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Subsign Spotlight #122: Alessandra Roccasalva.

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

Alessandra: My name is Alessandra, I was born in Sicily, Italy, and this is where I work. I studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Painting with a focus on cultural heritage. I am a freelance graphic designer.

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

Alessandra: I loved and still love drawing. In school, I remember my favorite game was “The Painter” or something similar. We divided the blackboard in two and challenged each other to draw the most beautiful picture. But it wasn’t so much about competition; it was the game itself that I enjoyed. I remember inventing toys with whatever I had available, a sort of “Ready-made” (I hadn’t yet studied art history).

In particular, I remember building a game, I believe it was called “The Merry Surgeon.” I drew the outline of a child on thick cardboard, marked the shapes of the femur, heart, and liver, passed a wire from an electrician through it, connected the contraption to a light bulb and some tweezers, colored everything, wrapped it all up inside a rectangular box of chocolates. I still remember the excitement I felt about that creation; not only was it beautiful, but most importantly, it worked!

What distinguishes childhood is the creative power of play. I made my first collages then; the world didn’t exist, and neither did time. The world and time were the game itself.

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

Alessandra: Let’s say my inclination for drawing made me realize early on that I would move in that field, and so it happened. Although I studied painting, I soon realized that my ideal tool for drawing is a mouse, a graphics tablet.

Subsign: What does your workstation look like?

Alessandra: I’m fortunate to live facing the sea, and my studio overlooks this magical and ever-changing spectacle. It’s a very small space, so I pull out colors, canvases, brushes, papers, cutting knives, etc., as needed. To work at my best, I need visual order, and I mainly use a computer as a means of creation.

Subsign: Do you have a work style? How would you describe it?

Alessandra: I wake up calmly in the morning, but by 9, I’m already at work. I take a very short lunch break and typically finish around 6/7 in the evening. Music often accompanies and guides my work, and when there’s no musical background, the sea acts as an accompaniment in its waves against the rocks.

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

Alessandra: The first part of my workday usually involves research. I usually prefer books; monographs on the great Renaissance artists are my favorite repertoire.

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

Alessandra: Among the latest is a collage titled “Sappho.” The inspiration came from a Pompeian fresco. I made a small ‘facelift’ to the model, just because the groove across her face, beautiful in itself, diverted attention from that concentrated gaze while writing verses.

Subsign: Who do you follow for inspiration?

Alessandra: I let myself be guided by the great masterpieces themselves. I’ve always favorite female figures, in a sort of self-representation, a story through images. Every flower, every symbol has its meaning, a game balancing between dream and reality, a world where everything becomes possible; the moons duplicate, archetypes of the feminine, fish swim among the clouds, buildings dangle among floral tangles.

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

Alessandra: I believe that creativity is what distinguishes us from machines. It’s a sacred duty to cultivate it, whether it manifests in the kitchen, through learning a musical instrument; it’s the deep part of every human being that manages to find connection with their own divine.

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

Alessandra: I would like people to live in love, empathy, compassion, and with a strong conscience.

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

Alessandra: As a book, I recommend Maria Occhipinti, “Una donna di Ragusa”. Not just because it’s the story of a strong woman who made choices that were unimaginable in her time, experienced prison, but all of this made her stronger.

For a song, “Daydreaming” by Radiohead. They need no introduction, and the lyrics are a sublime poem that deeply touches my chords.

For a movie, “Rose Island”. In a world that advertises pain, misery, poverty (also in spiritual terms), the immense creative power of this man Giorgio Rosa, who imagined the possibility of creating his own state, there’s something artistic in this.

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

Alessandra: I would think of a fake wedding, the location being a beach, guests obliged to wear flip-flops and swimsuits, live music.

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

Alessandra: As for famous personalities, if we can imagine, I would like to meet Van Gogh. From the little I’ve read about his life, I feel a profound spiritual closeness.

Thank you, Alessandra, for being a part of our Spotlight!

If you know an artist that should be in the spotlight, contact us at

For more of  Alessandra‘s work, you can follow her work on the links: Alessandra on Instagram,  Alessandra on Behance.


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"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard."

Guy Kawasaki