An important mission of visual arts is to provide us with alternative answers to the question of who we are, as well as to help us to find consolation in works of art. And this is the perfect description for work by Cristina Bernazzani, who combines artistic practices at Depositphotos with practical ways to help people in her daily career.
Although Cristina has more than 30 years of illustration experience, today she calls drawing a hobby that is a source of energy and inspiration for her as a full-time social health worker.
We decided to show you some of Cristina’s thought-provoking illustrations and accompany them with the story of this cheerful artist who lives in a small, picturesque town in the Lombardy region of Italy.
The first illustrations by Cristina (Nuvolanevicata on Depositphotos) were botanical ones. After several years of working for graphic studios, she began collaborating with Italian newspapers and magazines. Surprisingly, front-page articles were of little interest to her.
Cristina was more fascinated by the horoscope and test sections, since there she could truly express her imaginative artistic nature. Later, philosophical metaphors became a significant feature of her artistic style.
An important takeaway made by Cristina during her work for print media concerns the use of humor and irony in illustrations. She believes that tragic themes deserve optimistic interpretations. Moreover, painful topics like deportations, war, or social inequality often require an uplifting outlook. Optimism does not mean disrespect for victims, but is an expression of sincere sympathy.
The advantage of illustrations devoid of grief and drama is that they inform and encourage more people to think about social issues, compared to the frightening and repulsive images in which horrors are visually exaggerated.
“Getting informed means diving into painful situations, feeling empathy, and then being able to smile while maintaining respect, planting in the audience a small seed that, I hope, will one day sprout into tolerance,” is how Cristina explained her doctrine.
As you might have guessed, the greatest influence on Cristina Bernazzani’s portfolio were the surrealists — in particular, René Magritte, whom she appreciates for his poetic approach.
And although surreal paintings still delight the public, according to Cristina, Magic Realism has more potential for modern illustrators looking for inspiration. Rob Gonsalves or Paul Bond are the artists whose masterpieces Cristina usually brings to mind as she starts a new illustration.
If you asked Cristina Bernazzani to recommend an illustrator you could spend a few cozy evenings at home researching and looking at their masterpieces, Brad Holland would surely be her choice. This American artist is admired by Cristina, not only for the depth of his metaphors and expressiveness of his work, but also for his artistic skill.
We could not promote this artist to you better than Cristina herself did: “His ability to express volumes, his chromatic sensitivity, his ideas that enlighten those who observe his paintings with awareness trace the contours of our deepest being, where we often do not have the courage to explore.”
According to Cristina, a prerequisite for good social illustration is your attentiveness, curiosity, and empathy for people. Typically, a pencil, a notebook, and a quiet moment are enough for a good start. The choice of tools for finalizing your work is not that important. These days, the artist prefers digital technologies.
For days, this artist is surrounded by people and they often become the heroes of her metaphorical illustrations, revealing different aspects of the human personality. And she also meets prototypes of heroes outside of her work. “For more strictly satirical images, both political and economic leaders are an amazing source of inspiration, as you can certainly imagine,” Cristina said.
The life in a small town between Lecco and Monza seems to not be a limitation for this artist, but a form of freedom. She once lived in a big city, and then made a conscious choice in favor of living closer to nature and within a small Italian community.
A portfolio at Depositphotos gives her the opportunity to communicate with a large audience remotely: “Ideas remain the most important thing for me, but you need to have a place to publish your work. Microstock agencies have played a primary role in this sense, so nowadays it is crucial to be present on these websites.”
Life away from big cities does not prevent this artist from following innovative trends in the world of illustration. One of the recent discoveries she has made is crypto art (to get a feel for it, Cristina advises checking out Extraweg’s work on the internet)
Crypto art is an art movement and a social movement based on blockchain technology. Like physical objects of art, crypto art objects can be sold and displayed in exhibitions as originals.
“Illustration is the container of our experiences; we can talk about what surrounds us through this tool. Sometimes you can have visions that go beyond the present, but the roots are in our daily life,” says Cristina, sharing her life’s wisdom.
The illustrator inspires amateur artists to treat their main professions as their superpower and experienced artists to not hesitate to discover something new (for example, digital art). Together with Cristina, we encourage you to open your heart and mind to her surreal illustrations from her portfolio at Depositphotos.
“I hope that my works will be seen as my gesture of love and hope for those who have the opportunity to stop and look,” this artist told us at last, and we are sure that her words will come true.