Illustrator and Graphic Artist
WHO IS EMANUELA ALLEGRA?
Emanuela is an illustrator and cosmopolitan graphic artist, creator and owner of MANDRILLO brand.
Emanuela has been living in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, for a few years. She creates graphics for T-shirts, stickers, posters, postcards and she also makes murals paintings for her clients as well. Emanuela's graphics are often sketched out on paper and only later processed digitally. The final step for the production of her creations is the printing process of the final items. As in other interviews, from Emanuela's story it comes to light the key element of passion:
"I'm every day passionate and motivated to design and develop new graphics, get them printed, exploring new techniques and materials and finally spread my products into the world"
HOW DID HER PASSION FOR DRAWING START?
Emanuela began drawing early, since childhood, and since then she has never stopped. Her creativity took years before finding the form she liked the most, and consequently how to concretize it professionally. Emanuela's art was likely to fade in the grueling job searches:
"Initially by consulting thousands of creative jobs, I felt a great sense of loss or ineptitude. In fact I could never reflect and meet those job offers. They required years of experience and enormous knowledge to one who is starting to take the first steps into the working field, which definitely seems to be a contradiction!"
After hundreds of resumes sent without hardly ever get a response and discarding a priori the experiences of internship as a graphic (because those are usually unpaid jobs or nearly so) Emanuela took over her life and decided to start travelling.
The journey sparked in her the need to draw for the sheer personal need, following her creative instinct. One day, intrigued by the ability to print her designs on T-shirt, she got thrilled by the result. The appreciation of her products, first among her friends and then among the people she met, marked the beginning of her professional activity distinguished by listening to herself and her deep nature:
"From there onwards it has been only a matter of continuing with courage what had been revealed with such spontaneity"
"The journey sparked in her the need to draw for the sheer personal need ..."
WHERE DOES EMANUELA GET THE INSPIRATION FROM IN HER WORK?
In the world of art and creativity the inspiration plays a crucial role for the artist. Emanuela usually gets inspired by animals, in particular monkeys, so surprisingly similar to us, which give her inspiration for new graphics, sometimes hilarious:
"I watch a lot of documentaries about nature, I think that similarities between humans and animals increases the feeling of belonging to one big group that shares life on this planet. Making people smile is one of the reasons that leads me to create."
Emanuela and her creativity are never divorced from the surrounding reality: meetings and daily events, often dispelled through metaphorical contents, have a decisive role in her graphic production.
Human and social relationships have, therefore, a key role in Emanuela's life. They represent a valuable source of stimulation, inspiration and enrichment that she cultivates also while working at temporary part-time jobs which allowed her to get in touch with people from all over the world.
"I'm everyday passionate about and motivated to design and develop new graphic [...] and finally spread my products into the world"
HOW IMPORTANT IS TO COUNT ON SOMEBODY?
Emanuela has been fortunate to be able to count on the support of people close to her, family and friends. She is deeply grateful to the teachers of the University of East London who, while studying Illustration and Graphic Art, have passed on enthusiastic instruments for her individual and professional growth.
If the support of the people who surround us is a strong point in the process of self-empowerment, on the other hand the most important thing, which came to light several times during the interviews, is the own courage.
"When it comes to believe in the project for which one is responsible it is essential to find the courage to take the risk and the strength to go forward, putting "a brick on the other", day by day, so that the project will come true", says Emanuela.
"It is essential to find the courage to take the risk and the strength to go on ..."
WHAT ARE THE DIFFICULTIES FACED IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Emanuela talks about the challenge which has been dealing with the outside world, in particular with:It is not easy to follow and trust one's passion, but once reached this awareness it is important not letting others step on one's dreamsEmanuela tells how difficult it was, initially, to turn her passion into a concrete professional activity.
"Prejudices and suggestions given by non-specialized professionals and those who unfortunately have not had the courage to follow their passions".
The risk is often to get demoralized believing that "back down to earth" is the wisest solution, embracing the standard life patterns and perhaps more reassuring, at first. But this is precisely the most insidious obstacle to overcome: finding the necessary self-confidence and courage in order to realize one's dreams.
AS A WOMAN?
Emanuela has the feeling gender discrimination is still widely spread like "wild fire" both in everyday life and professionally. She faced some experiences of macho attitudes towards her, without however having been intimidated by.
DREAMS AND FUTURE PLANS?
Emanuela wants to continue to grow professionally developing both the export of MANDRILLO T-shirts around the world and the creation of mural paintings too. She also does not rule out the possibility of collaborating with other artists to some exciting project!
"Social change lays, therefore, in women's minds [...]"
ARE WOMEN TRULY FREE TO CHOOSE THEIR DESTINY TODAY?
Thinking about the discrimination against women, Emanuela speaks about a sort of collective unconscious where discrimination roots lay in education and culture internalized by the people since their childhood.
In Hungary, the country where she has been living for three years, the situation of women is formally equal, at the legal level women are protected as much as men and enjoy fundamental rights. However, sexist attitudes still exist. In Emanuela's opinion there is still a strong division of roles that sees men as the the main (paid) worker within the family.
"The way men keep treating women, discriminating and underestimating them worldwide, represents a strategy for the maintenance of power, thereby preserving the inequality in gender relations".
To fight against gender based-violence and discrimination, Emanuela emphasizes how crucial is to women to become the protagonists of change by refusing any cultural setting that would repress them. The social change lays, therefore, in women's minds, by overcoming those conservative social expectations, avoiding at the same time the self-victimization
EMANUELA ALLEGRA IN BRIEF?
Optimistic, determined and creative.