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Subsign Spotlight #086.

Subsign: First, can you tell us a few things about yourself?

Marco: My name is Marco, I’m 27 and I was born in a relatively small city in the province of Milan, Italy. I’m attending a master’s in Digital Illustration in Barcelona and I’m slowly but surely working my way into becoming a full-fledged illustrator and more. My hobbies range from playing guitar, drums, or bass to snowboarding to heavily ironize upon the tragicomic trivialities of existence.

Subsign: What was your childhood like? Do you think your experiences from childhood have influenced your present creative endeavors?

Marco: Alright, childhood right off the bat. I would say I had a very “nomadic” childhood always going back and forth between Italy and England for family reasons.I always had to quickly re-adapt to new situations all the time. I was an extremely curious kid about the weirdest things like geography, third world folklore and cataclysms; But my most defining trait would be the fact that I was a bit of a clown. Loooved the attention.

Subsign: What did you want to be as a grown-up?

Marco: Oh boy, I used to dream to become either a banker or a cartographer. I had an ungodly obsession for Geography, the countries, what was their primary source of sustenance and income, their costumes, their traditions, their currencies, etc…I was creating my own currency and designing my own world map like I had a plan. That’s probably how tyrants are born.

Subsign: How does your workstation look like?

Marco: Not my proudest flex, but here it is.

Marco: Hm, good question. I guess you could say it’s a weird mix of some pop influence with a dash of vaporwave vibes?

Subsign: Can you share with us how your creative process works?

Marco: It’s hard to answer this as I’ve been through many iterations and I believe I still am. On a general level, what I try to do is entwine my sense of humor with these mildly suggestive imageries and the result is this dreamlike scenario where silhouettes kind of meld with the background and the characters hold somewhat of an erotic value.

Marco: For more personal illustrations what I do is like a dream journal: I compose a collage with moments of days and memories that are particularly persistent in my mind and try to make sense of it once the illustration is complete.

Subsign: What is your favorite work you have done so far?

Marco: I’ll attach a few examples Who do you follow for inspiration?: Here’s the thing, I’m ready to bet many answers the same and for sure something and somewhat must have had their share of influence on me, but I really don’t put any energy or attention into that. I believe the more honest and intimate you keep your work, the more genuine and strong is the result and people respond to that because we all have something relatable. The most boring details of a day, how colors hit a balcony, the expression of your friends as they react to something etc…there is genuine inspiration all-around at any moment.

Subsign: What advice could you give to someone starting out in the creative field of work?

Marco: Not sure I’m really in the position to give any advice, but I can say what is important for me as a creative: Be genuinely curious: study aesthetics, semiotics, color theory, storytelling, and composition. It’s like mastering a language, the more words you know and the more meanings you know the better you’ll express yourself. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses and harness them in your creative medium. That will make your work honest and relatable.

Marco: PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE, there is no perfect moment and there is no secret knowledge to discover you have every tool necessary to make it, you’re probably just scared. Scared to be judged, scared to fail, or even scared to succeed. You must overcome that. Surround yourself with like-minded creatives, share with them, give your own perspective on things and be open to other people’s critiques. Like what you do, you don’t wanna end up doing works that you’ll half-heartedly drag till completion. If you’re working are a genuine extension of your means of expression, you’re more than halfway there. Have fun and never forget why you’re doing this.

Subsign: If you would a super power, what would it be?

Marco: Shapeshifting. I have these recurrent dreams where I morph into a wolf-like creature and I just sprint, leap and stalk in the wild. It’s pretty sweet.

Subsign: Can you recommend for our readers a book, a song and a movie?

Marco: Book: The Book Of Disquiet, by Fernando Pessoa. It’s an intense and brilliantly uncomfortable read. Song: The Black Keys – Weight of Love, it pops often in my playlist lately. Movie: Napoleon Dynamite has a very special place in my heart.

Subsign: If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

Marco: It would be a rave in some tropical beach, with bonfires, open bar, and whatnots and it would be for my 50th birthday. To celebrate me somehow surviving that long.

Subsign: What famous people would you invite to the party and why?

Marco: Danny De Vito, Dr.Phil, and Obama. Danny De Vito, I feel like I don’t need to give any explanation there it’s just a no-brainer. Dr.Phil because I think he has a secret and dark life and Obama because how cool would be to have former USA president Obama at my 50th birthday?

Thank you Marco for being a part of our Spotlight!

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For more of  Marco ‘s work, you can follow his work on the links: Marco on Instagram.


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Guy Kawasaki