Massimiliano Santolin Published on 4/2/2021

There are places that touch the soul.

They immediately connect with something deep inside us, leaving an everlasting impression. Landscapes, villages or cities that get under our skin and help our minds develop thoughts, knowledge and ideas.

Young illustrator Andrea was inspired by one such place to create his own graphic novel. It’s a project born of the stunning coastline on the Sardinian island of Maddalena, which compelled Andrea to put pen to paper to express his personal feelings and inner journey.

It’s a story without dialogue, yet full of poetry, encounters between man and nature, and the light and dark sides to human personality that are found within each and every one of us. It’s an illustrated journey that – given the absence of dialogue – everyone can interpret in their own way; it’s both universal and individual.

We asked Andrea to tell us what lay behind this project, which was printed to his great satisfaction by Pixartprinting. So get ready to lose yourselves in the pages of this illustrated adventure.

Happy reading!

Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do. Dreams, aspirations and talents. A short but faithful portrait!

My name is Andrea Canolintas, I’m 26 years old and I’m an aspiring comic artist just starting out in my career. I studied at a specialist school in Rome for four years where I learnt everything there is to know about my profession. Over the past two years, I’ve started working on various types of small projects and collaborations. I’ve got a few stories that I want to tell and I’ve always found drawing to be the best way of expressing myself.

Before telling us about your idea, can you explain to our readers what you produced using our printing presses?

Thanks to your presses, I’ve produced bound booklets in which I tell my short story in comic form.

Let’s rewind to the very beginning. Where did the idea for this project come from? Is there a particular story behind it?

The idea came to me during a holiday on Maddalena, an island just off the northern coast of Sardinia, where my father was born. I was going through a difficult time and the island helped me to get through it.

Once you had found the right idea, you had to set a goal. What did you want to achieve with your idea? What was your objective?

Without focusing on the usual landscapes, I wanted to find a way to show people the beauty and uniqueness of these places; places that have the ability to stop time and stop you for just a moment so you can take in their beauty, without thinking about anything else.

How did you turn your project into reality? What were the design phases and how many were there? Tell us about the process that brought your idea to life and made it ready for printing.

First of all, I scribbled down a text talking about this place, based more on emotions felt than on anything that happened. Afterwards, I turned the text into a storyboard, working on the choice of panels and composition of images. I then started working on the final version, using the technique that I’m most comfortable with at the moment, which is watercolour. The most complicated part was having to digitise the watercolours while preserving the colours. Then, all that was left to do was insert the text using captions, but I wanted to keep it separate so that the reader could make the same sensorial journey as the main character: following the flow of the story without any assistance, hearing the sound of the sea’s waves and being guided by the rhythm of the images.

How did you use print on demand to produce your work? Which materials did you choose and why?

I chose a matt paper that could fully absorb the colours and restore their brightness.

The time has come to use the printed products! In your case, the aim was to print a graphic novel. How did it feel to hold it in your hands and leaf through it for the first time?

It was an amazing feeling. I printed 10 test copies to circulate among my friends and contacts, and their impressions were all very positive. I now know I can work on a product from conception to printing, and this gives me lots of confidence.

This is only the start! What other projects do you have planned for the future? Can you share them with us?

To continue drawing other stories and pitch them to a publisher who sees the potential in what I do. In the meantime, look out for other booklets with my stories!