Meet Ariana Bellucci, she is the illustrator behind our Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection series. Her unique style and rich illustrations are as captivating as the Sherlock Holmes stories. Ariana is an Italian illustrator who loves sunny days and the fresh air.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a freelance illustrator based in Florence, Italy. I love sunny days and fresh air.
My favourite thing to do is to travel and see new places, meet new people and to draw them in my sketchbook.
- What’s your favourite book from childhood?
As a child I used to read a lot of books, I was always found in the library so it’s hard to remember which one was really my favourite. I mostly devoured Roald Dahl’s books because I was in love with Quentin Blake’s illustrations. Maybe The Witches is probably my favourite.
- What made you want to become an illustrator?
I was a rather hyperactive child and the only way my parents could get me to be quiet was with a pen and paper. Over time my passion for drawing developed more and more so I decided to study art at university. I decided to take this path as I would like the thing I love to do the most become my work.
- Who or what influences you now?
So much inspires me, other illustrators I know, who I can share ideas and experiences with, or a movie, a song even a screaming gull (I’ve just heard one and I’ll draw it right away!).
- What illustrators or artists do you admire?
Too many, it is too hard to choose…! I am going to mention randomly some of the ones who impressed me most during my childhood: Quentin Blake, Dave McKean, Picasso, Mort Walker, Tim Burton. Sorry to child me if I forget anyone.
- You have a wonderful range of illustrations from children’s to young adult and some fantastic animated gifs, what’s your favourite to work on and why?
I like to draw different things, no matter how or on what!
Every new project, every new illustration brings ideas and inspirations that stimulate me to find new ways to draw and to grow and experiment.
I love to make animated gifs! I am passionate about stop-motion animated films and when I draw a character I have fun imagining it moving. When I have the chance to, I love to give my characters some movement.
- What was your favourite thing about working on The Sherlock Holmes series?
I like the variety of characters and settings in the stories, I enjoy going to look for wallpaper patterns, the fashion of that time, find out more about the streets, houses and objects of that era. But most of all I love drawing the vignettes in which Sherlock and Watson squabble over each other.
- Are you more of a Sherlock or a Watson?
I think I am more of a Sherlock; surely we share disorder and a dishevelled air.
- Sherlock Holmes is set in Victorian England if you could travel back in time when and where would go back to?
Perhaps I would like to jump in the era of the dinosaurs, just long enough to see them. Or how about the 70s for the music revolution, or dance the Charleston in 20s American.
- What the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The answer is inside you. And it’s wrong