Gianluca Folì ia a multi-award winning illustrator who collaborates with clients all over the world from his studio located among the vineyards of Castelli Romani near Rome. Among his many accolades is the Society of Illustrators’ Gold Medal which he received in New York.
Every two months BASE welcomes an artist selected with the help of Illustri, an association that brings together established and up-and-coming illustrators. The artists spend a week with us, staying at casaBASE, working in our project house, the burò, and taking part in the initiatives underway at BASE. The creative output of Gianluca Folì’s residency became the poster for the BASE May-June 2018 magazine.
We asked him to introduce himself by sharing what drives his creative process, with the help of a few treasured possessions.
In my “box of wonders” I keep a tube of this expensive, top of the range Japanese watercolour paste. It’s the shade of red that all my work starts from, a ritual that reminds me that quality doesn’t come cheap and that you have to invest in your own potential, both as a person and as an illustrator. I’ve also brought a pair of bonsai clippers which cauterise the plant as they cut it so as to encourage new buds to sprout. For me this represents the need to keep renewing my own creative process. I’ve been inspired by the concept in Oriental philosophy that actions lead from the idea to the final realisation: to me ceremony isn’t about rigidity, it’s about method. The illustration I’ve created for BASE is the culmination of different elements – the place, the people I’ve met, the clamour, memories of Milan – and of a time just for me, out of the studio. BASE is like an evolving organism, a kind of gentle giant, because amongst all the hustle and bustle it doesn’t forget to take care of the small things. If I were to hand over some kind of talisman to someone in the creative industries, I would give them a still wrapped eraser because once I broke the spell of mistake-erase-start again, I managed to rid myself of performance anxiety. I don’t erase anymore.”