Deanna - Talent Around The Block

Deanna is a promising illustrator. She belongs to the kind of people who have the capacity to create and include you in their own world thanks to a wild imagination.

Deanna Colosimo - Talent Around The Block - Toronto - Painter• Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Dee. I am a professional student, currently at OCAD University for Illustration and previously at McMaster for Theatre&Film and Philosophy. Aside from a student I would say I am an idealist, and a creator. What I really do is design worlds, make pictures, and tell stories. My work is often whimsical and detailed. I especially enjoy arranging live scenes of people and objects as reference for my paintings.

• Why does this project matter to you?

 It feels like you belong to a community, when you meet other creative people. It is inspiring to learn what others do, and how they do it, and you can take that into your own practice. Even answering these questions forces you to see your own work from a new perspective.
This project opens windows for connection-making and potential collaboration. But most importantly, the more art you experience, (and even just the more experiences you have), the more “stuff” you have to draw on for your art.

• What projects are you up to?

I have just created a blog for my website to create a smorgasbord of inspiration through new techniques I learn, experiences I have, things I read, and will not all be directly related to art.
I am currently learning and experimenting with Blender, an open-source 3D animation software. Once I am proficient enough, I would like to create an animated short. I took a challenging introductory course, which gave me the foundation I need to work on it on my own.
I am also developing my ideas for a series of body painting photographs. I hope to collaborate with Juliette on this project.
Though I have not begun working on it yet, I would like to begin model-making. Working in miniature is cathartic in a way. It will also allow me to create worlds in a much more tangible way.

• What is your main career goal?

Ideally I would hope to work as a concept artist for a film studio, animation studio, or video game company, designing props, sets, characters, environments, etc. This would allow me to imagine and create, visually, the world or personality of a story or character and see it come to life. I also hope to collaborate with a writer on a children’s book or book cover to be published. It would be exciting to see my art in a bookstore, or in someone’s home.

• What made you throw yourself in the artistic world?

As a child I was always interested in design and invention. I would design my own clothes, make up my own alphabets and secret codes. I even invented an entire world that involved levels of magic, secret agents, and numerous gadgets. In order to get these ideas out, I would draw them. As time progressed I got better at drawing, and the drawing itself became enjoyable. I received a sketchbook for my 11th birthday, half full with images cut out from magazines that I copied. Though not a creative endeavor, it made me fall in love with drawing. So out of a passion for design came a passion for art.
I have also always had a great passion for film. The complexity of a story, characters, imagery, sound, and music, all working together, really appealed to me because there are so many facets of art I enjoy and film encompasses them all.
A combination of all of it threw me into the art world, and continues to inform my art and what I hope to do as a career

• What work in your artistic field impresses you?

The work of Valerio Fabretti is magical and fun. His images are full, with warm lighting and are always very cozy.
Karl Simon’s concept art for Les Miserables is beautiful and ambient. He has worked on a number of other well-known films.
Alex Grey’s entrancing spiritual and meditative paintings are beautiful and overwhelming in their enormous size.
Graeme Base’s book, Animalia, has such detailed, full images. You can stare at them constantly and continue to find something new.
One particular piece of 3D animation that impresses me, and that I love to watch, is the character of Baymax from the film Big Hero 6. He is such a simplistic form, hardly any shape or colour, no feet, no nose, mouth, ears, hair, or pupils, and yet his body language clearly expresses emotion and personality in clever and funny ways.

• What is the project you are the most proud of?

One of my favourite pieces, conceptually, is my Unique Expression of Love piece featuring two lovers connected by a force of synapse-like glowing strands in place of their heads. It is meant to represent that particular way of communicating that only you and your partner understand.
However, it requires a lot of tweaking. Because of this, I would like to replace it with a series based on the same vision.
Fortune Teller is my other favourite. It is simply a fortune teller’s hands hovering over her crystal ball, surrounded by candles and other psychic paraphernalia. My mom was kind enough to model her hands for me. It is not conceptually rich, but I enjoy the lighting and atmosphere.

• Where can we find you?

At OCAD of course. But I love Ward’s Island, particularly where all the residential houses are, a great place to do some sketches. (Ferry docks at Bay & Queen’s Quay)
The Royal is a small cozy theatre with a beautiful interior. The Zero Theorum was on particularly interesting and bizarre movie that I saw there.
Snakes and Lattes (Bloor & Bathurst) or Snakes and Lagers (College & Bathurst) are both wonderful places. I’m a lover of board games. I hope to try them all and I hope to, some day, create my own.

• If Toronto was a person, what kind would it be?

A creative, busy person with lots of personality, cultured, accepting, well dressed, enjoys loud music but also a glass of wine. Someone loud, outspoken, tall and thin. The life of the party, but with a dark side.

• Last word for the road?

I just wanted to share one of my favourite parts from a movie I love. Finding Neverland is about JM Barrie, the playwright of Peter Pan.

Peter Llewelyn Davies: This is absurd. It’s just a dog.
JM Barrie: Just a dog? Just?
JM Barrie [to Porthos]: Porthos, don’t  listen!
JM Barrie [to Peter]: Porthos dreams of being a bear, and you want to shatter those dreams by saying he’s just a dog? What a horrible candle-snuffing word. That’s like saying, “He can’t climb that mountain, he’s just a man”, or “That’s not a diamond, its just a rock.” Just.


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