Emiliano Ponzi, 2023 Golden Pinwheel Commercial Category Jury, "The Meaning of being An Artist is Evolving and Learning"

2023 Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition has a brilliant lineup of jury--a total of nine well-known professionals from home and abroad. They will carefully review all submitted works from the perspective of their respective professional fields. (Full list of 2023 Jury). Before the start of the judging work, the organizing committee invites them for exclusive interviews. The judges will give professional suggestions and answers on illustration, publishing, business, competition and other aspects. In this issue, we invite Emiliano Ponzi, the jury of 2023 Golden Pinwheel Commercial Category. Let's hear what advice he has for illustrators!

Q1: In your experience, what kind of professional skills and qualifications does a newcomer need to possess in order to embark on a full-time career as a freelance illustrator?

Emiliano: The most important skill is resilience, especially at the beginning. As soon the school ends, the real work begins so we have to be patient in building a professional portfolio for real clients and at the same time we have to be prepared to take a “no” for an answer and above all we must not let the frustration get us down. We have to resist and getting better through practice. 

Q2: As an artist, people often find themself caught in a state of "never-ending" creation. For example, I might complete a piece today, but upon revisiting it the next day, I feel it's not good enough and make further adjustments. I would like to ask, what is the standard for determining when a piece is truly finished? How can I cultivate a sense of completion for my artwork?

Emiliano: Potentially a piece is never finished since there is always room for improvement, especially if we look at that illustration after a while. In this sense deadlines help a lot. I always have a certain day to deliver an image, so ready or not, it has to be finished by that time. I can finish a piece before the deadline, but for sure I can’t finish it after the deadline. So even if the ambition is to create each time the perfect illustration we have to deal with some external factors and not just with our own desires. With time and experience we became more aware of our potentials and limits and we could quote the needed time to accomplish a piece in advance with a good approximation. 

Q3: Once you have established your distinctive artistic style, how do you continue to enhance and refine your creative process with each new artwork? Do you find yourself striving for "breakthroughs" in every piece you create?

Emiliano: I believe every new illustration is a chance to learn something I didn’t know, so each of them is good to change something, maybe the use of colors, the composition or something else. If a new job doesn’t turn into a discovery, we are just making what we are already able to do. Otherwise for me the meaning of being an artist is evolving and learning. My style, indeed, has changed along the course of the years.