Feeling blue after encountering some setbacks? Take a look at Paolo Domeniconi’s illustrations and you will find love and peace in life again. With harmonious colours and cute, giant animals, Paolo undoubtedly highlighted the mesmerising beauty of the world with his dreamy gestures! Come explore more about Paolo’s illustrations and get to know more about what’s precious and intriguing in life!
AWW: Can you recall any fairy tales or stories you’ve heard in your childhood?
Paolo Domeniconi: My childhood was very poor in readings because at that time there were very few books for children in Italy. I only remember the classic fairy tales of the European tradition: Hans Christian Andersen, the Grimm Brothers, and so on.
AWW: Which of them is the most inspiring and influential to you and why?
Paolo: Certainly "Pinocchio" by Carlo Collodi was one of the most stimulating readings, also because it was one of the few editions with good illustrations. I also remember that I was very impressed by reading “The Steadfast Tin Soldier" by Andersen because of the emotions related to loss, love and pain, which often coexist.
AWW: Which is your favourite spot while traveling? Rural or urban landscapes?
Paolo: I’m not a great traveler, I’m also scared of flying, I prefer ships to planes. I don’t like crowded places, I usually spend little time in big cities. I prefer natural and wild landscapes. I love the sea, the solitary cliffs and walking along the mountain paths.
AWW: Where is your imaginary place and what would you do there?
Paolo: I’m not drawing imaginary worlds and I rarely imagine myself living in it. In fact, I don’t like “concept art”. I am interested in keeping a dreamy look on reality, as it is for a child. I like the idea of having a “secret garden” somewhere but I often don’t remember where the door is.
AWW: Which animal would be your guardian that supports you through some difficult time?
Paolo: In some difficult moments, perhaps it is better to get away so life would be much easier indeed. It could be any animal wings that take me up above the clouds. It could be a seagull, a robin or maybe an owl.
AWW: Many of your fabulous illustrations in children’s books gained a huge popularity! From your perspective, what makes for a good children’s book?
Paolo: I’m especially proud of the book “Lola and I”, which has been translated into many languages.It’s very important that text and images don't say the same thing. The illustrator must draw what the writer does not say, otherwise the book becomes boring. But that's not all, there must be a special affinity between author and illustrator. A good publisher must have the ability to choose the right illustrator for each story.
AWW: Do you have any pets at home? How would you like to spend time with them?
Paolo: I love cats very much and I have one. I don't like keeping him indoors. For a long period of time he stays at my parents' house. They have a large garden and he lives happily there. My dream would be to live in a country house and have many cats.I really like watching animals in nature, especially birds.
AWW: Could you describe the routine of your typical working day?
Paolo: I woke up very early in the morning. I usually take a walk to get some bread, prepare breakfast and try to start work early because morning time is the best time for creativity. I have a rather short lunch break and I usually work until 6 or 7 pm. But if my wife is at home, we never miss a tea at 5 pm. After work, if the weather is nice I sometimes take a walk to the river nearby. Walking in this natural environment is very relaxing and gives me a lot of ideas.
AWW: Which is your favourite art book to read in your spare time?
Paolo: I am especially interested in the European artistic movements between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sometimes I like to read the biographies of painters of that period and study their paintings at the same time.
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