My name is Isabella Favilli and I was born in Rome in 1973, I moved in UK in 1999 and after spending nine years in Manchester I moved in Yorkshire with my boyfriend, my daughter and my pooch and lived there since.
I like to think about myself as born with a pencil in my hand, as I cannot recall a moment in my life in which I didn’t like drawing.
I can remember myself drawing as early as back to my first childhood memories; all I wished for were colours and sketch pads, I loved nothing more than to spend hours drawing the fantasy stories I created in my head.
I used to copy Manga cartoons, as they were incredibly popular in Italy back in the 80s and 90s.
At school I truly excelled in Artistic subjects so it seemed like a natural step when it came to my education to pursue my love for drawing too.
I always thought that I would have ended up attending Art Lyceum and then Art Academy, but when the time to make the choice came, I was advised to go for Graphic Design instead, because at the time it was a very sough after job and many schools in Italy were creating courses to be trained to such a career.
I must admit, when I graduated I did leave with a much more refined hand and more expertise in various techniques but with hindsight, my first idea would have suited me best.
After spending a year working in a Graphic Design studio it became clear to me that Graphic Design was not my passion at all and that Fine Art was what I truly loved.
There was no room for an artist in the employment world, especially in Rome, where you are lucky if you get a cleaning job with recommendation. For many years I didn’t know what to do with myself but never stopped drawing just for the pleasure of it.
Eventually I gave up on making my talent a bread winner and left it for my pleasure only, I would just grab whatever job I could, and at some point I moved in UK.
I think I never really put the pencil/brush down for a long time, until I moved to Yorkshire and I became a stay at home mom.
I suppose I was too immersed in my new role that I felt like I really didn’t have time for myself, in fact at some point I felt like I forgot who I was.
I could feel I was unsatisfied with my life but could not really grasp why, until one random evening one year ago I found myself talking to a total stranger on Twitter.
This person had just spoken of how they totally moved from one career to another, doing what they really loved, they had described their feeling before deciding to become who they really wanted to be, and I saw myself in them: deep inside I was unsatisfied with who I was just like them had been.
So, I told them that, I told them I was feeling that way and I didn’t know anymore where I was going; they asked me what I enjoyed to do, and it came out as easy as a breath “drawing”, and I haven’t done it in ages.
Their reply to me was very simple and to the point “Then draw, do whatever makes you happy”.
It’s strange how sometimes, a random person can give you more insight to your true self that your own self, but that’s how I came back to my first love.
Together with drawing there is always been another passion/obsession, and that was vampires, so it is really no surprise my first subject after my re-awakening happened to be the character of Ninfa Hayes’ novel The Last Of The Blood.
I am currently working to turn the novel into a comic/manga, but I have noticed how this subject seems to find me when I am planning to draw something else too.
There is something incredibly sensual in drawing by hand, I cannot find the same feeling when I use a computer tablet or a graphic software. It is in the holding of your pencils, the brushing through the paper or the feeling of the colour, it is a physical sensation just as intense as a vampire kiss, not that I have ever been kissed by a vampire, but I guess the idea that I have of it mirrors sometimes my art: while consuming the graphite, squeezing the colour and spreading it on a piece of paper I create a new, strange immortal life, a bit like a vampire kiss.
I put my whole soul in any drawing I do, because most of all I draw for the love of it, and if it becomes my bread winner jolly good.