Interview: Mario Sughi
Mario Sughi, or as he’s more commonly known, Nerosunero, is a digital Cartoonist/Illustrator from Italy who combines subtle humorous elements with a consistent loose artistic style that’s reminiscent of English Pop artist David Hockney. Having worked for various international clients over the years, Mario puts emphasis on his fathers influence and the complexities relating to making it in the art world. We caught up with Mario and asked him a few questions for paintalicious…
Hi Mario, how are you today?
In this particular moment I am fine physically and mentally in good humor.
Please, tell us how you started your adventure with doing art?
At the age of six or seven I was already drawing in my father’s (Alberto Sughi) studio. Standing beside him I looked carefully from where he would have started a new painting, how he drew the eyes, then the nose and finally the mouth. Though my father is and has always been a very playful person and the studio was always filled with the most noisy and funny crowd, in the family his paintings had to be and were taken very very seriously. So even if art was a joyful instructive experience it revealed its other face, the serious one, full of tensions, emotions, preoccupations and disappointments since the first years I encountered it.
How would you describe your style?
My work style has been described as one a bit minimalist and close to the English Pop Art. This is very flattering and I would like to agree to it. This style in facts adapts very well to two major intents of my work: a) to draw situations where is not always possible to say if the characters in the drawings are totally real or totally unreal; b) to draw only what I enjoy and what I consider strictly necessary. But this probably is true only for the present time. If one day I will set other priorities and intents for my work, my style probably will change accordingly.
How do you find inspiration for your subject matters?
I would love to know and be able to answer so that I could recreate that inspiration at my own command and pleasure.
What’s your favorite medium?
These days all my works days are digital. I use a beautiful wacom intuos 3 A4 graphic tablet and a standard PC with a 20 inches flat screen. For years my favorite softwares have been all the latest Adobe releases of Photoshop and Illustrator. Sometimes I use as reference for the objects or persons I want to draw some digital pictures. They have to be pictures I have taken myself, otherwise they are almost completely useless.
Do you ever paint with traditional tools?
What part of the creative process do you find the most difficult? Is there anything, in your opinion that you would like to improve?
The difficulty sometimes is with myself! There are days when after a long walk I am back home full of ideas and totally ready for starting drawing. Next, all of the sudden, all the excitement is vanished. I am taken by a sense of emptiness, a complete lack of motivation and I am there sitting at my desk without knowing anymore what to do next. I am nervous and my right hand also trembles. The lines I start to draw are not as smooth as I would like them to be. I try again. Same result again… that is it. I switched my computer off and run away!!! In despair! Why does that happen? One possible answer is that drawing should be a creative experience of its own. If you had already completed most of your drawing in your mind as soon as you will sit for drawing it you will realize that all the pleasure and excitement that come with it has abandoned you. A day has been lost. I will tray again tomorrow from something totally new! As for the rest, techniques, colors, lines, I hope my drawing will always have a margin of improvement…
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
What’s the best advice you could give young aspiring illustrators?
Learn to draw first. Then feel free if you like to distort your drawings. And always smile and joke a bit about your own work!
Are you involved in any collaborative projects at the moment and is there anyone you would like to work with?
Alongside with my illustrations I draw cartoons and I collaborate with the Donquichotte Magazine, you can read it on its website. At present with an incredible group of international cartoonists we are trying to concentrate on issues like free expression, plagiarism, digital versus non digital cartoons, in order to improve the quality of cartoons contests.
Which galleries have you shown at and which galleries would you like to show at?
During the summer I had an exhibition at the Loft Gallery here in Dublin. As my first ever Italian solo exhibition is opening today 18th of October at the Doz Gallery in Milan. And at the end of November my work will be presented in Bruxelles at the Rubens Gallery.
Who are your favorite artists/illustrators alive today?
David Hokney Eric Fischl, Lucien Freud
Illustrators? The ones you meet on Paintalicious, of course!!!
If you could choose any artist to paint your portrait, who would it be and why?
Velasquez would be the artist of choice. All his paintings in a way are great portraits. There is not a single square inch on the canvas that is there by accident. When he makes the portraits of the prince Philip Prosper for example he paints each single hair of the prince , his eyes, his face, his hands, his dress all with equal intensity. When Velasquez paints his subjects, men women, princes, children, but even dogs or horses you can see that it is like he portrayed them as he had known their mind and body: by entering their very nature. Nothing of them has escaped him.
Paint A Licious
USA, 18 October 2007
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