Hidden on the mysterious Italian island of Sardinia lives an extraordinary artist whose work is like a wicked journey into the darkest secrets of nature — populated by dangerously charming fairies. A self-taught illustrator with a sharp eye for detail, Simone Pinna is a true talent, manifesting unique visions that trigger the viewer in a very personal way.
Let’s have a chat with him!
Ciao Simone, and welcome to Visual Satiation! Let’s start with an introduction: Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and give us some insight into the background that shaped the person and the artist you are today?
Hello and thanks for having me!
I was born in Sardinia (Italy) in November 1994 and I still live here.
I graduated in Naval Mechanics and finished my studies at the age of 20.
I worked as a shop clerk and also as a night guardian on a pier but the needle of my compass has always pointed towards art.
There is a lot to say about everything that formed the person and the artist I´m now because I consider every moment fundamental for my own growth. I have not attended schools or training courses, my career as an artist is self-taught.
The characteristics that shaped my creativity are the charm of women that, in a certain way, made me keep drawing (I always liked them from an early age) and living on an island where nature reigns supreme.
Life experiences, feelings and emotions go hand in hand with what I imprint on paper, a mirror of what I am for those with a heart and a mind willing to look beyond the surface.
What feeds your imagination, and what kind of themes do you find yourself returning to in your art?
As I said before, women and nature are crucial for what I do. For some years, I’ve been exploring the intensity of human emotions in order to give a soul to the bodies of my fairies.
As for the themes, eroticism surely emerges more than all the others. I like the dark, the oneiric, the realism of bodies and feelings but I still don’t feel up to the tasks I’m visualizing in my head… I have to work a lot more.
Speaking of imagination, it means everything to me because I’m convinced that it’s the embryo of what you will create in the future. I have a world in my head that I want to somehow bring to life and show to all of those who, like you, appreciate the depths of ideas, recognize the value of those who create with the soul, as well as with the heart and ingenuity.
What’s the process behind your drawings? How do you normally work, and how long does it usually take to complete a piece?
There’s a lot to say here but I’ll try to be brief.
First, I´d like to clarify that having not attended schools or courses, these things that I´m going to tell are solely the result of my solitary and personal journey so they have all the rights to be wrong in respect of the artistic canons they are taught.
There are several ways of drawing but I mainly use three of them:
– the organized drawing
– the improvised drawing
– the hybrid drawing (a mix of the two)
The organized drawing is the one that takes longer. A drawing isn’t just its execution. If I get a clear vision of what I´m going to do on paper, I already have 80% of the finished work.
An idea can be born in a day as it can be built in a month or even in years. There’s much more work in passivity than in practice but let me explain better: if I actively spend three hours a day drawing, I spend the rest of the time building its mental draft.
If that drawing takes 10 hours to be executed (depending on the format) it will probably take me another 20 or 30 hours to assemble it in my mind by searching for references and documentations, studying all its parts and (much more important in my case) imagining things that do not exist in the world we live in. In a trace and in detail and in addition to the technique, there is much more than what you actually see.
The improvised drawing, on the other hand, takes shape in the heart. It has no solid foundations in reason, it’s traces of pure instinct. I work on improvised drawings in my spare time, like when I’m at the bar or while I’m waiting for dinner at a restaurant. They take an hour at the most.
The hybrid design is the best I know and it ALWAYS happens as a consequence of the organized drawing. The heart wants what it wants, if I have an idea for a drawing that it’s already built in my mind (often during the active execution) the sudden instinct intervenes to add shapes, spots, traces or even additional drawings. To be clear, I basically do what my heart tells me at that moment, and it all happens in a fraction of a second.
In my opinion, a masterpiece is born when it comes from a hybrid design, in times of emotional peaks that make you cry or give you goosebumps while doing it. Having the mental strength to manage strong emotions and channel them intelligently into the creative process, will give birth to something extraordinary.
What’s your relationship with social media? Does censorship affect you due to the graphic, erotic nature of your work?
Social media made it possible to spread what I do outside my city.
I owe a lot to Instagram but there’s always the problem of censorship that affects almost everything I do, which means showing a defiled work.
I’m not very visible to the users due to the numerous contents that get removed from my pages, leading my work to quite heavy restrictions such as the “shadow ban” on Instagram.
I always try to stay true to myself and what I want to show. I’m an adult, therefore the contents I create are equally so. There’s no difference for me between a neck and a nipple, they’re both parts of the human body, and honestly, I can’t understand the need to obscure some of them.
Sex is also part of everyone’s life as well as part of the nature we live in. I don’t see why we still have to give restrictions of this kind, but these are bigger issues than my whims so I have to adapt to the situation and that’s okay considering that the most popular social media are free after all. However, I manage to show my work a lot for free, despite the limitations.
What’s your idea of femininity and sensuality?
When I think of beauty, I can’t help but visualize a female figure as my first thought.
Femininity is the crux of what I do, the engine that moves my ideas and all the other components that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Basically, if I hadn’t liked women, I wouldn’t have drawn till today, at least not in such an intense way.
I take inspiration from femininity in all its facets: whether it results as cheerful, sensual, erotic, or bizarre or it focuses on anger, pain and tragedy. The great muse always remains the same.
Sensuality is simply one of the characteristics that animate its essence, and it’s certainly one of my favorites. Femininity as well as sensuality is beautiful when freely expressed by the woman herself without restraints or inhibitions that do not concern her.
How have you been doing during these last couple of years, and how’s the situation nowadays?
To be honest, I dedicated all of myself to creating and discovering my own personality. The last two years did not change much in my life, I wasn’t really going out anyway but I really did miss nature and going fishing a lot. I am quite a lonely person otherwise. For the rest, I felt a sort of oppression but in a very slight way, I should look at the drawings I made during those years to remember how I was feeling.
What else do you like to do, besides arousing people with your weirdly astounding art?
I like to write sometimes. I’ve been carrying on with a project called the “Moth Diary” for the past few years and I love to go fishing barracudas on the reef with rough sea. I’d also like to travel a lot more and discover new places.
Who are your favorite artists?
I discovered my favorite artists when I was 19-20 years old.
They are HR Giger, Zdzisław Beksiński, Jeremy Mann.
Their art stunned me so much and they definitely left a mark on me.
HR Giger surely was my favorite, he’s like a master to me.
What are your favorite insects? Why?
This is the hardest question of this interview ahah!
I like all of them but I don’t know why, moths have a unique charm that I can’t explain. I associate them to something oniric, mysterious and melancholic, like a solitary and misunderstood beauty.
I’d really like to answer more clearly but if you look at my works “Saturniidae“ or “Sphingidae”, they will surely be able to explain the concept better than my words.
Please show us a very early drawing of yours.
I lost most of them but I made this one in middle school probably.
Lastly, let’s give you a few minutes to draw a caricature of yourself and see how it goes! Ready, set, go!
Thank you so much for being with us Simone!
All the best e in bocca al lupo!