Wednesday, May 6, 2009



Andrea Spada Interview

Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

I’m 35 years old Lived in Milan most of my time, after classical studies shifted on to artistic ones in Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. I’ve always been fond of comics, so I started to draw them, as soon as I understood I could have made a living out of it I just kept doing it, trying not to lose the very first enthusiasm that had me started.

How do you go about drawing, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

This depends on assignment, but I generally read everything I need to read about the character and the world it lives in and anything else that can be useful to gather information, then eventually go through some iconographic research, and this documentation both literal and iconographic is generally one of the most fun part; after this very first analysis, I get back brainstorming with authors when possible, then as soon as some ideas start to bubble in my mind start to rough out a bunch of drawings not necessarily related to the character itself, or if it’s more than one I’m designing I try to relate them first, showing contrast or similarities, blocking in the main shapes, silhouettes and proportions.
I’m not too methodical with it though, process may change depending on some factors, I’m mainly self taught so there’s no specific drill I’m going through each time, even if I know as soon as I start drawing many other things are going to happen, and I always try to be a little more daring each step, when all of a sudden eventually get to a couple of turning points and the design start to work out fine to me and whoever is feeding me back.
Let’s say I let things happen in a way, but after I had me projected into the characters’ world.

What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work with?

Wake up, breakfast, email, street market (if it’s a Friday), work, email, work, lunch, work, choice of what to eat, choice of wine, dine, movie, sometimes work again.

What are some of the things that you have worked on?

Did some animation on Charlotte’s Web, directed a dozen commercials, animated a lot, designed some of the commercial, not only graphically.

What are you working on now? (if you can tell us)

I’m actually working on a project with my friend Antoine Ozanam (check his blog here: , and the other that will host updates to our project)
to try and set up a comic book series project, called “Les inseparables”.
Then a series of drawings related to the world of food & wine; few animation to put in the reel, so personal stuff; got an art project but need to find the time and money to try that way, still I’m confident won’t take too long and could be an alternative to the mainstream ad career.

Who do you think are some of the top artists out there?

Well there is so many I couldn’t really say. But for sure my dear friend Claudio Acciari are some of the top ones…Enrico Casarosa, Alessandro Carloni, Mike Thomas, Nicolas Marlet, Arnaud Berthier, Alessandra Sorrentino. There are so many.

Could you talk about your process in coloring your art, as well as the types of tools or media that you use?

I generally use scanning pencils and then go on colouring on a Multiply layer in Photoshop, it’s quite straightforward, actually. Sometimes I go on refining things for a long time, but it’s just for fun.

What part of designing is most fun and easy, and what is most hard?

As I’ve said, research to me is the fun part, I see nothing really hard in designing, but, if something, animals are not exactly my cup of tea.

What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?

I’ve noticed sometimes when I’m not really in the mood, I just pick up old drawings I’ve made in a State of Grace, and start back from them, think what I did and how and why, and it will come back. Works fine.

What are some of your favourite pieces of art work that you have seen?

So many…recently I bumped in some amazing stuff by this utopistic architect named Yakov Chernikhov, quite visionary and stimulating. I love Hockney, Picasso, Ronald Searle, Chris Ware, Jordi Bernet, Jim Woodring, Jaime Hernandez, Saul Steinberg, but they relate a little to what I do, even if they are a constant inspiration. Moebius, of course, Milt Kahl for sure, and many many others I’m sure I’m forgetting tons of em in this moment.

What is your most favourite subject to draw? And why?

Women, I love them.

What inspired you to become an Artist?

When I was a little kid and made drawings and my parents were going like :”Cool!”,”Bravo!”, and things like that. Gratification that is, and selfishness.

What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?

Claudio Acciari gave me lots of suggestions about design and colour, and how to make it live, Giancarlo Carloni, Alessandro his son, Giovanni Mulazzani, Cinzia Angelini gave suggestions and many others taught me mostly all of the things I know and I’m quite thankful to them for that.

What are some of your favorite websites that you go to?

Sometimes I check Awn, Cartoon Modern, Sketchcrawl, this one is supercool as well, by the way congratulations, and many many others but I bump into everyday randomly.

What wisdom could you give us, about being an Artist? Do you have any tips you could give?

No clue, you do what you feel like, it’ll be fine as far as it communicates what you or who’s buying it need to.

If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted? (reel here is not really up to date, actually)

Finally, do you have any of your art work for sale (sketchbooks, prints, or anything) for people that like your work can know where and when to buy it?

Yep, prints are available now here:

Andrea Spada Gallery