Today we’d like to introduce you to Chiara Uccelli.
Hi Chiara, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Peru, where I passed most of my childhood lost in the outdoors, either climbing up trees, catching frogs, or collecting cool rocks near the river.
I was a pretty imaginative and ingenious child, always coming up with absurd narratives to play along with, which might be something I got from my dad, who is a fascinating storyteller. As time passed, I started to harness my creativity into art.
I kept sketchbooks where I would draw, paint, and collage; every time I came up with an idea or random thought. Eventually, I started to get a little bit more serious about it, I started taking some classes and practicing even more.
I was lucky enough to be surrounded by fascinating, creative people who inspired me, and supported me along the way. Such as my grandfather, someone who had an incredible affinity for art. I used to love going into his little painting studio, filled with all of his work and art materials, and just watching him paint.
He was so dedicated to his craft. He made beautifully painted silk scarves and would fill his whole apartment with origami flower bouquets that he made from scratch. He definitely marked my journey and inspired me to keep creating. Sooner or later, I decided I wanted to turn my passion into my career and made the decision to go to art school.
Honestly, I was never sure about what was going to be my major, I went with a pretty open mind, and tried a little bit of everything until I settled down with illustration (especially surface design). Still, I have a passion for learning and trying new things, something my mom has always encouraged.
A few months ago, I decided to try ceramics (as my last elective) and I immediately fell in love with it. Especially wheel throwing. I’m in my last year of art school now, where I continue to meet incredible and talented artists that help me to learn and grow so much as an artist and a person.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Honestly, I can say it has been pretty smooth. I am fortunate to have such supportive parents, that have always encouraged me to follow my heart and dreams. However, I would say my only obstacle along the way has been me.
Once I decided that my passion was actually going to be my career, my perspective changed substantially. I love drawing and creating but, it’s an ongoing challenge not to get burned out. It has been demanding to orient a lifelong passion into a career.
When deadlines are looming, I forget to enjoy what I am doing and tend to shut down a bit haha. In order to combat that, I try to find moments where I am able to work on personal projects, try out new mediums or styles, and keep myself constantly creating and practicing without any pressure of having to show off my work, it’s just for me.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am currently in my last year at SCAD, where I major in illustration while minoring in graphic design and ceramic arts. My main concentration is surface design, which I love. I mainly create colorful pattern collections, inspired by nature and my surroundings.
I try to come up with distinct motifs and combinations, and I play a lot with composition and color palettes. Package design is something that also interests me a lot, especially for drinks. Now, that I started making ceramic arts, I try to combine both my love for surface design and clay and decorate my mugs and bowls with it.
I also love giving them different personalities, by giving them faces and expressions. I am really proud of my overall progress, I feel like every day I’m growing more confident in what I do and I no longer feel the need to compare myself to others.
I also learned I do not need to have a set “style” right away, I’m just trying to have fun and be myself.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
One of my fondest childhood memories is when I used to go to the beach with my family, and my dad and I would make these huge car sand sculptures, well, maybe they were just huge to me, but making them was so fun.
We would get inside and just play all day long.