Welcome to the second story of Creativity Bites.
This month I have had a lovely chat with artist Francesca "Blumbo" Costa.
We have talked about photography, music, books and visual arts.
We have shared thoughts on 2020 and how it has positively affected creativity.
I hope you'll like it!
Franci Blumbo Costa
I am super excited to share Franci's story with you and to introduce you to some of her great talents. I have known her for a long time and let me tell you... You're in for a treat! Her curiosity and sensibility towards anything aesthetic will definitely capture you.
Now, sit comfortably, play your favourite track in the background, and enjoy the reading.
First things first! Describe yourself to our readers in 3-4 adjectives please:
Ok this is definitely not easy but I'd say I consider myself both an introvert and an extrovert... a bit weird
and funny. I am a Libra so here you go!
Some people might have asked you already: where does your nickname, Blumbo, come from?
Long story short: it's a silly in-joke from my old American days... I won't get into details but let's say that somehow it is still part of me.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I was born in Milan, Italy. I have always been curious and passionate about visual arts, most probably because of my family's creative background. Both my parents have always worked in Communication & Media, me and my two younger sisters have grown up reading a lot of books, listening to music, traveling... My aunt is a ballerina and my uncle is a photographer. Creativity has always been part of my everyday life.
When I turned 19 years old I moved to NYC and attended SVA, the School of Visual Arts, where I then majored in Film & Video production. What a cool experience it has been! I have worked in film production throughout College until, seven years ago, I decided to move to London to pursue a career in VA. I wanted to enhance my portfolio and my photographic knowledge.
Over the following years I kept freelancing and interning in productions until I started working full time at Warner Music UK, where I am still today.
You are a Creative Commissioner at Parlophone (Warner Music UK) since 2016: Could you guide us through your daily job and tasks?
Sure! Been a Creative Commissioner for a record label means that every day is different. Never a dull moment! Sometimes I have to attend a photoshoot and art direct it, other days can be about production, shoot prep or post production. I particularly enjoy to research inspirational images and create mood-boards.
What can I say, if you're into visual arts this is THE job!
2020 has been a very complicated year so far. Any particular challenges you have encountered in your job while working from home?
Yes...what a year! Speaking from my side, 2020 has been a very though time for live music and musicians in general.
Working in creative meant helping artists as much as we could, primarily creating contents that they could post on social media to keep their audience engaged. Even if there have been some initial logistical difficulties, while working from home there have been and still are many highlights! For instance, once I had to art direct a FaceTime photoshoot for Balcony the band. Isn't that cool?
Depite all the complications that the virus brought, I still think 2020 has been good for creativity. Let's not forget that this year at least we have had time to brainstorm, to focus on our future objectives and so on.
Think about it, when will we have again so much time to focus on our skills and to experiment more? We have all learned how to get creative in our living rooms, this is already a big accomplishment! We have to keep on creating and keep on finding the inspiration we need inside of us and around us.
Something that kept me inspired while in lockdown in London was being able to (virtually) visit museums. Besides reading books, watching movies and listening to music.
What is the band or artist you have been listening to the most this year? If you have a favourite playlist please do share it with us :)
I'm a music lover myself, I really miss gigs and festivals. I've been listening to so much stuff from Future Islands, Devendra Barnhart, Frank Ocean, Lucio Battisti to name a few. 2020 was an emotional rollercoaster and music really helped me.
Which one is the creative project you are most proud of so far?
I genuinely don't have a favourite project because they all remind me of a specific time in my life. Wether it was good or bad, I sure learnt so much from it.
*You can have a look at one of Francesca's projects, the "Girl by the Window" series, here .
Besides music, what is the form of art you like the most to express yourself? And to get inspired as well?
I enjoy film photography and I always carry a point and shoot camera in my bag. I get inspired by the people around me, places, art exhibitions and movies.
I know you read a lot: any books you could recommend us right now?
I do love a good book! "Girl, Woman, Other" by Bernardine Evaristo was a brilliant reading! A must read about modern Britain and womanhood. I also really liked "Intimations - Six essays" by one of my favourite writers, Zadie Smith. She wrote this collection of stories during the first lockdown. It is very profound and inspiring.
Where can people follow you and keep an eye on your future projects?
You can follow me on IG where I post my film photography, some of my works and anything that inspires me :)
Interview by Sybilla C. Bertolaja, December 2020
Follow @franciblumbo for more inspo and @creativity_bites for more stories