As far as I know no one ever reads the “bio” section in any website, so I was kind of tempted to write some random and odd stuff such as “On Fridays I like to paint myself with glue and roll over bunches of white chicken feathers” and see what happened.
So I’m sticking to the good old bio only for the sake of tradition.
Well, I come from Italy, I live in the UK, I’m 43 and I work as a Concept artist at Sumo Digital in Sheffield.
I started drawing in primary school, doodling on my school desk and frustrating my teacher a lot.No significant artistic event from that age on, until at the age of 15 I discovered role playing games. From then on I started drawing loads and loads of elves and orcs and dragons and faeries, which are a normal step in the evolution of every good illustrator.
I attended a scientific school that normally would give virtually no room to any art class.
Fortunately I had a really good art teacher there, who was very picky about traditional media (the only one available at that time I’m afraid), Greek classics, Italian renaissance and so on. If it hadn’t been for that teacher I would probably still be drawing elves and orcs and dragons and faeries (which I kept drawing for some other years anyway.)
After college I attended the Architecture faculty in Italy and it took just a few years to realize that designing buildings would never be my job.
In the meantime I kept doing a lot of doodling but on bigger desks now, which gained me some popularity amongst many fantasy games geeks but no academic recognition.
Then, after university I eventually decided to pursue a career as an illustrator, or at least in some job that implied an artistic effort of some kind.
So, with the few notions in CG learnt at school, I suddenly started expecting people to refer to me as a “generic freelance graphic designer” and I ventured into the unexplored world of advertising. As most of other young freelancers I sort of alternated a few sporadic work commissions to, well, non-exactly-artwork-related-jobs, such as fast foods, insurance companies, a winery and so on.
Things that pay the rent, so to speak (the winery was fun though).
By that time and occasionally up to recently, I also worked as a proper painter. I would paint huge trompe l’oeils in people’s houses and I loved it.
I still like to get my hands dirty but for some reason the walls in England are finished with this kind of waterproof paint that doesn’t allow any other liquid to stick, so for the time being I’m sticking to my Cintiq.
Anyway, after a while I eventually got hired by an advertising company and I worked there for five years. After that time, inspired by my wife-to-be, I decided to go back working as a freelance, and just like every other freelance I hugely enjoyed freedom and working in my underpants, even if struggling with bills and accountants and things like that.
Then in 2006, for some reason, I stumbled upon the Team 17 website, they were looking for artists, I thought ‘hey, how cool is Team 17? ‘ and – to cut it short – ta-daan, we all moved, my fiancee, our three kids, a forty kilograms dog and a cat, all in sunny West Yorkshire.
After four years at Team17 we decided to move South, working as a Lead Concept Artist at Jagex.
In 2015 I moved back North to work at Sumo Digital, which I’m enjoying quite a lot.
I still work as a freelance in my spare time, and during the last couple of years I had the pleasure to help with some pretty exciting projects:
Game of Thrones card game for Fantasy Flight Games
Lord of The Rings RPG for Fantasy Flight Games
Pathfinder card game for Paizo
Several Song of Ice and Fire rulebooks for Green Ronin
George R.R. Martin’s World of Ice and Fire for Bantam