“Perfecting a style is a continuous journey”: Domenico Carnimeo toes the line between observation and curiosity
The Milan-based creative fell in love with comics before he could even read. Here, he discusses the ins and outs of his vivid practice.
- Jyni Ong
- 18 March 2020
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
“I have always thought that expressing myself through drawing is vital to me,” Domenico Carnimeo tells It’s Nice That. Currently a visual designer at Satispay while working as a freelance creative on the side, the Milan-based Domenico grew up in Bari, a sunny port city on the Adriatic city, and the capital of Italy’s Puglia region. As a child, he found comics “very interesting,” the Mickey Mouse ones in particular. And though he was too young to read, the budding illustrator still found the images fascinating.
He was wowed by the extravagance of the cartoons which kept his eyes firmly glued to the yellow-tinged pages. Then, not long after, he asked his father to buy him the Dragon Ball Perfect Edition Number 4. “After reading that,” Domenico recalls of his childhood pleasures, “I understood that I was fully captured by drawing, but also, that I had read the comic book backwards.” It’s an influence that can be seen to this day in the Italian creative’s striking works; elements of traditional comics arts seeping through the line work.
“With my artworks,” Domenico continues, “I have almost never tried to communicate a precise message or meaning. Usually, I draw just because I enjoy doing it.” Exalting in the bustling chaos of his surroundings, he enjoys listening to music and absorbing himself in the act of drawing without any creative limitations. Characteristically, he is drawn to “representing a jungle full of elements with visually contrasting shapes and weird characters,” expressing his characters with a cartoonish panache, adding another layer of personality to his fun-filled works.
For Domenico, perfecting a style is a never-ending, continuous journey. It’s a delicate line toed between observation and curiosity; two crucial roles in the creative’s practice. He also cites electronic music, magazines, graphic novels and manga (he’s a big One Piece fan) as other key influences. Not to mention traveling, and the chance to explore “a totally different world” full of rich landscapes.
It’s a theme that has featured prominently in Domenico’s previous works, particularly in Superclio, a personal highlight for the creative consisting of nearly 70 artworks. It narrates a road journey across 23 days and 12 stops that he and his friends went on a couple of summer’s ago along with three friends and Renault Clio. Starting out from Bari in the south of Italy, the group journeyed to Spain, traversing across most of the country by car, sleeping on the beach or in hostels by night, and having an adventure of their lives by day.
“The artwork that sums up the whole project is this poster with saturated colours and large strokes that portrays a joyful moment spent with people coming together from all over the world in a luminous hostel lobby in Seville,” adds Domenico. Elsewhere, he’s been commissioned by the Italian magazine Pantheon and a pizza delivery company Facci to bring his half-comics half-graffiti-like style to editorial and logo design respectively. “I have many ideas running through my head,” he tells us finally. And looking to the future, he hopes to apply these ideas into many new kinds of collaborations, whether that be be through the music industry or through public art. For now however, he concludes, “I really love Italy and its lifestyle. I think I’ll stay in my country for now.”
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.