The Heroine’s Journey of Katya Santoro

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Portray Nature which I consider to be a manifestation of the divine. Through my work I manage to detach from anything that might worry me, so to me making floral art is a form of therapy that brings me physical and spiritual comfort.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? What makes me happy is knowing that those I love – family and friends – are well and are living a fulfilling serene life.
What is my greatest fear? Seeing more and more people these days are self-centred and heartless, and seeing the daily deterioration of natural environments.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? My selflessness. It often backfires.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I’m not sure if there is anyone in particular, but I sure do admire anyone who is committed to making the world a more beautiful place with their art.
What is my greatest extravagance? I don’t think I’m very extravagant, to be honest. Although, I guess, if I had to think of one extravagance it would be that I look after plants the way I would do pets. I like to pet them and stroke their leaves.
On what occasion would I lie? Lying isn’t really something I’m accustomed to. I would rather no speak on a certain subject, rather than lying. I wouldn’t want to be the one to hurt someone’s feelings by telling a harsh truth just as much as I don’t to lie.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Having to hear from people that being an artist isn’t an actual job. Sadly a lot of people still think so to this day.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Before I started making floral art, I used to work as a set and costume designer and so, for sure, the happiest moment in my career was when I had the honour and pleasure to work with Franco Zeffirelli, first in Bari then in Rome, on the sets of “Il Giovane Toscanini” starring C. Thomas Howell and Liz Taylor. It was a dream come true for me. And as a consequence of this, an equally
as happy moment in my career as a floral artist, was exhibiting a drawing dedicated to Zeffirelli in Florence, where he was born and raised.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I should probably put myself first more often because I know from experience that doing otherwise isn’t always beneficial.
What is my greatest achievement in work? Being able to reach everyone with my art, no matter the age or gender. I consider this a great success.
Where would I most like to live? Undoubtedly in my place of birth, the region of Puglia. I left there when I was a teen and even though I would come back to spend the holidays, I knew that’s where I would ultimately come back to. As a matter of fact, I sometimes dream of going back.
What is my most treasured possession? Surely my sons, my family. In terms of material possessions, I’d say my awesome pencils. I could give up everything, but not my lovely pencil.
What is my most marked characteristic? Patience. And I’m not talking about the kind of patience required to make my floral art, I’m talking about the patience I have in everyday life.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The town I’ve been living in for the past thirty years has never really inspired me as I don’t consider it familiar, in a way. Although if I had to name one in the area, it would be the coastline of Lake Garda. It offers suggestive and stimulating sceneries.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? There’s a fair amount of cosy places in town to go for a meal of some drinks. There’s this Southern traditional restaurant I love to go to called “Piovono Bombette”. Having a lunch or dinner there
takes me back to the time childhood in my home town in Puglia.
What books influenced my life and how? I was mostly brought up on fable so it’s safe to say that those tales really stuck with me a taught me a lot in their simplicity. And those are ultimately the reason why my passion for visual arts even sprouted in the first place.
Who are my favorite writers? Having work in theatres a lot, there’s quite a few writers that really clicked with me, namely Goldoni, as the father, if you will, of traditional Italian comedy, moving on to Achille Campainle, Umberto Eco, Gianni Rodari and Alessandro Baricco.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Without a doubt, music written and played by my oldest son. He’s a rock guitarist. Passing away
with his music in my ears would make it all feel lighter, less sad and a bit more, you know… rock!
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Good question… I’m thinking of Zorro, coming to the rescue on his majestic black horse always at the right time.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Most definitely firefighters and anyone who gives their everything to help those in need or in danger. Also anyone who strives for a better life and works hard to achieve their goals, no matter the hardships they have to face in life.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? I’ve seen a lot of great films and a lot of bad films. Some were easily forgettable, some were truly memorable. But if there’s one film that will always have a special place in my heart, that is “Toy
Story”. Not only because it reminds me of my sons’ childhood when I watch it, but also because the story that it portrays is rich, fantastically written and very emotional.
What role plays art in my life and work? The main role. It obviously is the centre of my work life but it also rubs off on my personal life too. I try to turn everything I do into a form of art whether it’s cooking, decorating the house, taking care of the garden and so on.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Most definitely my husband. He’s all three of them. It was him who fuels my passion for my work and it’s him who restored faith in myself. He came right at a hard, dark time of my life. A time when
I had lost all hopes and was so convinced I wasn’t going to make it again. He gave me the strength to pick myself up and give everything another chance.
Whom would I like to work with in 2019/2020? It would be interesting to work with the current most prominent floral artists. Perhaps on a big international collective exhibition of all our best work. And why not raise environmental awareness
and promote and celebrate respect for our beloved planet and its astonishing Nature.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2019/2020? I’d say, again, all the top floral and botanical artists of our time. There’s a lot of us and we’re quite
the passionate lot, so it sure would be very interesting to meet some of them.
What project, in 2019/2020, am I looking forward to work on? I’m thinking of putting together a personal exhibition in the near future. That’s something I’m really looking forward to.
Where can you see me or my work in 2019/2020? My work is accessible anywhere online from my personal website, to my facebook page, Instagram and Youtube. People can also use those to stay updated about every show or exhibit I attend.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Being an artist, growing old doesn’t numb the passion that drives my creative process. Passion is something that I know will always be there with me until the end of times. It’s what fuels my life and
gives it colour. I urge everyone to find their own.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? I have the honour of knowing so many great artists and creatives minds, namely: restorer Marina Bellanti, decorator Barbara Maldini, botanical artist Laura Fantini, painter Christina Grace
Mastrangelo and finally watercolour artist Bérangrère de la Madeleine.
How can you contact me? For business inquiries you can send me an email at katya.santoro@gmail.com. Otherwise you can send me a message on my facebook page Katya Santoro or on my Instagram account @katya_santoro

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