When Lucia Vinti first arrived at the University of Brighton, her interests were focused on photography and printmaking; “I didn’t really see myself as a ‘drawer’.” As she continued through university, Lucia tells us “I found myself drawing more and more” until we get to now, where we are greeted by her joyous work, rife with colour and intrigue, focusing on “people, places, food and culture.”
The key to Lucia’s work is the power of her observation, at both a macro and micro scale, from expansive scenes to canned soup, injecting bright personality to both. “I love markets, museums, architecture, people watching and aimlessly walking around London,” she says, adding “when I draw a big scene, the thing that almost always draws me to it, is all the little details.” These acute details are what makes Lucia’s drawings so enticing; with her self-described “wibbly wobbly” and expressive style, you can’t help but find yourself drawn to the minutiae that act as the adhesive holding the drawing together, making people “notice all your favourite little bits!”
Lucia describes her process when she plans to draw somewhere, saying that she will “always take a tonne of photos… from a mixture of viewpoints” in order to select the features she finds most interesting to focus on, resulting in “creating smaller, simpler images.” This contrast of concepts between simplicity and detail is what provides Lucia’s work with wonderful perspectives and a content tone of voice.
This attention to smaller features has manifested in the type of work Lucia has taken on, saying that “since graduating, rather than focusing on big long term projects, I’ve been setting myself lots of individual illustration tasks” continuing by saying that she has “been really enjoying honing my skills and finding my interests through creating lots and lots of drawings.” This has included “spending time planning out colour schemes in advance” to ensure “they’re cohesive” and more restrained. Lucia adds “it’s good to pair back other elements to keep it looking fresh.”
Lucia wants to continue to develop her skillset, with her eyes on “writing and illustrating a non-fiction children’s book” as well as teaching herself “to design repeat patterns and get some fabric printed with my drawings!” Other projects on the go include planning to “illustrate a recipe book,” a “dream commission” for Lucia, who is “planning to set myself a challenge to redesign one that’s knocking around in my kitchen.” It seems the point is not what Lucia will be doing next, then, but when – “I have a whole load of ideas of things I want to work on next, the first challenge is to just choose one!”
In this discussion about what lies ahead, Lucia talks about the troubles we are facing now and how she’s responded, saying “Covid-19 has definitely affected where I draw inspiration from as I can’t rely on going out and about to get ideas.” She explains “because of this, I’ll have to be more resourceful and take time to use books, my scrapbooks of postcards and ephemera and my photos from past travels and days out.” Self-Isolating, as it has for all of us, has caused Lucia to reflect on the work she posts – “It has definitely made me more conscious about how my work resonates with other people” going on to say “on social media, my number one aim is to make somebody smile or feel calm or relaxed when they see my work.” The result of which has been work that centres around “more domestic things, like interiors, flowers and food,” reminiscent of David Hockney, a figure who has “a special place” in Lucia’s heart, in both subject and tone.
It is this considerate and joyful spirit, even in the domestic, that bleeds through her work and gives us all a sense of warm optimism – “In a dream world I would just travel around Europe, sit in the sun and draw to my heart’s content!”
About the Author
After graduating from Winchester School of Art, studying graphic arts, Harry worked as a graphic designer before joining It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in March 2020. He nows works as a freelance writer and designer, and is one half of Studio Ground Floor.