Paola Pioletti


Paola Pioletti is an Italian illustrator artist and author.  She is a self-taught artist, but she had the honour to receive Tim Burton’s suggestions and ideas, which she took as her “mantra”.


How does a  regular day for Paola Pioletti look like?

I get up very early in the morning and work all day long. I teach, I draw, I write, I study. There is no spare time to lose. I hate wasting time. Concentration and mind discipline rule my everyday challenges.

– You artistic theme is gothic / dark. What attracted you to this style of theme for your drawings?

Well, gothic and dark themes are something we can’t choose. I think it’s just an expression of what we feel inside, as an invisible voice that turn black, foggy, sad and terrifying when we translate it in artworks. As poetry does, as music reveals, this kind of attraction has no explanations but it has the hard and weird feelings I need for my healthy life.



– Does this reflect your personal lifestyle as well?

Yes, it does. I wear my sunglasses everyday and go through light and blue skies as if it’s a gorgeous rainy day. I wear black clothes and look at the flame of a candle for hours while creating my “dark worlds”.

“There is no spare time to lose. I hate wasting time. Concentration and mind discipline rule my everyday challenges.”



– Your work seems to be influenced by Tim Burton. What is Tim Burton for you and what are your other influences and inspirations, if any?

Well, I met Tim Burton’s creations when i was a lonely girl. I was in London at the time and I felt as if I met a “father”. I felt his feelings, I understood what gave him the courage of being “a different” between “same” people and I understood that my life was giving me the chance of being “a different” too. I started studying hard, taking inspiration from black and white old films and English literature. Victorian age, Edgar Allan Poe books, Vincent Prince productions, classical music and so on. I had to learn the real meaning of darkness through sad and melancholic concepts.


– As a self-taught artist, what were the initial difficulties you had to face?

At the beginning I ran through hard difficulties. Technical knowledge, for example, because I am a self-taught artist that never practiced in art schools. I did not have economic possibilities at that time so I had to practice everyday using pencil and rubber. Hours and hours to clear lines and fill the spaces in a harmonic way. 

And then, the biggest difficulty to achieve: a personal style. Style means having a hand that speaks about you without words. A really hard work that needed years to come out.

– What is the response you get from your audience?

The only thing I can sincerely say today, is that no matter what I draw and why or how I draw it, people are fascinated about my work. There’s always a pretty strangeness that dresses my subjects so I think that this is the real matter of such a lovely sharing.

the biggest difficulty to achieve: a personal style. Style means having a hand that speaks about you without words. A really hard work that needed years to come out.”

– You are also a writer and soon you will have your biography published, titled “Biografia d’artista – Storia di un’anima schiva e appartata”. Is it a documentation of your journey to discover your self as an artist? What should your audience expect to find out?

My Book, Biografia d’artista, is just the way my life went on. I’m so happy I wrote it because inside of it people will find a good way of understanding my way of acting art. There is always a reason that brings us to create something new and different, so writing about my complicated life will give important answers.

– You had studied psychology, but you have decided to focus on art and writing. Does your psychology background help you develop stories for your art and writing?

My psychology background has not much to do with my art. I studied psychology because I think that the brain is something really weird and because at that time I was a sad and lonely girl.

I needed to stay glued inside books, I needed to escape from my horrible reality, trying to understand why my brain was so tired and complicated. What really enforces my passion for drawing and sculpting new subjects, is my rebel soul that ran through horrible, past experiences. As Tim Burton told me “watch inside you, your childhood will give you all the answers you need and the pencils will draw it down”.

That’s what I’ve done and what I do everyday when I wake up in the morning and wear my sunglasses.



– Have you ever tried any other form of art or other theme than drawings and gothic art? If not, are you thinking of trying something different?

I tried all kinds of techniques and themes. I worked so hard trying to enjoy new forms and thoughts. Landscapes, colourful worlds… red butterflies, blue skies, pink flowers, violet seas and stars all around me, but this started hardly, increasing in my mind. I felt as something inside me was dying. A voice without a sound, a heart without beating, as a flower without water losing my petals.

I’m not sincerely ready for a change. I’m not disposed to losing my inner voice that gives away brightness in the dark. Maybe one day, getting older and wise.

– What are your future plans and ambitions as an artist?

I don’t like planning art. Everything I do lights up in moment and ends when I finish it. I’ll keep on working under commission and giving others parts of my soul. I’m working on a personal project that’s absorbing much of my energies but I won’t talk about it now.

There is still much to do and I’m not ready yet. I can only say that it will be “my house”. Inside a house we can find lots of things so at the moment, brick by brick, I’m creating my new existential address.


More of Paola’s artworks on her Instagram page