My name is Ilaria Toscano A.K.A. Keirart and I live in Rome, Italy. I was born on June 10th 1992 and turn 28 this year.
In terms of profession, I am mainly a Graphic Designer and, more recently I have been integrating more photography to become more of an overall Visual Designer. I graduated as a technician in graphic arts, but for the photography side I am entirely self-taught.
In terms of arts and crafts I am very multifaceted – I like lots of different skills ranging from DIY, making jewelry with recycled materials, painting and drawing. Basically I like to create, regardless of the category!
How did you get started in light painting?
My first exposure to light painting were through the photos “Picasso’s Light Drawings” by Gjon Mili. I was immediately inspired, realizing that this was what I wanted to do going forward – a way out of the monotony around me. I started drawing with street lights and candles, moving the camera to create my drawings.
My first “guinea pig” for portrait work was my mother, who patiently lent herself as a model as I experimented.
What do you like most about lightpainting? And least?
I love lightpainting in all its facets. Playing with lights and colors makes me happy and satisfied, being able to express my visions and ideas.
The patience, care and determination that you need to put in each shot makes each photo truly unique and special.
I have never found any negative side!
How do you tend to develop your projects?
I often write down my ideas on paper, reflecting on how I use lights to make my project.
But even more often I find myself using light painting as a mental outlet creating my works on the fly, but always keeping in mind the colors and movements that I would like to use.
Which photographers, light painters and / or other artists have influenced you?
I have always loved the surreal style of Jason Rinehart and Tim gamble, and the use of fibre optics in portraiture by
Gunnar Heilmann, it was thanks to him that I discovered the use of fibre optics, inspired by him from the first portrait.
What 3 tools do you always take with you?
Have you experienced any memorable / special moments whilst doing light painting?
Yes! Light painting has been a means of getting to know lots of people from all over the world. I have also exhibited my works in live light performances where I’ve had incredible feedback. During the first performance I had a really beautiful moment:as soon as the shooting session was over and the spectators all crowded around the monitor to see the final shot. I have seen smiles and expressions of amazement and wonder at the results, which have filled me with positive energy. A beautiful feeling of esteem! Thanks to my works in light painting I also received international awards and exhibited both in my country and abroad. I am so proud to have found my “light”!
What has been your biggest photographic challenge or the photo which was hardest for you to acheive?
I think the biggest challenge for me is in the Self-Portraits. Trying to make them more and more elaborate is a real challenge. Doing everything alone is really difficult. To both light paint yourself and also stay still whilst at the same time thinking about what to do … proper multitasking!
Where would you most like to be able to do a light painting session?
I don’t have a chosen place, making purely portraits I never thought of a specific outdoor place where I would like to shoot … So I would say: everywhere
What advice would you give to new light painters?
Experiment experiment and experiment. I think it is the foundation for finding your own distinctive style and improving yourself with a lot of practice.
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