Being a woman: The gouache paintings of Alessandra Genualdo

An Italian illustrator and painter living in London's Bethnal Green, Alessandra Genualdo's work has a strong point of view that's firmly focused on her experiences as a woman.

"The female figure is a big source of inspiration," she explains. "My illustrations and paintings reflect my personal life and emotions, and the way the characters evolve reflect the way my perception of myself evolves through time."

"With my fine art pieces, I mostly rely on my imagination, although many of the works I produce have been influenced by what surrounds me, my memories, women I have met, so can be considered a metaphorical reinterpretation of reality."

Creative process

Alessandra paints in gouache on paper and uses coloured pencil to add detail to her pieces. "I use quite simple shapes and a limited colour palette," she says. "I am attracted to decorative motifs like flowers and leaves, as a representation of the natural world I feel a connection with."

Whether she's painting an illustration or a work of fine art, her preliminary process of research, sketching and preparing her colour palette is always the same.

"I like to have a very clear image of how I want my final work to look like in my head," she reveals. "That can obviously change in the process of making, but when I go into sketching I try and recreate as best as I can what I have envisaged.

"I am more likely to use some reference pictures when I am working on a commercial project, than when I am painting for a personal illustration or a work of fine art."

Collaboration and travel

Alessandra recently got some extra inspiration from a week in Antwerp in the company of D.A.T.E. (Discover Antwerp Through Experience), a project that brings together international creatives to discover the city and collaborate on an exhibition (you can see what she created for that here).

"Being in a new city always offers a new perspective on my work and its possibilities, and the week in Antwerp was so incredibly stimulating, creatively speaking," she enthuses. "The city in itself, its fashion scene, interacting with the local creatives and with the other guests, all contributed to making the experience incredibly inspiring.

"Antwerp possesses a calmer creative atmosphere, quite different from what I am used to in London, which can allow you more mental space to create," she adds.


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