An Interview With Ciao Chiara

Chiara Perano is a dynamic artist whose work exudes timeless beauty and positivity.
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A contemporary English-Italian illustrator and designer, Chiara Perano is a dynamic artist whose work exudes timeless beauty and positivity. Based in St Leonards-on-Sea in England, she lives with her husband, and two daughters and runs Ciao Chiara. In addition to working with private clients, she has collaborated with brands including Liberty London, Anthropologie and Peroni to add a playful touch and Italian style to accessories, tableware and more.

Relentlessly crafting, matching beautiful handwritten lettering and harmonious nuances with twirling soft waves, Chiara’s works transmits the ephemeral feeling of falling in love and the determination of Italy’s most important word: amore. Mixing la dolce vita’s essence with a few sips of a chilled Negroni and nods to the Amalfi Coast, her designs will catch your sight and surely linger in your memory. Here, we spoke with Chiara about Italy, her art and where she finds inspiration.

How has your Italian upbringing influenced your work and life?

Italy has inspired my work immensely. I’m endlessly inspired by the natural beauty, style and culture of the country. And I’m lucky to have been surrounded by Italian food and the rituals of dining together all my life. My family has Italian restaurants here in England as well. I want to bring my children up with those values. Family and good food and experiences are very important to me, too.

I love learning about old traditions, the slower handmade artisanal way of life, living in tune with the seasons. We try to embrace those where possible in our modern life. I like the amalgamation, and I would describe my artwork as a reflection of this — a modern fun style with nostalgic elements.

Tell us a little bit about Italia nostalgia and how this inspires your art.

Where I’m from in Italy is quite traditional, and particular memories from my childhood really inspire my work. My family home is in the middle of vegetable fields in the Campania region. I remember the smell of sticky warm figs and tomatoes in the sunshine, the peachy dusty buildings, the thrill of whizzing around on a vespa in the hot evenings to get gelato, dining together with my big family under the vines, endless good food.

When I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with my art direction after I had my first daughter, I remember reading somewhere that you need to figure out what your unique story is, and this is mine. It helps to go back there if I’m feeling stuck. I have also done a lot of research about old Italian and European artists and makers which hugely influence my work and style, from composition to color and typography.

When you’re not creating, where could we find you in the Bel Paese?

In a beach bar on the Amalfi Coast. My dream is to have a place down there where we can escape for a few months a year to create art and embrace the good life.

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