Creative Cribs - Alida Massari Sep 25 2018

Meet the artists

Creative Cribs is all about learning more about our fabulous artists and how they get their creative juices flowing! Each week our artists invite us into their world to see how and where they work. This week we meet Advocate Art’s beautiful Italian artist, Alida Massari, who loves illustrating for myths, fables, historical, folk and adventure stories. Alida’s work ranges across children’s publishing, greetings cards, and many other licensing products. Alida works with many different mediums, from traditional to digital, and sketches as often as she can as she develops her beautiful, often patterned character illustrations of knights, mermaids and more!

We asked Alida to tell us more about her daily life, check out our Q&A below, and scroll through the images to see Alida's creative lifestyle! You can also see more of Alida’s work via her online portfolio. We’ve loved learning about her home based studio just outside of Rome that’s filled with colour and inspiration and we hope you do to!

1. Tell us a little about yourself and where you are based.
I am Alida Massari, an Italian artist. I was born in Rome, where I grew up and studied art and illustration. Now I live in Cerveteri, a little Etruscan town, really close to Rome. I live with my husband and Diana, my 14 year old daughter.

2. What do you have in your studio?
Everyday I work in my studio that is a large room at my house. This is my caotic desk, where I have all the media I love: acrylic colours , watercolours , chalks, oil colours, pencils. Next to my desk I have an easel, where I always have big canvases on. When I feel like, I paint few brush strokes on the canvas…and day by day the painting takes shape!

3. What is your favourite technique to work in?
My favourite technique is the acrylic painting. I really love the chance you have with this colours. You can paint with transparent effects as watercolours, and you can paint with acrylics using meteoric effects. This is part, of my army of acrylic colours.

4. Do you prefer to work traditionally or digitally?
This is my computer where I work using digital media…needless to say, that I prefer traditional media and to have an actual contact with colours and the illustrations! In any case a really love all the digital effects I can add to my illustrations. So really often I work with it.

5. Do you have anything in your studio that you love, or inspires you?
The thing I like most in my studio is my big, white, bookcase. I collect illustrated books from all over the world, i have numerous books illustrated by many illustrators I love. Moreover, I have, many novels I like reading, and Art books. They are a great source of inspiration every day!

6. Do you work straight to final artwork, or do you keep a sketch book for ideas?
Here you can see my sketchbook box. Sketchbooks are really important in my everyday life. I sketch on them every idea I have. Every  thought is caught with a sketch and before starting a new book I always flip through these pages hoping to find good ideas! One of them is dedicated to mermaids and sirens, and you can smell the sea inside it!

7. How do you keep inspired when you're travelling?
I like using sketchbook when I travel, too. I like sketching landscapes and architectonical details . Here, I am in England with my daughter that is a young lovely artist!

8. Do you have anywhere else that you like to work, alongside your studio?
In summer time, I love working in my little garden, where I enjoy the company of the cats from the neighborhood, flowers and plants that I water every day…so this is my summer desk!

9. Are you working on anything at the moment, perhaps you can show us a sneak peak?!
And here, you can see the illustration I am realizing for the new Advocate Book Portfolio. This is a moment of the Pied Piper story…when children start to feel the music from the flute of the piper.

10. Is there is a style or technique that you'd love to work in or bring into your work?
My newest passion is engraving art! As soon as, I have free time, I go to the “Stamperia del Tevere” a little art gallery in Trastevere, one of the most beautiful neighborood of Rome, where talented artists teach me the art of etching, aquatint, and puntasecca. It is incredible how from the same engraving plate you can have so different prints! I love print etching and then to rework them adding colors with acrylic colours!

11. Alongside being an illustrator, is there anything else creative that you do too?
Once at week I teach “pictorial techniques” in a school of Illustration in Rome. So every week I take the occasion to visit bookshops to discover the new books published. 

Alida Massari was founded by our team of illustration agents, based at our UK and USA agencies. If you think she, or any of our other illustrators would be perfect for an upcoming project, be sure to reach out to an agent!