GABRIELLA CARBONI

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

GC: My work could be categorized as abstraction (or more specifically: biomorphism). Biomorphic art and design focuses on shapes, forms, and patterns that are found in nature and animals. I currently work with drawing, painting, and sculpture. 

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

GC: I am interested in intimacy, kinship, relationships, comfort, and touch. I think a lot about how we support and care for each other within our relationships. I am also interested in how we grow apart or grow together over time. The forms I invent pull from the human body and nature. Inspiration for much of my current work has come from travel and the natural elements I discover in various locations. Most recently, I have been thinking about slot canyons, tectonic plates, and bodies hugging. 

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

GC: I do not have a regimented process: I allow my time in the studio to be fluid. I often make a lot of small drawings to start, and work from these to make more detailed, larger drawings or sculptures. I don’t really plan each piece directly before starting though; I usually make pages of small drawings and then use some of them right away and some months later. I also take a lot of photos to use as references when planning and inventing my forms.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

GC: One of my goals is for people to recognize these physical relationships that I am depicting as representations of emotional relationships and dynamics. I would love for people to feel the connection between my forms and see how these complex relationships reflect our own human relationships. 

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

GC: My lifestyle as an artist involves a different schedule every day. Because I am also an educator, I spend a lot of time at both schools and my studio. Some days I wake up and teach in the morning and go to my studio in the afternoon, and some days it is the opposite. You could say it is a little hectic, but I actually enjoy that each day is different. Because I don’t work a classic 9-5, I am able to have more freedom with my studio schedule. I also spend a lot of time cooking and reading. It really fluctuates based on the day and time of year! Overall, I have a lot of freedom. 

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

GC: Usually I have this very specific idea or plan, where I have actually done multiple drawings and color studies…but sometimes my work stems from just a basic thought or direction in my head or a quick sketch. With the latter, the work is usually jumping off from another artwork I have already made, so it isn’t really a fully impulsive process. I think that sometimes you have to work with and tweak ideas for a while, or maybe an image is kind of haunting you or following you around, and you need to keep working with it. 

GC: As an educator, I am always encouraging and pushing for my students to plan. When you are learning the elements of art, and trying to understand how to layout a composition, I believe that you need to move through each stage of the planning process in order to really understand how to create a successful work. I do think impulse plays an important role at some point in the making process for most people; It just may not take place in that initial planning stage.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

GC: Don’t make work for other people. Go to the studio because it feeds you and because you need to!

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

GC: I would say that I have a personal style for sure, but I don’t think that it is the most important thing to have a consistent personal style in your work. There are other crucial elements to an artwork, and I don’t think style or taste sit alone at the top. 

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

GC: There is so much incredible contemporary art being created, and sometimes it can be intimidating!

GC: Another major challenge is making a living from your work.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

GC: I have always loved drawing since I was a child. I can’t really imagine doing anything else. I feel a certain comfort in the studio – especially while drawing. One of the best parts about being an artist is those moments when you are so tuned into your work and process that you kind of forget everything that is going on around you. 

GC: I also want to mention that I love the community of wonderful people I have been lucky to find through the arts. 

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?

GC: Oh absolutely! There are so many, and it is always changing.

GC: Currently, I am loving the work of a few artists in particular: 

GC: Devra Fox is a fantastic drawer, and I always love seeing other people who work with graphite, detailed lines, and shading. 

GC: Robin F Williams’ paintings from her show “Out Lookers” at PPOW Gallery haunt me…I find myself thinking about these paintings a lot.

GC: Kristi Cavataro, makes fantastic sculptures out of stained glass.

GC: I also love the work of Matthew Ronay, Emma cc Cook, Poppy Jones, and Yulia Iosilzon.

GC: And of course, my forever favorites: Henry Moore, Alvar Aalto, Kiki Smith, Paavo Tynell, Egon Schiele…The list goes on!

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

GC: Technology is incredibly useful. There are many amazing artists working with technology either as their main medium or as a step in the process of work that is more analog in its presentation. While I don’t currently use technology in my work, it is something I have utilized in the past, and I wouldn’t rule it out as something I would use again! 

GC: Technology is also, of course, quite useful for documenting and sharing your work.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

GC: I think that artists process the world differently – through a different lense. Artists may notice intricacies that others may not. That being said, I don’t think you need to be an artist to see the world in this way! I believe that having a creative outlet and learning how to look carefully at things is an important skill that can be – and is – used in all fields!

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

GC: I absolutely love traveling, and find it feeds my work. I don’t know if I can choose a favorite, but I have a few – Vienna, Rome, and Florence come to mind first. But my favorite country that I have visited is Iceland. There’s just no way to beat the landscapes I encountered there!

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

GC: Yes! I love reading and have many favorites but one I always come back to is “When Women Were Birds: 54 Variations on Voice” by Terry Tempest Williams. 

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

GC: I have a two-person collaborative show with Lauren Anaïs Hussey coming up this August at Stone House Art Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am also hoping to work with ideas I have for some pieces of furniture.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

GC: Being an artist is a way of sharing how you see the world with others. It is an opportunity to point out the intricacies of the human experience. 

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to? 

GC: Bright Star – Anaïs Mitchell 

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