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Sara is a 21 year old artist from Italy with a passion for mythology, witches, and pirates, as well as polymer clay. Whenever she creates one of her daringly cute designs she throws herself into the world of the subject she wishes to design. Her dedication to portraying every detail accurately is astounding and can be seen in every one of her adorable clay creations.
Toonari Post: How and when did you first start practicing your art (are you traditionally trained or self-taught)?
Sara (S): I started creating with clay in March 2009, and I am practically totally self-taught. I started using clay as “base” for altered art charms but, immediately after I discovered how amazing this material can be, so I abandoned my first idea to start creating my charms completely with polymer clay. So I developed this medium totally by chance, only after I tried making a little mouse with my first piece of black clay, I looked online at all the possible uses of this material and I saw it permits you to create in practice everything you want. Wow..I was amazed!!
TP: What mediums do you use for your art work? Which is your favorite and why?
S: Generally I use only clay, which is my favorite medium and the base of my all jewelry, it allows me to create what I would like (my skills permitting), but sometimes I love matching fimo with other materials to create different effects. My “Arctic Animals” in jars are an example: I use clay to make the tiny animals and resin to fill the jars to give a “water effect”; quite often I also love adding “real components” like little jars filled with sand, pebbles or musk or real runes to charm bracelets (generally in little jars or fixed on a clay base) or necklaces to suggest more the idea of the theme I chase.
TP: What piece of your work is your favorite and why?
S: My favorite pieces are probably:
“‘Witch’s shelf’ Necklace”: I worked hard on it to give the idea of the typical shelf you can see in a film or on an illustration about witches. In fact, always, before treating a theme, I spend weeks searching illustrations (online and in books), watching films and reading tales about the topic I am going to deal with, just to lower myself into the part as best as possible.
”Alchemy Bracelet”: I spent months trying to find a good way to personalize all the typical objects concerned with the ancient world of alchemy from the little Chimera to the little Ourobos.
TP: When you first started did you ever hit any bumps in your art process? How did you overcome them?
S: In the beginning I hit thousands of bumps and still every single day presents its own difficulties, in particular, my Achilles heel are the little dolls I insert in necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Since I started, I had several problems with them, and I’m still searching my personal style trying to create them as shapely and natural as much as I can, in particular face details (eyes and mouth) and hair.
In conclusion, I think the most useful way to overcome bumps are patience and perseverance. Every time the result is not what I hoped, I don’t give up and back down and I try again and again, without forcing anything, but also never letting it pass. It’s not the first time I have been thinking for months how I should create a particular subject and then the flash of genius comes in the most casual moment like during the night or when I’m doing totally different things or other projects.
TP: Who or what are your inspirations and why?
S: It’s really hard to list and remember them all! Since I was a child I have always been in love with tales and mazes books with detailed illustrations. I spent hours on them catching every single detail. I remember I loved Tony Wolf’s illustrations, but I was totally obsessed by Rien Poortvliet and Wil Huygen books like The Book of the Sandman and the Alphabet of Sleep and Gnomes and by Beatrix Potter’s little tales and illustrations.
When I grew up, thanks to my brother, I started becoming very fond of folk tales, from here my interest for Celtic legends or real tales about witches in the past, and the world of fantasy, and from the legends of Avalon to the classical fairies was inspired (also, in this case, I can’t forget to mention the awe-inspiring “Faeries” by Brian Froud).
But I’m sure I’m forgetting so many sources of inspirations. As often as not I find really inspiring things in video games, backgrounds, and lots of works created by wonderful illustrators I can see online. Every time I find something cool, it’s not simply looking at an illustration, it’s almost like breathing in deeply the atmosphere the artist emits.
Image Courtesy of Sara