Illustrator and video editor Luciano Cina — also known as Luccico — has built an impressive following on Instagram with his digital illustrations that turn photographs of ordinary scenes and recognizable landmarks into fantasy landscapes. With a touch of surreal humor, Luccico’s creations play with reality and perspective in a whimsical way.
His most recent project sees the illustrator collaborating with Google Arts & Culture by augmenting Google Street View images of global heritage sites in his signature style. The result is a collection of fun-loving, innovative creations and here, Luccico talks about his inspiration and creative process.
When did you first begin to augment images with your digital illustrations? Where did the inspiration come from?
It was in 2012, and I had just bought an airplane ticket to the city where I live. I was thinking about so many things, both positive and negative, and I drew an airplane in the clouds in front of me and shared it on Instagram. For me, that airplane, served to remove negative thoughts.
People appreciated that way of communicating and I started with the #MoreThanAPic project. Inspiration comes from a mix of feelings, what I feel at that moment, and a physical element that starts the spark of creativity.
You often focus on heritage sites for your work, why is that?
Historic sites are symbols. I like playing with symbols from the past because they are known by everyone and represent many different things to people. I always try to leave more than our ancestors did.
What's the process of creating one of your artworks? And how did you choose locations for this series of posts?
Usually I design at night. After a super intensive day at work, it's my way to relax. I try to not exceed 30 minutes of drawing because my drawings are simple, clear, and with a few lines. Working on an image for more than 30 minutes, it means the message becomes difficult to understand.
To find the inspiration, I observe everything around me. Often it’s the same subject from different points of view. My imaginary worlds start from the common things.
What's the best part about what you do?
It’s definitely making those who watch my work smile. We live in a period where we take ourselves too seriously and a bit of positivity is good for everyone. I also like to hear people say "who knows what Luccico could draw on..."
What do you enjoy about giving these Street View captures a different purpose?
As said before, I like to switch up the reality of things, by creating imaginary worlds that come from the real things that are around us. It's like a new update of Google Street View that makes you daydream.
If these illustrations have made you want to travel to new places, satisfy your curiosity by checking out the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Tower of Belém in Portugal, and the Sequoia National Park in California.
Words by Rebecca Fulleylove