Artist Interviews 2021
By Julia Siedenburg
Matteo Meloni is an amazing native Italian comic artist living in Rome. His art pieces are so good, you would think he already works for the big league. His portfolio shows a mix of pieces inspired by marvel, dc and other current popular entertainment like the movie Dune mixed with some of his own creations.
The pieces glow full of life, vibrance and power. Even the few done in black and white, still carry the same intensity with them that gets underlined by the craft for detailing.
Stay and learn more about Matteo and his love for comics right here!
What does comic art mean to you?
I think for me comic art is all about to surprise, make the viewer speechless in front of a drawing or a comicbook page. When I see a cool drawing/comicbook I just stared at it for entire minutes and saying just “wow”, and I want to bring that reaction with my works too.
Your pieces mostly show strong, powerful people. There is also a repeating darkness in the drawings. Are those the characters that you are drawn to?
Yes absolutely, I love to draw villains especially. They are so fun to draw, you can go crazy with their drawings. Just simply their aspects, I find them more interesting sometimes. But more in general I like to represent powerful characters that have also struggle and suffering behind their aspects, like they needed to go through hell to reach that point, but still fight with their demons. I think that is a powerful feeling and makes the drawings more interesting cause this brings them closer to us, makes them more human.
But I don’t want to lie most of the times I drew characters just because they are too cool to draw!
Describe your process. How long does it take you to finish a piece? How do you choose your subject?
It really depends on the type of drawing. But in general I start with an inspiration, just looking at images and other drawings. When I have an idea of what I want to draw I try sketches and compositions, when I like what I see and I find it interesting I proceed with pencils, inks and then coloring. All process done on Procreate (iPad). I choose my subjects based on what I like in that moment, maybe there is a new tv serie or a movie that I like and I want to draw a character, or a new comic that I read. I really go with the vibe of the moment. But when I do comics I just need to follow the script and I create also new characters for the story. This is more a creative process that I really like, more complex but more rewarding at the end!
I recognize a few known characters, but then there are also some unfamiliar ones to me. Are all your characters from existing comic books? Or is any one of them your own creation?
I mainly post fanarts on my Instagram profile, so the most of the pieces that you see are characters from comics, videogames, movies ecc.
I draw also things created by me, when I draw comics I always need to create new characters.
Is drawing a type of escape for you? Do you have to be in a certain mood to make art?
Never thought about it actually, I think about it more like a passion and job at the same time. I really want to become a professional comicbook artist and earn to live just with that, so my goal is to reach a good level of skills to get hired in that field. And when I’m making comics and I feel very stimulated and hyped for what I’m doing that’s one of the best feelings!
I draw everyday as much as possible, it became an habit and it needs to become like that if you want to become a professional artist, job and creativity needs to coexists at the same time. So even if I’m not totally in the mood I draw. Commissions helped me to visualize this more as a job, so even if I don’t like the commission and I’m not in the mood, at the end of the day I need to get the job done!
Tell us a little about your child hood and growing up? Was art always a part of your life?
As a child I was most of the time drawing, I drew a lot of Spiderman when I was little! I felt very stimulated thanks to my father and his sister, they drew with me when I was a kid.
But with time I lost track of that passion, even if I was good at drawing at school I never saw that as a future or a full time passion. I had a lot of passions but one thing connected all the dots one day in my head, I always see the visual aspects of the things first, all that matters for me was if visually something was cool or interesting to watch. And this one day converged in my passion to draw. I started to draw again around 2016 when I was in highschool, didn’t pay much attention to lessons and I always drew and scribbled on my books. I started reading manga and comicbooks and the passion for the drawing became stronger. I started watching tutorials, artists and learned everything that I could about drawing and comics. And after some struggle with university I left it to join a private comicbook school in Rome (SRF), one of my best choices in my life. I learned and I’m still learning a lot from that school, talking face to face to professional artists is very interesting and stimulating.
Which one is your favorite TV or movie series from DC or Marvel so far?
Emotionally I would say Endgame for sure, I cried like a baby when I was at the cinema watching it!
I love Joker too, one of my favorites movies in general for sure.
Need also to mention Into the Spiderverse, that movie represented very well the true essence of Spiderman (both Miles and Peter) and also of comics.
Which comic book series are you wanting them to make and why?
I don’t know actually, because I’m already satisfied with the comicbook series that they are doing. Especially the new Xmen series, done by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz they are simply epic!
So maybe something that I will want to see is a big event that involves Xmen for sure.
How popular are comic in Italy? Do you think people view/like superhero’s differently in Italy versus somewhere else?
Not as popular as in U.S for sure. Manga are pretty popular now but comicbooks are less famous I think. There is a lot of people that still thinks comics are only for kids here and don’t even give it a try. But the mcu movies and the superheroes genre became very famous also here, and this helped to sell superhero comics. Even me, I discovered more the superheroes comics thanks to the mcu!
What is next? What are your plans for the future?
I really wish to become a professional comicbook artist and get hired by Marvel or DC. But there is a lot of work to do in the middle, at the moment I’m working on a boardgame about wrestling. And after that I want to focus more on comics and doing more projects to present to publishers and getting more known as a comicbook artist. Wish me luck!