Photo by Antonio Barrela

I have always believed that there are no stories to write, but only to draw. Also in words. That is what Rita Petruccioli also thinks, as she makes a living from drawings and stories. For her, illustrating and reading are linked. Above all, we need to be readers: enjoy the story, and then return the emotions in images.

She always had a passion for drawing, even when at Classic high school. And at 16, at an exhibition that shows the drawings of Pinocchio by Mattotti, she made the decision: she will be an illustrator.

Not immediately by vocation – at the beginning it was only the desire to make powerful and beautiful things like the ones admired. She enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, but didn’t see much of illustration.

The turnabout came when studying in France, first in Toulouse, then at the Ensad in Paris. She came into contact with the French world of illustration, learnt new techniques and found her path.

Rita has clear ideas. But it didn’t seem to be any room for her in young people’s publishing. Her first works were for advertising agencies, and she only managed to draw her stories at night. Then a publisher offered her an epic book about Nibelungs, and more and more contracts followed that one. Mondadori, Bao Publishing, Laterza, Ladybird, Auzou, ELI, just to name a few. Recently her work was presented in a personal exhibition at the Macro, “Prima le donne e i bambini” (Women and children first), and in collective exhibitions, “The future passed from Rome” at the Seoul Illustration Fair, “50X50X50” as part of the project Italianism, and “Olympic Frames” at Illustri Festival in Vicenza. And Rita has decided to accept a new challenge, dedicating herself to comic strips.

By a strange coincidence, she often receives subjects from epics or mythology. «I don’t go out and look for them», jokes Rita, «but I feel at ease, perhaps because of my classical studies ».

She is also fascinated by the female figure. Perhaps because in stories, she always tries to find something of herself. She sometimes discovers aspects of her own character that she didn’t know, when drawing. Narrating through images becomes almost like acting: it is entering the tale, being carried along by it, until you find a new, unique interpretation.

The story has been written by Ida Amlesù, writer.