About Claudia Guariglia
I always enjoyed drawing, since I was little, like pretty much every kid does anyway. I remember being fascinated by the beautiful character designs of the anime I would watch on TV (Sailor Moon probably being one of my main inspirations back then), and trying to reproduce them myself with cheap pencils and markers. Growing up, not much changed! I just kept at it, I was obsessed with drawing women, coming up with different types of clothes and hairdos and what not... one would think I'd get into fashion, but the manga and anime obsession were very strong and I actually considered comics. Not for very long though, as I quickly realised I'd never have the patience for it! Ended up studying Fine Arts at university, specifically traditional printing techniques, so lots of playing around with big old machinery and dangerous chemicals. Not quite what I had in mind, but it was certainly interesting. By that point though, my relationship with drawing had started getting a bit tough. I think I was putting way too much pressure on myself to make good work since things were getting "serious", and that really got to me. I started drawing less and less, and by the time I finished uni I had pretty much completely stopped. Looking back now I feel bad about it, but I think maybe it was necessary. Plus, I managed to stay creative anyway. Photography has always been another passion of mine, so for a long time, as I was not drawing, I focused on that. I think, without realising, I still learnt a lot through photography. It helped me understand colour, composition, and explore the kind of subjects I like to focus on in my works. My photography and my illustrations have a lot in common when you look at them together. So, fast forward a few years, I slowly finally started drawing again. Kinda went the long way around, deciding to try and learn calligraphy, but eventually that led me to playing with little decorative elements, florals, plants, and now here we are, back at it! This time around my attitude to drawing has changed a lot, which I'm grateful for. I've allowed myself to play more, experiment, try different tools and different subjects. People are still 100% my favourite subject to draw, but there's so much more. I love colour, it plays a massive part in my creative work. Be it digital or traditional illustrations, creating colour palettes is definitely one of my favourite parts of the process. I just have a lot more fun now! And I'm not saying I don't feel the pressure anymore, I still very much fight with it every single day. But something has switched, and I'm very grateful to be in the place I am today.
Tips to fellow Artists:
I wish I allowed myself to play more. In hindsight, I feel like I put myself in a box very early on. I used to draw the same things over and over and over again. I enjoyed it, sure, but I very soon started feeling the pressure to get good at it. By the time I was 20 I pretty much had a full on breakdown. Creativity is about fun. Whether you do it for work or not, you still need an element of fun. Take time to do things just for yourself, to play with your favourite colours, to create things not because they have to look good but because you enjoy the process! Make mistakes. You need to leave room for mistakes! Lock your inner critique out every now and then and just have a play with your favourite tools and make stuff. You learn a lot this way, about yourself and what you love.