What do Florentine artists daydream about on a hot summer day as they overlook their city from Michelangelo’s favorite piazzale? Well, gelato of course! But after a couple of scoops of crema del Buontalenti the ideas begin to flow and the inspiration has them conjuring up new ideas in their minds. As we all know, this past year has been full of unexpected twists and turns. In order to find out what makes the artisan community tick, we went straight to the source and asked three artists from our community what has been inspiring them most recently.
By Jen Leo
First, we talked to painter Jen Leo, who creates whimsical abstract cityscapes to find out what she is most enthusiastic about these days.
“It’s been motivating to see the city come back to life. Even as a local, I can’t walk around Florence on a sunny day without wanting to snap a photo, and I’m constantly inspired by the perfectly composed views, which keeps my mind fresh and full of ideas for new work. Florence as a whole is in a great position to embrace a creative regeneration. Connecting with the community is key, and I’m happy to be a small part of that. I am looking forward to getting back in the centre, where I can periodically be found in piazza del Duomo to show my work along with the other street artists. Being able to connect with people face to face is so rewarding and I love the chance to share this with others. My motto is ‘Art to captivate the soul’, and with this idea I’ve also started a small initiative where I periodically drop artwork hidden around the city, to give back and hopefully bring a smile to someone’s day. It can be followed on Instagram at #Freeart_Florence. I’m excited to get some new work out there, re-connect with the community and be ready for future opportunities!”
By Anthea Cattarossi
Next, Anthea Cattarossi, who creates handcrafted jewelry in classic Florentine styles with a fresh and modern twist, tells us how the summer season sparks new ideas and influences her work.
“The changes of the seasons often inspire completely new chromatic approaches. Summer is a season that I particularly like because it always gives me many ideas to create new jewels and space for warm, lively colors! Transferring the vibrations of light into the color of a rigid surface of a light summer creation, a jewel to wear with simplicity is what I looked towards to bring my new summer line to life. Of course this long period of lockdown has been tough, but I didn’t let it stop me! Instead, it pushed me to find new creative solutions that are completely different from my usual work.”
By Eva di Franco
Fashion designer Eva di Franco has spent the past several months revisiting past collections and reconnecting to the conceptual side of her work. Despite the months of restrictions, she found some unexpected inspiration that allowed her to look at her designs from a new perspective.
“I’ve always been strangely attracted to the color blue in all its shades, as well as white, those are the two that intrigue me most. The sky is something I’ve been observing a lot lately. During Covid, I had access to a terrace and looking at the sky was an easy way to feel relief during the state of captivity. All that blue was giving me a strong sense of tranquillity. My latest collection AIR is the creative output of that. Recently, I’ve been exploring my fashion practice more deeply and my approach has shifted to a more conceptual side. I’ve also been involved in a theatre piece where I designed costumes for three performers which has led me to a more artistic kind of work. We are all responding to the times we are living through in new ways and with new communication strategies. As always in Florence, under the mainstream surface there is a lively underground scene that you have to dig deep to find and this is always inspiring for me.”