Hello July! We want to ring in a new month by celebrating a new artist! Our artist of the month for July is the fantastic Maria Carluccio. Maria is a writer and illustrator of children’s books and a designer/creator of gift products. We had the opportunity to interview Maria where she describes to us, more about herself and her career! “I am passionate about creating products that enrich people’s lives. I love to tell stories through the images I create. I believe that art can make a difference, that what you create can give people hope and help people connect to deeper parts of themselves.”
Our Interview with Maria Carluccio:
When did you learn you wanted to become an artist?
Ever since I was young, I can’t even remember when I realized that being an artist was the way to go. To be honest, sometimes I wish I had chosen a different profession, it’s hard work, and sometimes the ups and downs are a lot to handle. But overall I know I’m happiest when I can be creative.
What is your favorite work that you have created so far?
Oh man, that’s a hard one. I just did a series drawings of flowers and botanicals while on a trip to LA. I was experimenting with ink and watercolor. I like some of those drawings, at least for now. I’ve been getting back into drawing on location these days. I love to get out of the studio and see what comes out of me. The spontaneity really inspires me.
What are you currently working on?
I tend to juggle a lot of things at once. When you freelance, you always have projects that are due soon, some that are further off, and some that are on hold. I’m finishing up some final art for a children’s book I wrote and illustrated (for Chronicle Books) called “D is for Dress up”. It’s a playful alphabet book that celebrates the art of dressing up. I’m also working on a book dummy plus I’m a developing a few wall decal sets. A bigger, long term goal for the summer is to get a new website with a shop up and running. It’s a company I’m launching that will showcase my new decals and posters.
Are there any artists that inspire you or that you look up to?
There are so many artists and such a range of artists whose work I admire. Here’s a short list: Jonas Wood, Richard Diebenkorn, Paul Klee, Sonia Dulanay, Lucienne Day, Bernardo Carvalho, Alessandro Sanna, Robert Roth, Paul Rand, Roger Duvoisin, Rex Ray, Tatsuro Kiuchi, Ryo Takemasa, Jon Klassen, Isabele Arsenault, Marc Boutevant and Bruno Munari.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy the freedom of being able to work on the kind of projects that interest me most. I think many of the products and images I create come from my areas of interest, such as nature, animals, play, love, compassion, hope, and connections between people. Also, having the flexibility to make my own schedule is pretty cool too.
How do you spend your time when you’re not working on your art?
I love taking my dog for walks in the woods – that centers me in the morning. I also enjoy winding down with a good book at night. I love when my 11year old daughter comes in my bed and we have quiet time to read together. We also do the voices of the characters when we read aloud, it can be pretty funny when we really get into it. I also love to watch movies and TV shows like “Super Soul Sunday” and “Master Class” on OWN.
What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
I guess people might be surprised to know that when I was 22 I left NYC for Rome, Italy. I ended up living in Italy for close to 3 years. During that time I wandered around Europe, meeting all kinds of people, drawing, painting and writing in my sketchbooks – it was a pretty bohemian life. I learned how to with make my way with very little. It helped me reconnect with what truly inspires me.
If you could be a superhero, what powers would you have?
Powers…hmn…The first thing that comes to mind is the power to be invisible and have a force field like the Violet from “The Incredibles”. I’d take any one of those characters powers any day, they were all incredible if you ask me. Loved that movie.
If you could go back in time, what year would you go to and why?
I’d have to say 1955, only just to wear some of those gorgeous clothes. I love the styles of mid century era in general.
If you could have dinner with anyone in history who would it be?
That’s so hard…off the top of my head I guess I’d like to meet Georgia O’Keefe.
What are 5 things you absolutely cannot leave home without?
A sketchbook, drawing supplies, phone, wallet and coffee (if it’s morning time).
What is the last movie you saw and did you like it?
I watched “Big Hero 6” on DVD with my daughter. It was really cute, I liked that a lot. Great animation really inspires me too.
What is your:
- Favorite Color: Green
- Favorite Food: Home made pasta
- Favorite Season: Spring
- Favorite Movie: The life of Pi
- Favorite Book: The Alchemist
- Favorite Holiday: Halloween
- Favorite Song: One by U2
We’d like to thank Maria Carluccio for allowing us the pleasure of interviewing her. It was so awesome to get to know a little more about her!
You can learn more about Maria Carluccio and view some of her work at mariacarluccio.com