The eXTra finGer

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Interview with Mario Sughi

q) Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.

a)I am a cartoonist (for and an illustrator (an associate member of the Illustrators Guild of Ireland). I have been living and working in Dublin for 17/18 years now. For the last 8 I have been full time with Margaret Gowen LTD, the biggest company of Archaeologists in the country. But please don’t misunderstand I am not working as an archaeologist but as a graphic.
So it is after work, in the evening, in the house where I live with Sarah, that I start to do my drawings. I was an humorist for Il Male back in 1979, and I have contributed to all the issues of ZUT, still in Rome in the early 80’s. Then I moved to history. I studied in La Sapienza first and then in Trinity College Dublin and finally in Queen’s, Belfast. During that time I have never completely stopped drawing. But it was only one year ago when I created nerosunero that I started to publish my work.

q)How would you describe your work?

a)Colourful. Elegant. Minimalist.

q) Did somebody encourage you to become an artist?

a)Not really. But to be honest I don’t qualify myself as an artist either.

q) What is your favourite medium?

a)It must be my Wacom Graphic Tablet. A very nice Intuos 3. Since I have bought it (last Xmas) I have done all my work directly on the computer. Only very rarely now I do some preparatory works sketching with the pencil.

q) Can you describe your process, from the seed of an idea to a complete work?

a)I sit down with an idea and I finish up with something completely different. That sometimes is great because I like this level of surprise. But sometimes it is not. For example the other week I had to draw a series of illustrations for Ruby magazine, on the theme of madness. I have been thinking at that topic for the entire week, and I managed to do at least 10 different illustrations. They are nice but none of them is about madness. They are more about women sitting alone by the sea or by the river. A girl walking to a graveyard in the countryside. Etc. They are nice but nothing to do with the topic, so I cannot send them to the magazine!

q) Generally speaking, where do your ideas come from?

a)I don’t want to know anymore. I have tried to answer to this same question many times in the past. Why do I sit down with the idea to draw about the brutality of life (that is what I was trying to do yesterday) and then I end up with a nice drawing of a young couple lying in a landscape. And my answer is: I don’t know.

q) How long does it take to complete a piece?

a)As an average it takes two or three hours certainly never more than one day. After a while I prefer to start a completely new drawing.

q) Who are your favorite artists…and who are some artists you are currently looking/listening to?

a) I like painting and I like painters, and amongst the modern painters I like Bacon, Hokney, Freud, Fishl and of course Alberto Sughi, my father.

q) Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

a)Next exhibition will be at the DOZ gallery in Milan, 24th of October. I am looking forward to it since it will be my first exhibition in Italy.

q) Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

a)I like music but I don’t listen music when I work. I like Siouxsie and the Banshees more than another band and if I really want to play something I will play her. I like to have art magazines open on my desk. I flick through the pages with the hope to get inspired by some of the images there.

q) What is your favorite a) taste, b) sound, c) sight, d) smell, and e) tactile sensation?

a) I love colours. I live by the sea and from my window I can see even now as I am writing the bright blue of a September morning sky reflecting on the dark blue of our Irish see. I love it. And I feel I couldn’t do without Sight.

q) Do you have goals that you are trying to reach as an artist, what is your 'drive'? What would you like to accomplish in your 'profession'?

a)I do enjoy a lot drawing, so I hope to have the possibility and time to keep doing this.

q) When have you started using the internet and what role does this form of communication play for you, personally, for your art, and for your business?

a)Yes it does.
I have started 15 years ago. It is a great tool. I like interactivity. I never feel alone.

q) What do you obsess over?

a)Milan Kundera. I am joking a bit. But I like this author and his novels so much that I keep reading all his books again and again.

q) Do you have preferred working hours? Do you pay attention to the time of the day or maybe specific lighting?

a)Due to the nature of my office work I end drawing at evening time. When I am tired. With a lot of coffe. I know that this is not ideal. But I still like it.

q) Do you do commissioned works?

a)Yes but I never get enough requests.

q) Any tips for emerging artists?

a)Go to a library and open the books with the works of the great classic painters and alwyays trust your onw taste.
q)…Your contacts


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