1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hi! My name is Caterina Lazzarato and I’m a half Russian and half Italian fashion and graphic designer based in a little town near Venice. Since I was young, I had a big passion toward art and illustrations. I received my education in Venice: I studied Art at the Art high school of Venice and after that Fashion Design at IUAV University, also in Venice. I took a course a year course in graphic design where I discovered my biggest passion: digital illustrations! Right now, I am a self-taught illustrator that tries with her sense of humor and style to enhance women and make them proud of their body and themselves.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
My aesthetic is a combination of geometric and more natural, fluid shape. I like to give my characters geometric faces made of simple shapes, a long square neck in contrast with more natural shadow, highlights and details. The shape of the bodies can be geometric or more realistic, depend on the subject, the poses and the clothes that they’re wearing or not. The same thing happens when I draw their clothes (I think it’s my favorite part along with deciding my characters features). I can spend a whole day thinking about their outfits: patterns, shapes, combinations, accessories. I become their stylist and most of the time I draw outfit that I have worn, or I would love to wear.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Since I started drawing, I had the chance to experiment a lot of different medium: pencil, ink, markers, watercolors, acrylic and oil paint but none of them were the one. Only when I made my first digital illustration, I really understood how much I enjoyed drawing on a tablet. Everything started almost a year ago and since then there is not a day that I don’t use my Wacom Tablet. Everything is faster, cleaner and sometimes easier. Anyway, I love making sketches on random pieces of paper, I think that’s the only right way, for me to tell if the illustration will work.
4. What is your artistic process like?
When I have an idea, everything starts from a pencil and a piece of paper. I have to sketch my idea first and only then I can draw it on my tablet. The second step is to simplify the illustration using only geometrical shapes. Then I use the “palette of the season” (this is the way I like to call the colors that I’m obsessed with at the moment) to color the illustrations. The final step, my favorite, is to add details, making my character alive. The artistic process is not the same for all the illustrations, sometimes the one that seems the most complicate were the easiest to draw and vice-versa.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I try to take inspiration from things in everyday life and people that I have seen. I am convinced that anything has potential and can be transformed into art. Most of my illustrations represent women, my inspiring muses. They are strong, independent and aim to break the stigmatism imposed by society towards the female figure. Natural elements such as plants and flowers are the other main characters of my drawings.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Since I was young, I had a huge passion towards art and illustrations, and it played a big role in my life. Art made me grow, mature and see the world from different perspectives. With art, I learnt that you can express feelings, emotions and your ideas in all different ways, shapes and forms. Art is subjective and personal, as the world that you are representing, some people can understand it, others can’t, but it doesn’t mean that your work isn't good enough! It’s just because you don’t have the same mindset. Art is a superpower!
7. Where did you study?
You know the strange kid whom when asked, “What do you want to be?” answers “an ARTIST”...instead of answering a doctor, astronaut or teacher, that was me! Luckily my parents have been always very supportive and let me pursue my dream. I studied art at the Art high school of Venice. After that, I took a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design at the IUAV University of Venice. Not happy with my digital skills, Iast year, I took a course in graphic design where I discovered the world of digital and graphic illustrations. I didn't realise from that moment I have actually discovered one of my biggest passions.
Hai presente il bambino che quando gli chiedevano: “che lavoro vuoi fare da grande”, rispondeva: “l’ARTISTA”... beh, io ero quel bambino! Fortunatamente i miei genitori hanno sempre supportato ed incentivato il mio spirito creativo tanto da incoraggiarmi a perseguire i miei sogni. Ho frequentato, durante le superiori, il Liceo Artistico Statale di Venezia conseguendo un diploma in Arti Figurative. Dopo di che ho proseguito gli studi presso l’Università IUAV di Venezia e nel 2019 ho conseguito una laurea in Fashion Design. Non contenta delle mie abilità digitali, l’anno scorso ho frequentato un corso di Graphic Design. È stato proprio grazie a questo corso che ho scoperto il mondo dell’arte ed illustrazioni digitali.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope to have earned enough money that will allow me to become independent and continue my studies (maybe a Masters... who knows).
9. What about in ten?
In ten years, I would love to have a job that makes me happy and accomplished but I don't like to look too far ahead, I prefer to enjoy the present!
Tra dieci anni spererei di aver un lavoro stabile che mi renda felice e appagata. Poi non saprei...non amo pianificare troppo il mio futuro, preferisco godermi il presente!
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
With my art, I hope to make people happy, make them smile and warm their hearts. As you can see, the main character of all my illustrations are women. I like to think that they are strong, independent and aim to break the stigmatism and stereotypes imposed by society. My goal is to embrace the women figure and give them the respect and the importance they deserve. With a pinch of irony, also I try to make people understand that being different and unique is beautiful!
Con la mia arte spero di rendere felici le persone, di farle sorridere, di riscaldare il loro cuore. Come puoi vedere, le protagoniste di tutte le mie illustrazioni sono le donne. Mi piace pensare che siano forti, indipendenti e mirino a rompere lo stigmatismo e gli stereotipi imposti dalla società. Il mio obiettivo è abbracciare la figura delle donne e dare loro il rispetto e l'importanza che meritano. Con un pizzico di ironia cerco anche di far capire loro che essere diversi e unici è bello!
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I really enjoy eating food from different ethnicities. Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, you name it! If I have to choose a dish, it would be the Russian soup with Frikadelki (meatballs and rice) that my babushka still cooks for me when I’ll go back to Russia... so much good memories!
Amo la cucina appartenete ad altri paesi ed etnie, ma se dovessi scegliere il mio piatto preferito credo sia la zuppa russa con Frikadelki (polpettine di carne e riso) che tutt’ora la mia babushka continua a cucinarmi quando torno a trovarla in Russia... quanti bei ricordi!
12. Favourite book?
I really love thrillers and horror books. My favorite is “Shining” by Stephen King. Such a good book but please don’t read it before you go to bed if you don’t want to have nightmares!
Principalmente leggo libri gialli e horror. Il mio preferito in assoluto è “Shining” di “Stephen King”. È un libro pazzesco ma non leggetelo prima di andare a letto se non volete avere gli incubi!
13. Favourite genre of music?
House music for sure! I can listen to it 24/7! If I’m not in the mood (strange but it happens) I listen to Indie ad psychedelic pop -I’m such a weirdo.
Assolutamente la House music, la potrei ascoltare h24! Se non sono nel mood (strano, ma capita) ascolto Indie e psychedelic pop -ho gusti discutibili, lo so!
14. What are your hobbies?
I have too many hobbies... I know how to sew things so most of the time, when I don’t have enough money to buy designers clothes, I sew my own clothes. I just discovered the art of punch needling, so sometimes, when I’m in the mood, I do some embroidery. I also love baking cakes; it calms me down and makes me and my tummy happy!
Ho diversi hobby... So cucire e di tanto in tanto, se non posso permettermi il capo firmato che vorrei, me lo cucio da sola. Ho scoperto da poco l’arte del punch needling, e se sono nel mood, mi metto a ricamare. Inoltre, mi piace davvero molto cucinare le torte, mi rilassa e rende me e il mio pancino mooolto felici!
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Such a good question! Ummh... Probably an archeologist! Since I was little, I was really in love and good at history. When I went to art school, I become even more interested in the history of art in particular for the Egyptian, Greek and Roman ones. It was also my second choice if I didn’t pass the entrance test for Fashion design University!
Ottima domanda! Ummh... probabilmente l’archeologo! Fin da quando sono piccola ho sempre avuto una grande passione per la storia e, proseguendo i miei studi, di conseguenza anche per la storia dell’arte, in particolare quella degli antichi egizi, greci e romani. Divenne perfino un ipotetico percorso di studi universitario, in caso che non avessi superato il test d’ingresso per la facoltà di Fashion Design!
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