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  • Writer's pictureMelody J. Myers

MAKING NOISE 011: Raissa Pardini

Hi Raissa! Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer my questions, how are you?

I’m good, thanks! This third lockdown didn’t hit me as hard as the pious ones. I think I’ve learn how to look after myself this time around! : )

How did you start getting into graphic design?

I’m not sure how it happened but sometime around 12/13 years old, I got asked to pick an high school of my choice and I’ve gone for the graphic one. I really enjoyed so I decided to follow this path at uni as well!

I’ve always been a creative child, I could paint and create for hours on my own. Probably the only time off my mum would get!

Did you always know that you would end up collaborating with bands and artists? How did that start happening?

I always knew I’d do something with music and art but I didn’t know how. I started playing music very very early. My mum signed me in for piano lessons at the local church and I fell in love with music. A few years later, probably around 12years old, my dad got me a bass. He used to play bass and I wanted to play something more similar to the music he was listening (the classic dad rock selection of bands really!). In the meantime, my favourite subject in school was History and mostly History of Art, hence why I became so passionate about art and culture. Being fro Tuscany definitely helped me growing that huge interest I had for Art. There’s so much to see between Florence, Pisa, Lucca. It looked like a playground to me.

How do you think your approach to creating has shaped your career?

I’ve always wanted to work my way. It’d get bored very easily if things are not done naturally and organically. It took me a long time to find a way to adapt “my” approach to my work and clients. I couldn’t do it when I was working for someone else so I decided to go solo.

I’m lazy in the morning so I tent to work till later in the day. I’m more productive if I work a day less per week so I switched to 4 days working. I work at my best if I can adapt the rest around my needs.

What programs and devices do you use when it comes to design?

I worked on a laptop the whole first year of freelancing. It has been 2.5 years now and I finally switched to a big Mac. I also got an iPad for illustrations. I usually work on Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects.

When creating with bands, how do you go about finding common ground on an idea? Do you design something first, or do you brainstorm together?

We always try to brainstorm together at first. I want to do my best to understand what their music means to them. It’s really important that the band can identify themselves in the design.

Not only are you a designer, but you were also in a band! How did that happen? Would you ever be in one again?

I’ve been in many bands over the years. My latest one, Yassassin. I was playing bass and writing music with them. We had a lot of fun together, travelled around festivals and toured. It was a really good time but me and Ruth (drums) decided to leave in the end. Personally, I didn’t feel like our music represented my interests and ethics anymore. I played organ in Charles Howl and drums in Loaded before Yassassin and I had a bunch of bands back in Italy that went nowhere ahah. I just purchased a new white piano for the house so I guess its time to go solo with my music too : )

You grew up in Italy, and continued to move around until you settled is Glasgow. Do you find that the places you’ve lived in have inspired your craft at all?

Of course. I lived in Milan, a very gray and brutalist city. Not sure how much Milan influenced me but Berlin inspired my work hugely. Berlin was everything I needed after uni - a place where I could be anyone I wanted to be. I then moved to London and I became the person I am today. London showed me a lot of things that became part of my personality over the years. Activism, community, music, art, culture, politics. Glasgow is like a mini East London though. The sense of community is huge and culture plays a big role here.

How did you go about finding your own style in your art?

I’m not sure as I try to stay away from researching platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. I’m worried I’ll copy someone else as it seems that everyone is doing the same thing right now ahah.

Lots of books and lots of curiosity. Walking down the street inspires me a lot. Go out inspires me a lot. I see things and I store them in my little brain.

You’ve worked with bands such as IDLES, Squid and The Orielles to name a few! Is there anyone you dream about working with?

Not really! I worked for a couple of my heroes and it wasn’t a great experience so I decided that I wouldn’t have dreamed about working for anyone else anymore : ) I’m more interested in cultural achievements right now!

I believe that as human beings, we aren’t meant to just do one thing! You’ve done so much besides design such as be in a band, and you even worked for Music Sales Group. How did you start working for them? Do you think delving into so many different aspects of music helped you as a designer?

For sure! Music shaped me into the person I am and I’m so glad I followed my path without too much pressure. Music Sales group is family for me now and I continue to work for their Omnibus Press side. But before Music Sales I was working in a record shop, and before then I was trying to learn how to produce music. And before then I started a music magazine that was delivered in all the best record shops in the whole UK. Music has always been there and always will!

What’s your favorite thing about living and working in Glasgow?

The community and the most beautiful buildings.

Music is obviously very male dominated, do you believe the art scene is the same? If so, was it hard for you to get into both scenes due to being a woman?

Of course, all industries are effected. The gender gap in art is embarrassing. We pride ourself to be part of this progressive community when we have shocking numbers when we look at the gender gap.

I think I’ve always being stubborn and motivated enough to look ahead and work hard anyway, so I guess I’ve been lucky. But everyone of us is effected by this broken system. It’s something I always talk to students and raise awareness. It’s time to talk about the facts and act!

What was it like doing your first solo exhibition?

It was the best feeling ever. I remember the opening in London being the BEST night. My family came and visit, my partner was there, my best friends were there and the whole place was packed with familiar faces and people I love.

I remember dancing to Squid while signing “RAISSA!” and feeling in heaven : ) some really great memories indeed.

What advice would you give someone who wants to work in the same field as you?

Work hard and keep doing what you do. Find your style and spend time becoming yourself. Thats the only thing that makes you unique from everyone else.

If you could recommend me anyone to interview for Making Noise, who would it be?

Neelam Khan Vela : )

Thank you, Raissa, for being a part of Making Noise! Raissa can be found on Instagram and her incredibly cool website (seriously, do yourself a favor and check it out)!

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