To tell you the thruth, when I first contact Mara Piccione, I was intending to contact italian poster artists, so you can imagine my surprise when I ended discovering that she ws indeed from the Netherlands. So, after Michiel Walrave, she was the second artist from the grass and tulips country to visit me and the first european woman (except the french) to enter the Girls Power section of the blog ;)
Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
Very boring: The news-radio. I can't focus on both good music and work. + i like the idea of someone talking to me, since i work alone :-)
My name is Mara Piccione, i live and work in Groningen, the Netherlands. I am a illustrator and work mainly on music-related projects.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
When did you start drawing?
I started drawing when i was about 16 i guess, did not do that much with it until i went to artschool when i was 21. But i think is was only 6 years ago until i really became fanatic in making artwork... this basically means that i am very old:-(
I did go to art-school and got my degree, but i learned more by making posters afterwards.Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
Yes, my art is my work, no other jobs! happy!
No, not really, i mostly make posters and art-prints and some illustration projects.
I think my biggest influence is not a person but the printing technic. When i was very young i learned how to use the offset press, while printing a 2weekly magazine for a venue. This was still done the old-fashioned style, which means we had to hand-separate all colors. This is where i learned that a separated shape often was more interesting than the full image. Using these shapes, rather then drawing a line-image became the basics of my style.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
What are the principal steps in your work ?
I don't like to start with an idea, my first ideas are always bad ideas. I start with a pile of shapes, and i keep mixing them up until something strikes me by accident and i know how to move on. After that i try to find a story and sentiment that compliments the band.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
I use a combination of hand-drawings, cutting shapes out of paper and a computer to put it all together.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
1 full day designing, 1 day wondering what is wrong with it and 1 full day printing.
The oil painting part would be a problem, because i'm not a painter, but the image of horses and sunsets could be pretty cool, haha, i'd go for it. They know my style so they know what to expect, right?You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?
For which band have you already worked for?
Sometimes i work for a venue, sometimes for a festival and sometimes directly for the band. I have made posters for Tallest Man On Earth, Scanners, Melvins, Cutting Pink With Knives, Aussitot Mort, Boxhamsters, Magnapop, Melt Banana, Sebadoh and many, many more.
oh... i'd like to make so much more posters...if the bands are nice people to work with and they like my style i'd do it.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
Sometimes i contact the band, sometimes they contact me.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
Its not difficult, i just keep working on it until its done!
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
You can see and buy my work from my website: www.piccione.nl and there are some shops/gallerys in the netherlands, italy, UK and in the USA that sell my work.Yes, i think lots of us making screen-printed posters for bands and posting them on gigposters.com are part of that worldwide poster-scene.
A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?
The best praise you received lately?
A collector just ordered over 30 posters and art-prints the other day, that really made my day
I really would like to go to the US to attend one of those Flatstocks! For the 5 past years i have attended the Hamburg Flatstock, so i think its about time, i traveled to the US aswell. Hope i can find the time and cash to make it there next year.
Can you tell us a little bit more about rock poster scene in the NL ?
The Netherlands are taking an interest in Screenprinted posters more and more, its still growing slowly. A couple of years ago i only sold posters outside of the Netherlands, but it's catching up.
Last question : Do you know anything about french rock posters scene ?
to be honest i only know Emy and Gaspard from Arrache toi un oeil, Paris. They are very active in the posterscene, and nice people. I work with a band from France, Aussitot Mort, they have become good friends.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!
Thank you so much for your effort! I'm sure we'll be in touch again soon. Off to drink a beer now ;-)