This week, our attention goes to Elisa Cantarelli (@ecantarelliart) a talented female artist from the north of Italy, specialised in "Dotting".
"I love combining "my dots" with different media, experimenting on different and unconventional supports, stretching the boundaries to see how far my Art can go."
Let's meet her.
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Elisa and I was born in the 80's in the north of Italy famous for cheese and ham. I played professional basketball for many years while studying fine art. I am a visual artist and I have been "dotting" since 2004. In 2009 I moved to London where I currently live and work.
- When did your journey start?
I have always needed to express myself in a creative way mainly through Art and sports: freedom to create, energy and discipline to reach goals and dreams. I used to love playing with puzzles and colouring. In 2002 I joined the Bologna Fine Art Academy and in my third year I started dropping my first dots... "Dotting" is a meditative and therapeutic process: the drops falling, colour on colour, shade on shade, to create a three-dimensional texture of dots, which engages the viewer from a visual perception to a tactile one. I believe it is an evolution of my favourite childhood games, as a different way to colour using drops of paint, becoming dots to compose the picture, like pieces of a puzzle.
- What’s the idea behind your work?
"Dotting" is my signature technique and my powerful tool, which gives me the freedom to work on any type of subjects and styles. It really identifies me as the artist I am. I love combining "my dots" with different media, experimenting on different and unconventional supports, stretching the boundaries to see how far my Art can go. I am aiming to find the perfect balance between subjects and textures to fully engage the viewer.
- Do you have a personal life motto?
"Where there’s a will there's a way!" Which could mean: stubborn or positive attitude. Feel free to choose...
- What kind of music drives you?
It really depends on the mood of the day. "Dotting" is very therapeutic and some time I find myself with my pipette, dropping dots in deadly silence, flying away with my mind. When I feel lonely in the studio I like listening to my favourite programmes on Radio Deejay (Italian radio). But if I had to choose, the best option would be to have my husband always available to mix some classic house vinyls.
- Do you have any favourite film and why?
Cheesy alert... "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" The soundtrack, the moves, the holiday vibes, the 60's, the love, the secrecy, Dirty Dancing.
- What’s your favourite piece that you’ve created and why?
Each piece that I find myself in the process of "Dotting" seems the best one. I love and enjoy the working progress so much. But then, once it is finished, it becomes a sweet memory because I am already too looking forward to creating something new and more beautiful.
- How do you find inspiration on an average day? Do you have any rituals?
I like taking pictures with my phone and writing notes to record ideas for future projects. Most of my work is based on printed images that I create and modify with the help of the computer. It takes quite a few steps from the idea to the "Dotting" process.
- Who’s your favourite contemporary artist?
Yayoi Kusama: Queen of polka dots. I have been following her work since 2006 when I visited her exhibition Metamorphosis in Modena.
- How is it to be a woman in the contemporary art scene?
Challenging because we still have to fight to have the same recognition and respect of male artists. If we have been chosen to carry life inside us it means that we have that extra strength men don't have. We should use this power to shine!
- You've worked on many different projects, which one did you enjoy the most and why?
During the last couple of years I have been experimenting with my dots to explore a more minimalist and conceptual approach. After many years of being focused mainly on figurative subjects, I felt the need to extrapolate my dots to give them new life and focus on their attractive tactile sensation. Now it is becoming clear that this new body of work is helping me to explore the transition towards that perfect balance between subjects and textures I am aiming for. Unconsciously this was probably the most natural and rewarding project that will lead my artistic growth.
- How did social media help you to promote your art?
Social media works as a website, as a blog, as a window to your studio and work in progress, as a networking platform, as an advertising platform, as a marketing platform. Sharing videos and close ups of my dots is really useful for the online viewer to help understand my work and its process.
- What do you think is the best way for an artist to be heard and advertise themselves, nowadays?
Online by sharing his/hers work in progress and news through social media and newsletters. Having a website also makes you look more professional. Offline by taking part in exhibitions, competitions and networking events like private views, art talks and residencies.
- Do you have any advice to give to the new female entrepreneurs?
To any gender: Enjoy, believe in yourself and in what you do, work hard, be patience and positive, listen, stay humble and enjoy again.
Thank you Elisa.
Discover more at www.elisacantarelli.com.