Chiara Tronchin is an architect and an illustrator from Treviso who mainly collaborates in the “Education” sector at the La Fenice theater in Venice. She creates all the graphics for their work activities aimed at involving and bringing very young people closer to the world of theater and music. Chiara over time has also collaborated with vaious writers and with a publishing house called “ORTICA”, with which she has published a series of books for children. Intrigued by her interesting journey, we decided to ask her some questions:
Hi Chiara, thank you for your time! Let’s start with a quick question: ANALOG or DIGITAL? I prefer analog. Drawing by hand for me is a physical matter: I love using rollers, spatulas, getting my hands dirty, standing, sitting, leaving the room, coming back, changing the perspective of the sheet, using oil and water. The approach to the white sheet must be physical for me and the flow of thought, from the head to the sheet, is continuous. I start with collages to see the clutter of shapes in space. My training as an architect influences the design phase and, as the first thing, I think about the composition, dimensions and volumes that I create with paper and scissors; only in second place I place them on the sheet. In my mind I don’t have a final image but a feeling to convey, already trying to get it in the composition, through the shapes just sketched (the scene of a wedding will be central and crowded, a country house will be more airy, loneliness will be on a corner, the declared love in the center, the secret one in the background etc. …). Then I move on to the details. Working with my hands relaxes me and brings out the best solutions for me. The computer, on the other hand, is always a filter, it doesn’t allow me to manage mistakes (which can often be the best part of a drawing), it allows me to obsessively change a color or the position of a character and it becomes a more stressful job. I try to use it only at the end to improve contrasts or color saturation. Often, however, delivery times are very tight and requests for changes from the client are frequent and this does not allow me to follow the creative process that I would like.
What influences the selection and the combination of colours in your illustrations? The color palette comes together with the illustration. I don’t always have the same one. The color is part of the feeling that the illustration should convey for me. If the setting is Japanese, I am inspired by the palette of oriental prints, if the audience is only children I prefer brighter and more primary colors, if the subjects are magical and imaginative I choose more daring combinations. It’s true that the color palette, as well as the technique, identifies the style of an illustrator, but always having the same approach for different projects would be boring. I like to use different colours for each project and choose the palette inspired by great artists (among my favourites Marc Chagall for his bright colours, Egon Schiele for the combination of red, pale yellow and black, Magritte for the ambiguous color choices, Pieter Bruegel for the contrast between cold and warm colours in his winter landscapes, Gino Rossi for the mixture of blue, green and earthy colours).
What do you think the future holds for you? Do you have any secret wish? I have always worked in the world of childhood and Education. Children are what humanity will be and this seems obvious and banal but it isn’t so. Illustration for children has a great power: it is the first encounter of children with art and the aesthetic sense and can convey eternal values such as love, friendship, solidarity, acceptance … All values that children may not fully understand but feel, with curiosity and interest. I also believe that illustration, as “narrative” painting, tells first of all the author and my propensity to the world of children also depends on a personal need: when I draw, I certainly take inspiration from the liveliness and purity of my son who is 3 years old, but I also look for a contact with my “childish” side. Speaking of future projects, I would like, therefore, to remain in this area and at the same time experiment with new materials by applying my illustrations on fabric (perhaps for children’s clothing brands), or on ceramics for home decor lines or on wood for toys.