"I draw like I dream, letting out my subconscious contents"

Claudia Marchetti

Artist

Rome, Italy


I have been invited to write a self-interview so now I will happily double up or split into my interviewer and myself and I hope that you will like both of them.


When and how did you start drawing and painting?


I am a conference interpreter, I translate simultaneously other people’s speeches, thoughts and ideas. In 2015, I felt a sudden need to also express my own feelings and thoughts, in my spare time. I am quite shy with words (I love translating but I am shy when I have to speak about myself) so I had to use images. One day I took a pen and a piece of paper and drew a woman with many legs, who was probably dancing. I liked it and decided to keep drawing, and then I drew more and more often, and then I added colours and started painting too. It has become my habit to draw or paint every night after work or when I am on a train, or outside having a coffee or lunch in a restaurant. During the first lockdown, I submitted my works to the online art gallery Return on Art – which I have always admired - and now many of my works are available on the gallery’s website.


I believe that many people have a complex, vast universe inside themselves, and need to see artworks that express that kind of chaos and complexity.

Why do you feel this need to draw and paint?


I do it because it makes my life more adventurous. I love to enter an imaginary world, where I create funny, liberated and carefree women, colourful rooms, mysterious places, the furniture of my dreams, all the animals that I would like to cuddle. Animals are also symbolic; they represent different feelings and instincts. The numerous women are symbolic too; they express all the different, contradictory women inhabiting myself, with their different desires and fears. I have a whole universe inside myself, inhabited by many creatures and all of them are legitimate. Some of them get to live in the real life, some others only live in my thoughts and dreams, but at least I make them visible. All these inner women deserve to be seen, because they are all beautiful, none of them is too wild or wrong, they simply have the right to exist. I believe that many people have a complex, vast universe inside themselves, and need to see artworks that express that kind of chaos and complexity.



Can you describe your creative process?


I turn on the music and I literally switch off my rational thinking and let the pen wonder on the paper. I draw like I dream, letting out my subconscious contents, all the things that I desire and fear, which often coincide. This is very soothing and liberating.


At the beginning I think that I will paint a specific thing, but I always end up painting something totally different, with elements that I wasn’t even thinking about when I began. I am not in control; I simply wander in my mind and I report what I see on the paper.

It is not vain to express ourselves, to want to be seen, it is a deep need that we all have.

Has art changed your life somehow?


It has helped me communicate better with my friends and all the people that see what I do. Through my works, they can see who I am, or at least guess it, without any filter. Art is a playful means of communication. It is not vain to express ourselves, to want to be seen, it is a deep need that we all have. We can be really perceived only through love, through significant actions, or through art.


What do you do besides drawing and painting?


I still work as a conference interpreter and translator, which is my profession. As for my spare time, I love doing yoga, reading novels and fashion magazines, watching series. My free time is quite complex, because I love doing more things at the same time, such as doing yoga while I read, having lunch with my parents while I draw, with a sheet of paper next to my dish, watching series while I do my make-up, looking around while I imagine how I could turn what I see in a surreal painting, filled with additional, imagined elements.


Do those activities affect your art or provide you sources of inspiration?


Some of those activities inspire me, namely series and fashion magazines. I always find something strikingly beautiful that subconsciously affects my art. But my main sources of inspiration come from my old obsessions, that are deeply enrooted in me, such as Dario Argento’s films, Egon Schiele’s and Picasso’s paintings, Vouge Italia when Carla Sozzani was its editor in chief.