Nelson based artist Stef Naldi has turned her childhood dream into reality: Despite her “excellent vintage” age, Stef – whose given but rarely used name is Stefania – gave up material comfort and security to pursue her passion for art with a degree of Arts and Design at NMIT. Originally from a small village near Bologna in Italy, Stef left home for good at 21 “to work in all sorts of jobs in all sorts of beautiful places”.
Her wealth of experience combined with her bubbly and caring personality are reflected in her artistic journey, expression and engagement. Initially focussing on graphic design, Stef discovered her love for object design as it allows for a variety of tools and materials for artistic expression AND enhances engagement with other people. When asked about her artistic inspiration, Stef states: “I have a full artist crush on Tom Deininger. He uses toys and general rubbish to build 3d structures that read like a painting. I love the way his mind can work out how to do that!”
Besides her full-time studies and part-time work duties as well as regularly sharing her art at Nelson’s Sunday market, Stef has recently started “Pencil Case”, an initiative to connect avid drawing lovers during real – and in times of necessary lockdowns – virtual drawing sessions with a weekly changing theme. These weekly sessions perfectly reflect Stef’s aspirations regarding her own art practice: “What I enjoy is talking to people about what art does for me and it could do for them… Making art with others, building a safe, positive, diverse community.”