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In the spotlight with Raffaella Bertolini

Over the last few months we’ve chatted to the likes of Blek Le Rat, My Dog Sighs and Mason Storm. Today we got the opportunity to fire some questions at the wonderfully talented Raffaella Bertolini.

Always pushing herself and experimenting, mainly on female portraits, Raffaella creates stunning, exciting artworks using a wide variety of mediums.

Tell us a bit about yourself? Did you always want to be an artist?
Yes, ever since I can remember. As a little girl I used to draw constantly, Japanese Manga cartoons were a big influence, I used to invent my own characters and bring them to life.

When I was around 8 or 9, I remember my Uncle used to go out with a girl who was an art student, she used to come around with all her drawings and equipment , I thought she was really cool and decided there and then that I wanted to go to art school and be an artist.

How do you find being an artist? Is it how you imagined?
It’s been a rocky road, lots of ups and downs, nearly gave up a few times but now it’s better than I ever imagined.

One of our personal favourites by Raffaella ‘See No Evil’

What, if any, are the frustrations of being an artist?
Sometimes I go through periods of “artist blocks”, no inspiration ,everything pointless, I find that really frustrating.

What’s important to you as an artist?
Constantly improving and learning new skills!!!

‘The Raven’

You have produced quite a variety of work (which we love by the way). Do you categorise yourself as a particular type of artist or enjoy dabbling in different styles?
Thank you! I consider myself a portrait artist. Faces, especially women are my main subject but I love using different mediums to express myself, alcohol inks, oils, pencil and charcoal drawings, collages, spray paint etc… and I love learning new techniques.

From the work you’ve produced, do you have a particular favourite and why?
My favourite is always the last one I made, although I am particularly fond of “Ballon Rouge” as I really pushed myself working with oils with that one.

'Ballon Rouge' by Raffaella Bertolini
‘Ballon Rouge’ by Raffaella Bertolini

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
I get a great deal of inspiration by looking at other artists’s works. From the Old Masters to contemporary ones, but also from movies, books, poetry, music and fashion.

What would you say has been the highlight of your artistic career so far?
Having my artwork shown at the Saatchi Gallery as part of the ‘Cash is King’ project of money art and a show I did last year with Lewis Bannister entitled ‘More than the Face’ at Ben Oakley Gallery which was a huge success.

Raffaella with some of her work for the 'More than the face' exhibition
Raffaella with some of her work for the ‘More than the face’ exhibition (photo by Flavio Matani)

How have you found working in the current conditions of lockdown?
My life hasn’t really changed to be honest. I spend everyday in my loft studio at home anyway, but I have found myself incredibly busy with commissions which is great. Maybe people are buying more art at the moment as they are at home all day.

What do you think of the current art scene? Which artists do you admire?
I love the Uk art scene! I’m not talking about the big famous galleries but the more underground ones. The art community I am involved with is full of amazing artists I admire, too many to mention 🙂

What advice would you give anyone trying to make it as an artist?
Don’t give up, believe in yourself, work hard with passion, and never stop learning.

What’s next for Raffaella Bertolini?
There were a few art shows that got delayed due to the Covid outbreak, so I am looking forward to showing two huge paintings I did for the UK Collab exhibitions coming up, not sure when… for now I keep painting!

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