I first discovered Martina’s work on Instagram and was immediately drawn to it. Her work is so gentle and honest that I can’t help it but feel deeply moved. There is no pretending, just raw vulnerability and emotions, which is what makes it so powerful at the same time.
For the following I asked Martina if she wants to do an interview with me:
Luna Maluna Gri: Tell me a bit about yourself and your work.
Martina Cinotti: Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Martina Cinotti, a 21 years old artist based in Milan, Italy. I currently study at Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan. My work includes different techniques such as watercolor, acrylic, oil, and recently also photography. I really like to combine different mediums to find the best way to express how I feel. My work rotates around the perception of my inner and external image, my self representations and my own story.
LMG: How and why did you start creating art?
MC: Drawing and painting are something that I always practiced as a child, so this passion naturally grew in me. I can’t really tell why, I just felt it was the right thing to do. When I was in elementary school I used to draw and copy the figures I saw in my school books all the time, and I remember giving all these drawings to my classmates as gifts. We even formed a drawing club where we gave drawings to each other, and I still have all of those! Growing up and trying new things, I understood that art was something really important to me, I just couldn’t imagine living without it. So I decided to pursue an artistic career.
LMG: What role does making art play for you?
MC: As I said before, art is a really important part of my identity. I’m not good with words and I’ve never been a good speaker, I was always the quiet one even during my childhood. So creating art for me is the only way I’m really able to express my feelings. Looking back at all the works I’ve done, I can clearly see and remember every feeling I was going through, like if I was reading pages of my diary. Art makes me feel free and present in the world.
LMG: What do you like more about drawing and what more about painting? And what more about your digital art?
MC: I like to use drawing tools such as graphite and charcoal mainly to sketch. I find that sketching can really free my mind in a quick way. I do it a lot when I’m having an art block because it helps me to train my hand and my eye, it’s a way to warm up before I start bigger painting projects. Sometimes I sketch with paint too, but I often end up over-working it. With painting, instead, I really like the uncontrolled shapes and shades I can create. Using watercolor for example, in the series of self-portraits “identity”, I let the color flow and create its own shapes, and then I adjusted them. The process is really magical because I never know what the result will look like until I finish it. Every brushstroke influences the next and I get lost in the process of creating balance in composition and color. Speaking about digital art, I recently did a series called “Fluire” which means “to Flow”, using a combination of painting and digital photography. It’s a new thing for me but I really enjoyed working with it. Sometimes I also do digital paintings over photographs, but at the moment I mainly use Procreate to sketch and do some tests for bigger paintings.
LMG: Is there something you want to change about the art world? If yes, what and why?
MC: The art world is huge and complex, there is so much to talk about. From my experience, I think emerging in this world is really hard. You have to work hard for your art to be seen by people and collectors. It’s like being alone and having to cross the sea full of sharks to get to the beach. There are so many fake opportunities out there that just want to take advantage of the ingenuity of emerging artists. I would definitely change this. The only way to survive in this world is the support between emerging artists, which I think it’s fundamental, at least for me.
LMG: What do you think is/are the role/-s of artists and art in our society?
MC: Beauty. I think art exists because it is the higher expression of beauty that the human being can create. Ordinary people might think that art is useless, but I’m sure that if they lived only one day without it they would change their mind. Also, from a historical point of view, art is the most important expression of a time. We know that people lived before us just because they left their art in the world
LMG: What does your creating process look like?
MC: I think it looks very messy and chaotic but ordered at the same time. Sometimes I film my process so that I can go back and see it from another perspective, and just in this way I was able to understand what one person once told me while they were watching me creating a piece. They said to me that they couldn’t tell what my subject was until the very end.
LMG: What inspires you?
MC: My feelings, the places I visit, the people around me. And of course, I have artists that I admire such as Gerhard Richter, Jenny Saville, David Hockney, Andreas Eriksson, Matisse, Cézanne, Edward Hopper.
LMG: What artist/artists would you like to meet (dead or alive) and if you had one question what would you ask them?
MC: I really don’t know. The first that came to my mind is David Bowie, even if it’s not related to painting. He’s always been a big inspiration for me because he did not just make music. I see his work as a big performance, with its eras, costumes, and different identities in only one person. I wouldn’t ask a question, but I would love to sit and create something together.
LMG: What does a normal creating day look like for you?
MC: It depends on the day. I have periods where I just sketch and organize my thoughts and ideas. Days where I’m busy with completing a series so I paint all the time, and days where I paint just a little part of a big painting. Much of my day is also occupied by managing my social media accounts and my shop where I sell prints and originals. I also have university lessons and exams. Sometimes it’s hard to combine everything together and it can be stressful, but I’m so grateful to get to fully dedicate myself to art.
LMG: What is something you can’t create without?
MC: Calm. I learned that I can’t make art when I’m angry and nervous, because I can’t stay focused. It’s normal to feel frustrated sometimes but I always try to calm down and see things from another perspective, sometimes it takes days or weeks but it’s worth it.
LMG: Is there something you want to achieve in your art life? Dreams? Future plans? Or projects you would like to do?
MC: In the near future I’m looking forward to having a studio outside my home where I can go to work and be alone just with my canvas and paint. I think it would really make a difference in my work. The next goal is to graduate in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera. And of course, to continue my art career that just started.
LMG: Do you think there is something you can bring to this world through your work as an artist which you couldn’t in any other field of work?
MC: Yes, I think only in this field I can really bring my contribution to the world, as it is my main way to express myself. At the moment I can’t imagine myself doing anything else in life, this is my biggest passion and dream and always will be.
Copyright to all artworks and photos: Martina Cinotti
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