We reached out to the wonderful Michela after seeing a few of her illustrations online, and commissioned her work for an essay on Scars by Sophia Rahim. Michela brilliantly uses digital art to create stories about the internal and external conflict of the lived experience. There is a daring vulnerability with her art, characters who are made imperfect, constantly questioning parts of themselves. Using an incredibly unique style, in the interview below Michela discusses how art has kept her feeling positive and connected during the pandemic.
How did you start drawing?
Since I was a child, I've always been interested in drawing, so I decided to follow art as an educational path. In high school and, later on, at the academy of fine arts where I started to develop my illustrations. In my academic years, I started engraving and fell in love with it; making lots of small strokes at first and in the end, an image!
Now I try to recreate the same technique but digitally.
What keeps you motivated as an artist?
The passion I have is for the drawing process itself. It's what I use to express things that I cannot express in any other way. I like to think that my art could be something that will remain over time, something that makes people stop and reflect, even for just a minute.
How have the current world events affected your life?
Today's world situation is definitely not the best, obviously.
I'm trying to focus on being positive as the pandemic has certainly affected my personality. The quarantine period was especially hard, but I learned to feel good about being by myself and at the same time listen to others.
Weirdly enough, work wise this situation gave me the opportunity to express myself more and to create beautiful interactions with people, thanks to the collective sharing of thoughts and emotions that is generated as a response to the pandemic.
Do you often feel the same sense of internal conflict that your characters do?
Sometimes my characters are images of songs that are close to my heart. My characters almost always derive from a state of mind of mine, it's the best way to express what I feel at a certain time in my life.
Like everyone, I have moments in which I feel particularly down but what helps me the most are the people I can count on, it will seem like a cliché but it is a fact - having positive people around is the best way to feel better.
See you soon,
Editor and Interviewer: Amira Umar