An important mission of visual arts is to provide us with alternative answers to the question of who we are, as well as to help us to find consolation in works of art. And this is the perfect description for work by Cristina Bernazzani, who combines artistic practices at Depositphotos with practical ways to help people in her daily career.

Although Cristina has more than 30 years of illustration experience, today she calls drawing a hobby that is a source of energy and inspiration for her as a full-time social health worker.

We decided to show you some of Cristina’s thought-provoking illustrations and accompany them with the story of this cheerful artist who lives in a small, picturesque town in the Lombardy region of Italy.

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The first illustrations by Cristina (Nuvolanevicata on Depositphotos) were botanical ones. After several years of working for graphic studios, she began collaborating with Italian newspapers and magazines. Surprisingly, front-page articles were of little interest to her.

Cristina was more fascinated by the horoscope and test sections, since there she could truly express her imaginative artistic nature. Later, philosophical metaphors became a significant feature of her artistic style.

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An important takeaway made by Cristina during her work for print media concerns the use of humor and irony in illustrations. She believes that tragic themes deserve optimistic interpretations. Moreover, painful topics like deportations, war, or social inequality often require an uplifting outlook. Optimism does not mean disrespect for victims, but is an expression of sincere sympathy.

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The advantage of illustrations devoid of grief and drama is that they inform and encourage more people to think about social issues, compared to the frightening and repulsive images in which horrors are visually exaggerated.

“Getting informed means diving into painful situations, feeling empathy, and then being able to smile while maintaining respect, planting in the audience a small seed that, I hope, will one day sprout into tolerance,” is how Cristina explained her doctrine.

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As you might have guessed, the greatest influence on Cristina Bernazzani’s portfolio were the surrealists — in particular, René Magritte, whom she appreciates for his poetic approach.

And although surreal paintings still delight the public, according to Cristina, Magic Realism has more potential for modern illustrators looking for inspiration. Rob Gonsalves or Paul Bond are the artists whose masterpieces Cristina usually brings to mind as she starts a new illustration.

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