The Illustrative Mind of Dodichi

Written by Polya Pencheva

Edoardo Trionfera is an Italian artist, from Rome based in Rotterdam. He moved to the Netherlands eight years ago and has worked in the artistic field since arriving. The trip was just an experience abroad for him to learn English. Wait, wait, wait! This is a story about street art, and you may wonder who Edoardo Trionfera is. On the street, he is more popular with the name Dodici. Now, this sounds a bit confusing. Let’s try again.

Dodici is a muralist with a unique style, who graduated from the Art Academy in Italy. His style is comic-like because of the years in university, where he focused on studying comics.

Dodichi

However, his journey underwent a swift turn and things changed rapidly. “At the beginning, I was focused on creating realistic art. My drawings were nice but not wonderful,” says Dodici. His girlfriend jumped in and told him that what suits him better is the comic style of painting. She told him that every time somebody would ask for a quick sketch, his doodle would appear as a comic-like rather than something realistic. “I was working on this style every day. I was focusing on the characters’ faces and not using too many lines. Slowly I started taking inspiration from other artists and attempted to do what felt natural for me,” explains Dodici.

“I was working on this style every day. I was focusing on the characters’ faces and not using too many lines. Slowly I started taking inspiration from other artists and attempted to do what felt natural for me.”

The characters on his murals take different genders, colors, forms but what unites them is the artist’s love for art. The paintings often reflect his personal impressions of the world and the people around him. Dodici aims to create the type of art that lets people recognize themselves in it. “I like to take inspiration from people because everyone is different,” mentions Dodici. Everyone has their own story. And what intrigues him most is understanding who the people behind his murals are. “When I am in the metro, for example, I try to think about that kind of job these people do or what they’re thinking in the particular moment,” further continues Dodici.

Art by Dodichi

One of Dodici’s latest projects is a little bit different from the comic style faces. Located in Crooswijk, Rotterdam, the mural depicts various hands and plants helping each other in the gardening tasks. Being asked to create a mural inspired by the local area, Dodici decided to illustrate people of all colors so everyone who passes by the mural can identify. He recounts that the message was clear enough as he illustrated different tones of skin. “If you don’t recognize yourself in one of my characters because you cannot see a face resembling yours, then you can still feel part of the drawing,” thinks out loud Dodici. The Crooswijk mural has another message to convey. It talks about harmony and collaboration. Living harmoniously allows the different individuals to help each other and keep the neighborhood in its best appearance. Additionally, this is also another way to attract people to visit it and stay. One last interesting fact about this mural is the fact that the lowest part of the wall isn’t painted. “I was asked to leave this part empty because the community is going to plant new plants and, in the future, the artwork will look as if it interacting with the plants coming out of the ground,” adds Dodici.

Art by Dodichi

One of the most distinctive features of Dodici’s characters is their faces. They all have similar facial features such as the nose and the eyes. Yet, what inspires him most are the extravagant and extraordinary individuals. “I like to take inspiration from the people who stand out. It doesn’t matter with what – maybe it is their style, or just that they are slightly different,” says Dodici.

Dodici painted a mural in Goes, Zealand that depicts an old couple. “They were sitting next to me in the metro,” exclaims Dodici. For the street artist the old couple was perfectly matching. “I thought if there was something like true love that this was it.”

Dodici painted a mural in Goes, Zealand that depicts an old couple. “They were sitting next to me in the metro,” exclaims Dodici. For the street artist the old couple was perfectly matching. “I thought if there was something like true love that this was it,” thoughtfully adds the artist. When you see old people who complement each other so perfectly, then you know they must’ve spent their whole life together. “There was something else I also thought of. My girlfriend and I have a very long story. I think I have spent half of my life with her already and maybe that could be us in the future.”

Art by Dodichi

This encounter in the metro gave the idea about the artwork. But while he was working something interesting happened to him. While he was painting a lady stopped and observed the mural. Later on, she came back with her old mother to see Dodici’s mural and his ongoing working process. “She was crying when she came back. She told me she brought her mother because my mural reminded her of her parents. It seemed to have touched her deeply,” explains Dodici. And for him this is the biggest reward, namely people stopping by, chatting about the work process, sharing ideas.

Art by Dodichi

Personally, I wanted to know what excites Dodici more – illustration or painting murals. While seeming totally different, both occupations share the hunch for creativity, precision of the hand and learning a ton of different techniques. “Honestly, what I like most is painting murals and I will tell you why. When you’re outside you have the chance to meet a lot of people,” contemplates Dodici. Encountering people while painting on the street allows them to be part of the working process and gives them the chance to learn more about the person behind the art name Dodici. There is always something to do on the street, according to Dodici. For example, pedestrians could bring you a drink or they can even tell you, their story. “If I am having a bad day and somebody shows up, they can totally change my mood and make something nice out of it, you know,” he explains.

“She was crying when she came back. She told me she brought her mother because my mural reminded her of her parents. It seemed to have touched her deeply.”

But like every artist, Dodici has a little bit of a controversial relationship with his art. He loves all of his art but at the same time hates it. “Every mural I painted was a way to learn and start getting bigger. But I am super critical when it comes to my style,” elaborates Dodici. He adds that every time he looks back in time, a year-old mural would feel super old. “If I could retouch the paintings, I will change them completely,” notes the artist.

For Dodici, it is his love of the stories, the experiences and the work process that inspires him to paint.

Polya Pencheva obtained her master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Groningen and the Netherlands and likes to talk about traveling, entertainment, street art, and innovation in her stories. During her free time, she enjoys playing board games and reading. Her favorite superhero is Spider-Man and she believes that with great power comes great responsibility. The way to her heart is black coffee, a good book and some chocolate.

Insta: @polyawrites