The magic starts with a pencil – Luca Di Sabatino

This is the proud and fascinating story of a truly Italian talent. Creativity is like an explosion and Luca tells how this can be also a struggle full of passion and eclecticism and experimentation.

He tells us his intense journey and we are so happy and grateful for this daily dose of artistic breeze.

Tell me about your story and the story of your artistic process.
I started my career almost twenty years ago, as an illustrator for a children’s book. At the age of 16, I decided to turn my passion for design into a professional job. I was attending the Academy of Art when I started to work as a photographic assistant in a professional studio. After graduation, I started using the computers. Combining my technical skills with software like Painter, Illustrator, and Photoshop has allowed me to acquire the necessary knowledge to become a graphic designer with countless expression possibilities. 
After I bought my first Wacom tablet, I started working for different communication agencies and as a freelancer. Over time, I developed graphics projects for musical instruments, clothing, and children’s games. Working for leading Italian, European, American and Japanese companies has given me amazing opportunities to grow professionally. I have improved my ability to switch from creating illustrations to storyboarding, concept design, toy design, brand design, UI design, music production, photography, art direction, and creative direction. My ability with freehand drawing has allowed me to bring a strategic element into every creative project in which I am involved. So everything I do usually starts with a pencil. Drafts and sketches are always the basis for new projects, both professional and “artistic”. It doesn’t matter if it is a branding project or a photographic project, I need to have my sketchbook with me.

Luca Di Sabatino

What do you try to express through your everyday work?
Knowledge. Catching good results in terms of quality is my first concern. Then I focus on the details. Having studied art for nine years, I am confident in my solid foundation in visual communication. I try to put what I know and what I have learned into each project that I take on. I feel very lucky because I get paid for doing what I love, but high levels of professionalism are critical. Excellence is always the target.  It’s the only way I know to do my work.  I can’t settle for “good enough”.

How would you define your creative vision?
I’ve always been passionate about images in general. I have been surrounded by creativity since I was a child. I grew up listening to classical music and jazz, enchanted to observe everything around me. I am enamoured with cinema and comics. When I like something, I try to really understand it, to see beyond the surface. I am constantly asking myself, “Why do I like this?” and “How do they do that?”  I’m a bit of an Indiana Jones, looking for secrets and buried mysteries. I spend a lot of money on books, DVDs, professional courses, and traveling to art exhibitions or museums. My creative vision results from all of these ingredients. How would I define it? It is sometimes crazy, sometimes difficult, sometimes expansive, but always stimulating. 

Luca Di Sabatino

What do you think is the future of art?
I think that the future is in the past, as always. To be original becomes more difficult every day, and to stand out from the crowd is an emormous challenge. Actually, at one time I thought that the future of art was going to be on the web. Social networks have created a new idea of artists and the arts. Inexpensive technology has made art accessible to a much larger number of people. Now you can have your own artist’s page for the price of a cup of coffee. You can show your work to the whole world. This has distorted the way that consumers/audiences experience art. I recently asked a friend of mine, “Have have you ever been to the Sistine Chapel?” He answered,  “No, I haven’t, but I saw some pictures of it on Facebook.”  
In my opinion, the only way to breathe art is to be there live in the presence of the art itself. A Facebook image is not a person. Neither is a Facebook image a painting or a sculpture or a cathedral. I have noticed an interesting change online:  many creative types are leaving social media and putting their products in locations accessible to a live audience so that their art can be properly appreciated. Sometimes it is a waste of time and energy to share art projects on social networks. I mean, if you are an artist, you have to be there, but the goal is to inform people about what you are doing, not to showcase what you have already done. The future is out there among the living. 

Luca Di Sabatino

What inspires you the most?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. You can find inspiration in everything that surrounds you: streets, lights, posters, billboards, mountains, people, shops. Personally, I am most inspired by books and movies. Often before starting a new project, I go the the library. I look at books of every kind. I especially love books that detail “the making of” something, like the design process behind a product or behind the scenes of a movie.  I also have biographical books about the illustrators that I love most. These books are always a good start. Very rarely do I use social media to seek inspiration, but there are a few specific websites that I use from time to time. Paper is my favorite medium.

Luca Di Sabatino

What’s your next project?
I’m currently working as an art director, collaborating with a chemical company whose goal is to be more recognizable in the market by building and sharing their story and publicizing a clear vision for their brand. I feel very comfortable in this role because they trust me. So they give me all the tools I need in order to take them to another level of visual perception. Being involved in all the decisions of the company is very challenging. My ambition is to be an active part of their growth by sharing my ideas. 
At the same time I would like also to continue to take pictures. I’m working on an art exhibition called Visions. It’s a series of twelve portraits of twelve professionals seen through the lens of my camera, but printed in large format. Each image has been built using a clear concept, each has its own story, and it clearly reflects my friendship with and knowledge of the subject. The professionals involved include a 3D artist, a makeup artist, a hair stylist, a photographer, and a fitness model, among the others. I tried to take my vision beyond the obvious, attempting to catch a truer essence of the subject by using lights. I wanted them to play a role, to act, to follow my instructions so that we could create more than just their portraits–  I wanted to convey a piece of them, what they are, how they are, who they are, of their experience even. This is Vision. Each picture will be a journey into the life of a professional. I sincerely hope to make this exhibition public in the summer of 2019. I’m still working on the pictures, but I can see the light. The work is nearly finished. I left the most complicated images for last. Every image takes a great deal of time for pre-production, production, and post-production. I’m focused on finishing it very soon. 
Meanwhile, I have started work on a new series of tracks for my next music project. There is a very talented Italian singer with whom I hope to produce an album very different from the ones I have produced lately. I’m very excited about the project!
After that, I don’t know. I want to continue to draw, to read, to travel, to buy books, and to stay up-to-date and ready for every challenge my job presents. My professional intent is always to be a part of a stimulating team, but we’ll see.

For further info and images:
https://www.behance.net/sabbatman
https://ello.co/sabbatman
https://soundcloud.com/luca_di_sabatino
https://vimeo.com/168434053
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqtQrySil4A

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