Knowing Your Craft, Getting Lost in it, and Falling in Love with it: Ms. Eleonora Lisi’s Calling


by Joshua Diokno   

We could learn a lot from an artist like Ms. Eleonora Lisi. She is sure of her art and is ceaselessly and unapologetically in love with it. She admits to getting immersed and lost into the fantasy worlds she creates and is simply committed to not abandoning the practice of such. Yes, to her it’s a practice. More like a religion actually. And just like any religion or system of faith, her craft comes with love and dedication.

Not wanting to stray far from her chosen profession, when asked what Ms. Lisi would want to work as if she weren’t a 2D artist, without hesitation, she answered a Comic Book artist. This is the kind of dedication that simply does not die out; she had carried it throughout her young life, from childhood to education and for sure we have yet to see more amazing works from her.

So now, let’s get to know Ms. Eleonora Lisi and see what makes artists like her.  

Xeno Creative (XC): We understand that with just about any craft, the passion takes precedence. In your case, how did it start becoming a passion? Would we be right in assuming that you consider it a “calling”?

Eleonora Lisi (EL): Since I can remember, getting lost in fictional worlds and giving shape to those fantasies through drawing has always been part of my life. It gave me a comfort zone to metabolize new experiences as I grew up, and I couldn’t imagine for a second dedicating my life to a job that does not include this huge part of my persona.

It truly became a passion when, upon entering Comics School, I finally got to start experimenting with designing my own characters and visuals. There’s nothing more galvanizing than the idea of creating the look and attitude of a new world other people can fall in love with. So yes, I would totally define it as a “calling” to create something other people can find comfort in the same way as I did.

XC:
Was there ever an art piece (digital or otherwise) or artist who served as a catalyst for your involvement in the craft? When did you get involved fully in the 2D industry?

EL: After finishing the Academy, still being focused on publishing my own graphic novels, I played the Dragon Age series to get immersed in a well crafted fantasy world. Whilst seeing those incredible designs, something just clicked; it opened my eyes to this career path. So I would say Comic Artists like Esad Ribic, John Paul Leon, and Stjepan Sejic got me into drawing professionally while the works of Matt Rhodes, Viktor Antonov, among others made me choose to become a 2D/Concept Artist. 

XC: Now that you’re an active part of the industry, would you say you have pegged a solid place in it?

EL: While I’m confident with where I am as a Freelancer, I know there are more complete opportunities out there. To be more specific, I know an in-studio internship would make me grow even more as an artist, and so that’s what I’m hopefully heading to.

It would be a drastic change from what I’m used to, but I seriously can’t wait to take those next steps in a bigger, more complex project.

XC: How does your day look like in production?

EL: As a Freelancer, I mostly work remotely, but I try to organize my schedule to resemble an in-studio day as closely as I can. So I’m usually drawing 8 hours a day, dividing my weeks between different projects and deadlines. Lots of exploring concepts, getting feedbacks, developing new solutions and interacting with other people on the team. Since I’m mostly collaborating with international clients who are US-based, the evening, more often than not, is dedicated to discuss art via online meetings. It has its pros and cons but organizing and sticking to a well-crafted schedule is the best way (for me) to make it work.

XC: What are the common challenges that a 2D artist like you encounters day-in, day-out in a project?

EL: In this line of work you always come in contact with new challenges, considering how versatile the 2D/Concept Artist role is. While I’m shaping the vision of a writer/worldbuilder, it’s not only the aesthetic impact of a design I have to think of, but a whole lot of technicalities that could come in the way when it comes down to sculpting, rendering and so on.

The essence of this job is to constantly think outside of the box, and this comes also in the form of studying, experimenting and even coming up with new techniques! You will be asked to tinker with situations outside your sphere, and it’s important to be welcoming to that kind of challenge.

XC: We had the chance of seeing your works online and we must say we were greatly impressed by your concepts. You have a knack for detail and your style is a marriage or ethereal and fun; it’s completely eye-catching. Do you have favourite pieces among your works? If so, what made them your favourite?

EL: I’m always changing favorites, but for now is probably this:

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/18o0Oo

First because it’s from Amor Fati, my original horror project and how could I not love my own baby to death? Second because it was a real challenge and it turned out even better than what I had envisioned first. I love when art manages to surprise me this way.

XC: What would you consider your biggest or most exciting project to date?

EL: I’m currently working as a Concept Artist for Amulet Studios on their animated sci-fi/fantasy series “Thera”, and I must say I’m quite excited about it. The style we are going for is slightly different from any of my other/past projects, so I can’t wait to hear people’s feedback on that.

XC: If you were to market yourself what would you highlight as your edge?

EL: Probably that I’m very adaptable, open to go out of my own comfort zone, genuinely passionate about the craft, and team-work oriented. I also have an eye for clothing design.

XC: If you weren’t a 2D artist today, what would you be working as?

EL: Comic Artist, surely. I switched career paths immediately after finishing the Academy, but I still want to publish my own graphic novels on the side, so I would probably be doing that full time.

XC: What is your message to other artists especially in these trying times?

EL: Always keep in mind why this is the path you choose, and what got that passion burning in you in the first place. The road is long,  and I know you can easily get discouraged when the visibility is scarce compared to others, and/or your level is not yet one to break into the industry, but engagement and career prestige should never be the sole reason you’re getting into this. Let yourself be a “fan” of your characters, keep falling in love with the ideas you’re translating from mind to canvas, keep challenging yourself because you want to see that depiction better and better, and you can be sure you’ll find your place.

Ms. Eleonora Lisi is 28 years young. She has a Degree in Comics and Realistic Drawing through the International School of Comics in Rome.

Ms. Lisi has been working as a Freelancer in the industry for 5 years and is affiliated with Amulet Studios, Hyperaktive Studio, and Tic Tales Studio.

Want to see more of Ms. Eleonora Lisi’s works? Click here!

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