.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Maybe my parents. They didn’t compliment me too much and they called me a genius (actually, they have always been way too honest), but even when they supported me even when they disagreed with my
decisions.

Whom would I like to work with in 2018? Aiming high, I would say with the publishers Bao or Tunué.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? Igort Tuveri, I’m a big fan of his editorial projects.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? I’m currently working on a comic book in chapters. I hope to finish it by the end of the year.

Where can you see me or my work in 2018? On my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Est.Illustrator/

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I’m convinced that if someone has a passion, this never goes completely away. Perhaps, it might chance its
shape, or as anything else in life, have ups and downs. But a passion worth its name shapes you, so it can never die permanently.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
I think he should contact Bianca Bagnarelli; she is a artist and illustrator.

How can you contact me?
You can contact me on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Est.Illustrator/ or email gaiapicorelli@gmail.com

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