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Thursday 14 May 2020

Meet The Illustrator: Di Spediacci

Name: Di Spediacci

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Whimsical, quirky, story telling, emotion capturing and hopefully smile making.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
My big desk. It’s actually a kitchen bench from IKEA but it works really well as a creative space and the huge drawers are great for storage. I love my watercolours and although I like to do my own mixing the seemingly endless colour palette that Daniel Smith offers is pretty enticing.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Definitely watercolour. I love how transparent it is on the paper. It can be quite unpredictable but I like the challenge and have learnt some tricks to manipulate the medium somewhat. I use a lot of glazing and blending to build up the colour.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Modigliani – I fell in love with his elongated emotion evoking figures and he has definitely influenced my work.
Drysdale – I just realised that he also paints lanky figures haha.
Danielle Donaldson – her story telling is wonderful
Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
The Expressionism period for sure. I’d really like to watch some of those artists at work and to meet them in a cafĂ© and just hang out. Did I mention that I love Modigliani’s work?

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I began studying watercolour techniques about 20 years ago with Delwynne Dwyer. With a degree in Social Science and a career working with ‘at-risk’ youth my focus shifted until about six years ago when I rediscovered my creative self and studied with numerous teachers including Jane Davenport, Juna Biagioni and Danielle Donaldson. Something about creating quirky little characters just resonated with me and I decided to move away from fine art and concentrate on developing my illustration techniques. Two years ago I met Michelle Worthington from Share Your Story and a whole new world of picture book possibilities emerged. Since then I’ve just been following the breadcrumbs and trying to learn as much as I can. It’s been a fun journey.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
My work space is a spare bedroom so it can get a bit crowded when I’m working on a project. It needs a big sort and clean. Those drawers in the shelving hide a lot.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
I love how the characters little personalities take shape as you start to put the pencil to paper and the surprises that sometimes show up. However I think my favourite part of the process is adding the colour to the illustrations. It’s where a lot of the magic happens and the images gain a heartbeat.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Find a tribe to belong to. I actually don’t mind time alone in my studio however it’s so nice to have a group of people who can celebrate your ‘wins’ but who also understand the total frustrations that come with the industry. I would also recommend Nina Rycroft’s ‘Picture Book Illustration e-Course’. I learned valuable information about the industry and gained lots of new illustration skills.

Di Spediacci is a Brisbane based illustrator. She enjoys creating unique,
whimsical characters and magical worlds for them to live in. Her aim is to
capture emotion and story to connect the viewer with the work and leave them
with something to smile about.

For more infomation please like Di's facebook page.