Artist Creates 45 Surreal Illustrations About Our Society
Cristina Bernazzani (Nuvolanevicata on Depositphotos) lives in a small Italian town between Lecco and Monza. Besides being a full-time social health worker, she is one of the Depositphotos top contributors with 30 years of experience in illustration.
The artist has a recurring theme in her works — the problems and vices faced by a modern society which she illustrates by focusing on individuals. The topic may seem complex and sad but Cristina manages to present them in such a way that instead of sadness and despair, her audience feels hope and becomes more aware of what’s going on around them.
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We recently spoke with Cristina about what inspires her and how she manages to keep an ironic outlook on things during these turbulent times. You can find numerous allusions to famous surreal artworks including ones by Rene Magritte while scrolling Cristina’s portfolio. However, she also appreciates the genre of magical realism.
"Magritte remains a dreamer whose poetic vision is still relevant today. He has certainly been my favorite reference, the one I feel closest to. And magic realism is more contemporary, it reflects our present. Authors like Rob Gonsalves or Pail Bond are really important to me," said Cristina Bernazzani.
Cristina Bernazzani has been creating illustrations for almost 30 years. During this time, a lot has changed in the industry. She started out as an author of botanical illustrations for the editorial studio and then worked for a long time as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines.
This is how she describes this phase of her career: “Once upon a time, newspapers and magazines were important for information and knowledge, a very long time ago! My way of being led me to create images related to imaginative contexts (initially tests and horoscopes). Later I used the images to lighten up and explore more serious topics”.
These days, Cristina is using illustration as a way to highlight important social issues and raise awareness among her audience. The irony, cheerful palettes, and optimism are her main creative tools.
“I think it's much harder to make someone laugh than cry. Сreating images that make people laugh or even smile is my ongoing challenge “, she says.
According to the artist, some painful topics such as war or social inequality are best revealed through images that can arouse empathy rather than scare. She sees her task in drawing attention to certain problems and raising tolerance through optimistic images.
Her ideas for future magic realism illustrations come to her while she observes something around her, listens to others, asks them questions, or even compares herself with colleagues worldwide.
“To realize an idea, I start with a notebook, a pencil, and a quiet moment. In this way, I can rearrange my memories and feelings. The technique for making a drawing varies depending on the moment, in these weeks I prefer the digital technique”, she told us.
Colors are meaningful for Cristina Bernazzani. In her recent work, crypto art and especially works by digital artist Extraweg have become the reference for color choices.
Cristina comments on this: “This is the imagery that is influencing me nowadays, the colors are becoming brighter and more cheerful. When it seems that everything has already been said, here comes this reality that distorts our thoughts, and new ways open up to go on in this journey”.
The dream of the artist is that “one day all the different people will all be able to live together, more responsibly and selflessly”. She likes to reveal the problems of society, referring to the personal experience of her audience, as well as archetypes, and even some famous people.
“For strictly satirical images, both political and economic leaders are an amazing source of inspiration. Then there are the archetypes that convey complex concepts in a way that everyone can understand and art is full of them. Without an audience that can understand, what can an image be useful for?”, she reflects.
For Cristina, a Depositphotos portfolio is not just an opportunity to earn extra money but a powerful platform for self-expression. With the help of microstock, the artist can communicate with a large audience, as well as understand what people are interested in today.
Cristina commented on the perks of microstock for artists: “Irony is a powerful tool to stir consciences and ideas remain the most important thing for me, but you need to have a place to publish your works. Microstock agencies have played a primary role in this sense, for years publishers have been relying on them to find the right images, so nowadays it is crucial to be present on these websites”.
Even if you are not an artist, you still have a lot to learn from Cristina Bernazzani. Her attentiveness, love for people, creativity, sensitivity, and belief in the best in all of us is something very admirable that we can all appreciate.
Here is an interesting piece of the puzzle she told us about her creative pursuits: “My hobby is actually drawing, it’s the most exciting and fulfilling part of my life, while my full-time job is being a social health worker — and being a mother and a daughter too. I take inspiration from my job for most of my drawings: a crowd of characters populates all my days. And I hope that my works will be seen as my gesture of love and hope for those who have the opportunity to stop and look”. Follow Cristina to see new works in her portfolio!