How did you start with this from illustration? Who have you influenced?
This story is very funny: I started less of 2 years ago and I had not a computer. My hobby was, on the computer I used for work, to trace the profile of sportsmen portrayed in photos on basic computer programs (like Paint). My sister saw these amateur drawings and decided to give me a computer with a graphic program. In my graphic training, then, I was inspired by the graphics of many “casual” artists trying to take inspiration without copying anyone.
We could define your illustration style as simple and elegant, what do you think?
Yes, I agree. My graphic trait wants retrace my character. Appearance simple and minimal but full of details. Elegance, then, is subjective, I am very happy that it was one of the first adjectives that came to your mind to describe my drawings.
Beard Painter is your stage name. What is this name due to?
In the period in which the name was born I had a very long beard. Now I still have a long beard but not as in the past. I decided to merge two of my passions for my stage name: the passion for drawing and the cult of the beard.
As I have seen about your artistic work, most is about sports, and mostly about football. Who have you worked making illustrations for?
I’m a sports fan of all kinds of sports. In fact, my favorite time of the year is August every 4 years: the Olympic Games! In my young career I had the honor of working for Riccardo Saponara (the midfielder who currently plays for Sampdoria). I am also in contact with many players of Fiorentina Women’s that, two years ago, won the Championship and Cup, qualifying for the women’s Champions League. I also worked for the entire Varese basketball team that went very close to winning the FIBA Europe Cup (stopped only in the semifinals) and for many athletes fighting in the martial arts, as in the UFC.
Can you tell me 3 illustrators that you like and why?
Mattia Egitto is certainly the first name that comes to mind. When I started drawing, he helped me a lot with advice and opinions. His drawings are very detailed and never banal, the collaborations he established speak for him.
Hallynk is another profile that I always follow very carefully. The passion for the sport that emerges from his work, always very minimal, is found with great impact on the final products. The idea of reproducing historical and current players with the Subbuteo style is brilliant.
The last but not least is Kieran Carroll. His most beautiful design, for me, is Steven Gerrard who raises the Champions League. I really like this type of artist because he transmits what I don’t draw, entering much more into the details of each illustration.
What kind of projects would you like to work shortly?
I have some projects in mind but not defined to the point of being able to give an anticipation. I have recently started a column with the graphic representation of some accessories of the “Corteo Storico della Repubblica Fiorentina” to give importance to what, too often, is not represented graphically. In the coming days, then, there will also be a top 11 of Scandinavian players not too well known to the general public.
As a Fiorentina`s fan, who has been the best player in the history of Florentine team for you?
The two names that immediately come to mind are Giancarlo Antognoni and Gabriel Omar Batistuta. I tend to prefer the latter only for a matter of age. I lived the last years of Batigol, with our shirt, at the stadium. I remind everyone, though, that Fiorentina was the first team to reach the Champions League final, so we can’t forget players like Julinho or Montuori. If I have to give my preference, certainly Gabriel Omar Batistuta.
How do you see Italian football nowadays after years of corruption and riggings?
What happened in 2006 with “Calciopoli” was one of the worst pages of our football. What does not make me happy is that, after what happened, there was no progress, there were punishments (more or less serious!) for those involved in the scandal, but then nothing was done to revive this which, in the 1990s, was the most prominent movement in the world.
You are a lover of sports and martial arts, Can you explain to our readers what has led you to have these hobbies?. Do you practice any of them?
I was 4 when I entered a dojo to see a friend of mine who practiced judo. The teacher invited me to get on the “tatami” to try and from there I didn’t stop for the next 18 years.
Work has moved me away from practicing this wonderful discipline because I need so much time, a lot of perseverance and a lot of sacrifice. However I started to follow, in addition to my beloved judo, other combat sports like boxing and, lately, I’m following a lot of mixed martial arts.
My passion for combat disciplines comes from this and is nourished by seeing how difficult it is to reach a goal and how much respect there is for those who, like you, have struggled and perhaps haven’t arrived.
To conclude, in June the Calcio Storico Fiorentino is celebrated, which we talked about a few years ago on our blog and where four neighbourhoodd of the city meet in Santa Coce square. Can you explain what this sport means to you and a little from your point of view?
The Calcio Storico Fiorentino, for every inhabitant of this city can never be an event that leaves you indifferent. There are people who do not like to see fighting scenes in the square, but who like to see the procession through the streets of Florence during the afternoon of the game.
Now I’m not talking as a fan but as a lover of the event. To think that Florence is divided into 4 quarters by organizing dinners (each in its own square), creating a link between the inhabitants of that part of the city and the color of belonging, is something that makes me proud of my city.
We are all 11 months at the stadium together to talk about Fiorentina, but in June everyone hides his information on his team because then, in Piazza Santa Croce, war breaks out.
The thing I like most about the Calcio Storico Fiorentino is that I know for sure that anyone who fights in the square, who parades in the historic parade, represents me.
Last June, besides, I can say that I was represented in the best possible because my color “Rossi di Santa Maria Novella” won the tournament.