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Nicolò Canova Reaching your inner child through art

"The power to translate a feeling or an idea in shapes and colors, the ability to make an impression on people, the chance to show my vision of things, is like an eternal thirst."

Unlike many, who spend their careers chiselling away at a particular method which matures slowly, Nicolò Canova is a genuinely multidisciplinary artist, working in oil, pastels, acrylic, digital, collage, product design and more.

The Italian artist told us more about what he does and what spurs him on in his quest of creation.

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What started you on the journey to becoming the artist you are today?

When I was a kid I didn't know what I wanted to become as a grown up. I loved everything that made me happy and laugh. I loved playing, doing sports, dancing, all things that a kid likes - drawing as well, a lot.

So I took a lot of paths. I studied Literature then Physics, trying to follow what I thought were my passions. I was a little bit confused because all these things didn't make me as happy as I wanted to be as a child. Just two things kept me smiling, and they were a pencil and a sheet of paper.

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One day I woke up and I realised that I wanted to follow that smile and I began my first art class. And so it all began. When I got to know the power of creating, the power of an image made by my hands, I couldn't get enough.

But most of all, with the pencil (or some other tool) I can be in touch with the kid that I was, who wanted a job in which he could laugh and have fun. I think that's it, as simple as it seems.

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You're a multidisciplinary artist. What mediums do you work in regularly and what factors dictate which medium you use to explore a particular idea?

I like to use a number of mediums and techniques, to mix them and see the results they can produce, but overall I prefer oil. I love the smoothness, the calm it can give you, the shades you can create and that you need the right time to work with it.

But it's not always easy and practical, because of the timing of commissions. Often I have just a few days to send a finished project, so I have to use other techniques.

Otherwise I think it's the concept mostly that determines which medium I'll use, but I'm not usually fixed on the same way of working. A portrait? Could be digital the first time but pastels the next. A landscape? Acrylic and then collage with colored paper. I think it's because I'm afraid of getting bored.

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What motivates you to create?

Creating is the only way I can express myself totally, like a tool that allows my inner world to get out into the real one. The power to translate a feeling or an idea in shapes and colors, the ability to make an impression on people, the chance to show my vision of things, is like an eternal thirst.

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How does your location influence your art?

I was born and live in Turin, a town in Northern Italy. It's a very dynamic place where artists can grow and live, and it allowed me to find my artistic path and my first collaborations.

But it isn't a big international town, so I started to travel, all around Europe and beyond. And I think that's the secret. The only way you can evolve and improve is to confront yourself with other people, places and cultures. There's not a singular location that can influence your work, but there are communities you can find only if you go outside your comfort zone.

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What's next for you and your work?

I'd love to collaborate more, find more interesting projects and start painting murals. But I cannot predict the future. I can only keep going this way, never forgetting to listen to my inner child, who tells me not to stop smiling and having fun.

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Next article in issue 139

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