The Power of Colours
Carlo Stanga:

The Power of colors

Carlo Stanga's latest illustration, The Power of colors, gathers his artistic ideals on the unique and expressive relationship between creativity and colors.

"Our relationship to color is both universal and deeply personal. color informs how we experience the world and how we express ourselves. They can shift our mood or ignite our creativity. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all have our unique relationship to a specific palette of colors that we use to communicate who we are and how we feel. This is particularly resonant for artists, many of which have profound relationships with specific hues. From Mark Rothko's obsession with red to David Hockney's vibrant shades of blue, Kehinde Wiley's energetic greens to Tracey Emin's charged use of pink; color is synonymous with their artistic production."
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For Carlo Stanga, color is not just a way to distinguish his style; it is the emotional tempo of his work. The Italian illustrator is renowned for his unique approach to animating the world's most iconic cities in ways that allow us to see and understand them anew. "Colors inform our day, our journey and our life. They affect an intrinsically human part of us. When I started my career, I was drawing in black and white. This was my rational structure. I started adding color to bring feelings in. color is now central to my storytelling. For me, they are emotions and vibrations, and they are always moving us."
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The foundation of Stanga's career was an unrelenting passion for drawing. As a very young child, he recalls drawing on anything and everything in his family home. "I would draw on every surface, the walls, the doors. I was a little devil." Stanga recalls, "At the time, I was 18 months old, and my parents were very worried because I wasn't talking yet. They took me to the doctor, who reassured them that I was fine and I would talk eventually, but reflected that I was communicating through drawing. It was truly my first means of communication." This desire to draw as a means of self-expression became a lifelong endeavor for Stanga. A trip to Rome as a boy was the catalyst for his second love, architecture. "I still vividly remember walking around the city and looking at the incredible buildings, the ruins and standing beneath the dome of the Pantheon in awe." Stanga went on to study architecture and opened his own firm with much success. "I reached a point where I realised my true passion was illustration, so I left architecture. Although it still lives on inside my drawings. It will always be my lead protagonist."
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The frenetic energy of a city contains an entanglement of ideas, cultures, histories and energies, which Stanga likens to observing a theatrical scene, rich with whimsical and complicated characters. In 'I am the City’, made in collaboration with Moleskine, Stanga captures the personalities of prominent places through vibrant illustrations and compelling anecdotes. "Cities are very complicated," he says. "They are a world in themselves. When I draw a city, I consider the complex connections within them. I think about materiality and how cities are recognisable based on their foundational elements' colors and patterns. Even when you're in an anonymous part of any city, you can still recognise it based on architectural details. There are design cues all around you." Stanga's mastery comes from his ability to recognise and assimilate these details; tuning into every line, mark and shadow. His ethos "Drawing is a pathway to knowledge" informs everything he does.
In his latest piece 'The Power of color, he imagines the interior of the mind, conjuring nostalgia, culture, knowledge, feelings and memories - a powerful metaphor for how we have looked inward for inspiration over the last year. "It's that moment when the sun appears from behind the clouds, and you can feel the joy entering your life. It's about freedom and the duality of feminine and masculine energy within all of us." When Stanga draws, he describes it as a kind of meditation, getting completely lost in his sheet of paper and entering other worlds. "When I was drawing this illustration, I imagined I was actually in this apartment. I was these characters enjoying this serene and positive place."
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The foundation of Stanga's practise is still rooted in his notebook; a space to dream and reimagine our world. "A notebook is the first place you transfer an idea from your mind to the paper. That is the first time you can appreciate it, understand it and share it. Prehistoric people did this on cave walls - this is a timeless act of creativity." While Stanga uses technology as part of his process, it is the intimate experience of drawing by hand that he credits as being crucial to his journey as an illustrator. "For me, this is the most natural way to draw. It's the way I maintain my authentic self and my visual language." He adds, "I can be more spontaneous using my hands. I can make mistakes that lead me on new paths of discovery. There is wonderful serendipity to the process."
Moleskine celebrates the power of colors in collaboration with Carlo Stanga.
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