The Dundonians project

For my first blog’s post I decided to share with you my process about my biggest project I’ve done this year: The Dundonians.

But first, I would like to explain why I’m starting a blog even though I’m not a very talkative person and I don’t feel I’m very good in writing.

Most of the time people see my already finished illustrations and/or project but they don’t know what process there is behind, how many sketches have been done, how many mistakes happened etc..


So the main reason is to share all these hidden aspects of my work and hopefully you will find some inspiration too.


I would like also to have YOUR feedbacks, YOUR comments.

I want know more YOU.


Now more then ever is possible break the “illustrator solitude” by creating a lot more contacts on the web.


 Why The Dundonians project? 

I choose to start the blog with The Dundonians project because it was my biggest and important project of this year.

Biggest because even if it happened from December 2016 to February 2017 I was already thinking about it one year before. Important because it allowed me to meet a lot of people and also challenge myself.

What was The Dundonians about?

The Dundonians was part of a collective exhibition (DCA Thomson) organized by DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts) and in partnership with DC Thomson for the 80th anniversary of two  comics, “The Broons” and “Our Wallie”.

The Dundonians was inspired by my previous works about families’ pictures and the comic The Broons.


I wanted to find a way to involve people and create their own family pictures and/or memories.


In line with this idea, I’ve developed it to create the Dundee family. I painted one mural representing my childhood living room. People could take their “family portraits” in front of it and create their memories. There was an hashtag which was #WeAreDundonians to easily collect all the photos through social platforms. On the weekend from the 25th the the 27th of November 2016 we put a call for everyone who wanted to have a chance to be chosen and be represented on painted portrait done with my personal style.

With family I didn’t mean only the canonical family (father, mother and children) but it could have been a group of students that share the same flat, a community of a small neighbour, a group people that work together and so on..


The process…

When I first went to the DC Thomson archive I’ve been amazed by the amount of people working on different comics all together, like a big family. They really seemed to care and help each other.

The DC Thomson has a lot of comics, they are really a huge family.

DCA Thomson exhibition2

When I was there a drawing of The Beano’s comic arrived from the original comic artist and the staff let me smell it. (you red right, SMELL IT)

The designer draws strips in a relly small room while smoking a pipe. Therefore, the paper a smoky aroma.

I also loved The Broons comic which represent a big and hilarious Scottish family, always described as the “Scotland’s happy family”.


From there I understood that my main idea would be about Family.


But how?


This was the hardest part. How I could represent the concept of Family?

These were my first ideas:


  • Social meals: as you probably know family use to get together during meals (huge meals if we are talking about Italians families) so the first idea was to recreate this occasion with all the people in Dundee. They could have a placematt with the layout of a comic strip and they could have drawn the comic of the event.  I called them Social meals but they already exist. An Italian association, called Basso Profilo, organise these type of events along different streets where everyone bring something. In this way you have a chance to meet your neighbourhood  and try different cooking styles. What a great way to meet people huh?
  • Home city home: the second idea was to decorate different objects around the street of Dundee and make them like  furniture of a house. The city would have become the big home of the Dundee’s family.

DCA Thomson exhibition3


I had a lot of other ideas but none of these were supposed to exhibit inside the DCA gallery, which was the main thing!

So I decided that the DCA would be the big house for the people of Dundee and I re-create a mural representing a living room where everyone could do their family pictures.

I loves doing project which involve people.

DCA Thomson exhibition5

This has been my process for The Dundonians project, what about you? How many ideas do you have before come up with THE ONE? Please let me know in the comments!



2 Replies to “The Dundonians project”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *