Artist’s Talk: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Illustrator Donato Giancola

Donata Giancola is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Illustrator, whose form of media is mainly oil paints. As an artist he began by finding his story, ideas which would then lead to him trying to learn techniques to execute and create that idea onto a physical entity. He then learns techniques and styles by observing and copying different artists and their styles. And once he became comfortable with these styles he observed nature and the physical world around us. Trying to recreate the world around him into art. Finally, he begins to question the illustrations he does by trying to reach within and find what he wants to say through his illustrations. In his case, Giancola tried to recreate the most mundane and smaller scenes, those that spoke volumes about the characters’ personalities and those that tapped into the more humane moments. He tried to challenge assumptions about the story and tried to bring to life the most beautiful instants that were sometimes also the most tragic and emotional.

On the other hand, Donata Giancola is also an entrepreneur. Where he networks and creates a dazzling portfolio. When asked how one could receive patronage through their work his biggest advice was to have a consistent body of work so as to establish oneself in the field. As for how to create work based on what the clientele expect, he said to have a vision, and to not be afraid to put your work out there. When asked about how he works, he says that he mainly works with oils paints and that he likes to know the background of what he is illustration. So for a book he would read the manuscript and find the moment he thinks best represents the characters.

At this event I learned on how I should change my approach to art. I personally always had a hard time letting myself just try something new. For example I would only be comfortable painting in watercolor after I took classes and learned basic techniques. I somewhat grew out of this once I came to college. I can prove it by showing you a watercolor painting I did without having taken even one class in watercolor painting. Something else that stuck with me was how he said it was ok to take styles and ideas from others and that a lot of learning comes from mimicking from the world around us, be it other works of art, nature or other people, etc. And last but not least a quote he said, “throw your heart into your art and you dive in after it” by Howard Pile which will probably stick with me every time I sit down to work on a piece of art.