Volomir: Luciano, you are a very well known painter in Italy. Please tell us a bit about yourself for everyone who doesn’t know you. Can you summarize for us the history of your painting?
Luciano: I was born in Milan and I am a big Milan FC fan. I work in my family business which deals with industrial paints and as a second job in the evening I teach boxing in a gym in my hometown. I have a beautiful wife who is called Elena and 4 year old twins Giulia and Nicolò who are my greatest joy. I started painting about twenty years ago when my brother brought home the first box of Hero Quest. I thought of giving color to those soldiers that immediately fascinated me for their fantasy connotation.
Volomir: Have you learnt to paint and sculpt all by yourself, have you attended courses, or do you have some sort of personal master?
Luciano: As I said before I started painting many years ago, so for me it was an experience of continuous research by constantly experimenting personally, as the hobby was not yet as widespread as now, and above all there was no opportunity to attend courses or use the internet. Over the years I have gained experience and my ever growing passion has allowed me to meet other artists who are now very good friends and a source of inspiration, so the exchange continues. One of them is a great sculptor, who showed me the basics of his technique allowing me to make this last piece that won the Slayersword in Italy.
Volomir: Do you think internet tutorials are enough to learn about painting or do we need something else?
Luciano: I think they are very useful but not sufficient. I think that practice, perhaps under the supervision of an expert painter, is the best way to acquire information and correct mistakes.
Volomir: It is usually said that Golden Demon Italy is filled with entries containing a great deal of freehands and that is normally what the jury expects to give awards. What do you think about Golden Demon Italy? Is this really a trend you see there?
Luciano: It's a widespread tendency in GD Italy, especially because in the past it has given people great results. The downside lies in the fact that too many artists have used this technique without even having the ability to do it and above all a technical background is necessary to get a remarkable job. The important thing is that the freehand is used wisely, perhaps to enhance work already correct from the point of view of colour and volume.
Volomir: Golden Demons are always controversial, the strict competitive format is very hard and lots of great miniatures are left without reward. What are your impressions on the judging process in GD? Are ‘Eavy Metal painters and GW workers suited to judge the amazing quality we see in these contests? Inviting the previous year Slayersword to be part of the jury seems like a very good initiative, but is that enough?
Luciano: In every contest there are always people unhappy and controversy about judges being considered more or less competent. The GD is no exception to this, in fact, being the most important and awaited fantasy competition which is always very competitive and hard, this makes it really unique. I find that a "technical" judge can be helpful because it is useful to recognize certain aspects of the painting and the balance in decisions can make a difference, but I think there will never be universal justice because beauty is very subjective.
Volomir: Your miniature winner of the Slayersword in Italy 2012 is an amazing piece, filled with details and carefully thought until the tiniest bit. Did you prepare specifically to go for the Slayersword? Were you expecting the award?
Luciano: I never prepare a piece specifically for a contest, my projects are always born from personal passion. Probably, the victory of my first Slayer estimulated me to create something new and different from the previous one but equally ambitious. I would say that I tried and it went well. Whether if I expected something or not I would respond no, Whatever you prepare for a GD no matter how much effort you devote to it, you're never sure if it will be able to win. The competition is great and fierce. Of course I thought that the Space Marine who won the silver medal should have got more.
Volomir: Together with the Ork, there was a photo album with pictures from the sculpting process, which show that you have worked very thoroughly throughout the whole creation process to build and paint the miniature. When did you start working on it and how long did the whole creation take?
Luciano: I had in mind what I wanted to do, but I did not know exactly how. It had to be big. I thought of starting from an ogre, but it was not enough and in addition, I had to work on the anatomy too. I imagined my ork with massive muscles and there came my idea of starting from the trunk of the demon prince. The process was very long because I am not a sculptor so times were dilated. If we add this to the fact that I worked very few hours a week because of my busy life, I would say it took about 8 months to finish, the same time that my wife used to make two kids!
Volomir: This year you won your second Slayersword. Was winning the second time as a rewarding experience as the first time? How did you feel each time?
Luciano: The first time I think it was for me an unforgettable emotional moment, certainly greater than the latter, but a very deep satisfaction on a personal level as "painter". It was bigger on that aspect this time. I tried a new path with a different type of painting and new experience as a sculptor, and the fact that it was especially appreciated by other "colleagues" made it really gratifying.
Volomir: Do you travel abroad to other contests? Are you planning to do it in the near future?
Luciano: Yes, I'd love to do the Spanish and English GD. Maybe also in the company of a friend...
Volomir: Who are the painters you most like or admire right now in Italy and the rest of the world?
Luciano: There are many that I admire deeply, but one of the most important for me is Diego Ruina.
Volomir: Can you tell us something about your upcoming projects? Is there something as big and carefully prepared as the Ork piece coming in the near future?
Luciano: I have one I wanted to do for a long time and could not for various reasons. But of course you should never reveal the cards before playing.
Volomir: And finally, last but not least. I’m sure any painter new to the hobby is eager to hear some counsel from you, in Italy or any other country in the painting world. Do you have anything to say to help someone who is starting now and would love to become a master painter someday?
Luciano: I would tell them to go slowly and follow their passions without painting in terms of competition. The contest should serve as a stimulus and a comparison to better understand where they can work to improve. I often see guys with a lot of talent wanting to get too quickly jumping right die "academic" painting, looking for special effects, colour contrasts and more without having the basics.