An interview with Caterina Metti

Today we thought we'd share an excerpt from a wonderful interview with Caterina Metti - featured in Volume One of Flight. Caterina is an illustrator living in Italy, who has created some beautiful books with North Fremantle publisher Red Paper Kite. She tells us about her summers in Italy as a child by the seaside, her routines for painting, and about creating her illustration for Flight. 

Can you tell us about your summers as a child?

When I was a child I spent the whole summer at the seaside. The most part of my holidays were with my grandmother, because my parents stayed at home for work.

With my grandmother Mirella [I] took long bike rides, bought fresh bread every morning, and gave the leftover dry bread to hens and geese. After that, once we came home, she prepared special dishes for our lunch, and I read a lot. I read comics, little novels, and I drew a lot. 

She was born at the sea, but Mirella really hated to go to the beach. I used to go on the beach every time that my parents came back to us, but this wasn’t really a problem, in fact I experienced the sea in two different ways. One with country yard animals, dogs, cats, that I met when we visited my grandmother’s relatives, and one at the sea, reading, meeting friends, playing with waves, and daydreaming on the rocks to see a mermaid. Still now, one of my favorite things is to daydream looking at the sea, especially at the moment the sun goes down behind the promontories. (Liguria has this typical landscape).

Sketch by Caterina Metti for Flight - Summer in Italy

Caterina's preliminary sketch for her illustration for Flight.


Do you have a special routine for painting?

Not so a strictly routine, I think my routine changes a little bit every time, and sometimes is the same for a long period, the only few things that have remained the same are: 

I need to start to paint a new illustration only in the morning,

I prepare many references for colours from pictures,

I listen every time to a film, music or an audiobook, very rarely I don’t listen to something in the background. 


Summer in Italy by Caterina Metti 2022

Summer in Italy, Caterina Metti, 2021.

Can you share a little about where you have painted?

I chose to illustrate Tellaro because I think [it] is one of the most fascinating maritime villages I visited when I was a child. 

Tellaro is a little, mysterious village of Cinque Terre (Liguria), and it’s quite completely pink, and for this reason, and because it is all stretched out in to the sea, it’s called the "pink cloud”. 

I’m still interested [in] legends and novels like when I was a little one. And it is in Tellaro that a legend is set and it speaks of a gigantic marine Octopus. 

It is told that in the Middle Age, pirates came to Tellaro coast during a stormy night. Nobody expected this, and everyone was in bed - a thunderstorm on the coast can be very frightening. 

A giant Octopus reached out to the bell tower of the church, which is right on the sea, and began to ring the bell, waking everyone up and making the pirates flee. 


Want to read & see more? Follow @caterinametti, or grab a copy of Volume One!

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