The Art of the Bard

06/01/2022 12:01 AM By Joshua
Breaking Social Norms
Alessandro Wright
Alessandro Wright
Story & Photo by Lisa Anderson

The Art of the Bard

Graphic Novelist Is Influenced by Music & Family

Although he was born in Hialeah, Florida, Alessandro Wright spoke only Spanish until the age of six. “I remember my dad telling me a story that my mother was crying to him one day, because she couldn’t talk with me. She didn’t speak Spanish,” but everyone else in Alessandro’s life did.

That changed when the family moved to Ocala, and his dad transferred to the newly-built Home Depot on State Highway 200. “I have mostly forgotten [how to speak] it. I can order food and count to ten, but that’s about it.”

For the Love of Art

“My maternal grandfather was an artist. He did a lot of oil paintings. I think he did that later on in his life in his retirement, but he taught me. I still have the first painting that I did. An oil painting. It’s just, like, an eggplant and tomatoes from ‘94 or something.” When Alessandro was eight, his grandfather enrolled him in summer art classes at a community college.

“My father could draw, as well. He specifically did one-line drawings, where he put the pen down and just did the entire thing in one. It never left the paper the whole time. I can’t even wrap my head around it. We have very different mindsets, though. He’s a mathematical genius and knows eight different languages fluently. I didn’t get any of that,” he says with a chuckle.

Alessandro has built his style from playing Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and from life itself. “I take my influences from absolutely everything. I don’t follow any trend or wave, simply because I don’t have the attention span for it.

“Every single piece of art that I do has a song attached to it. I listen to mostly everything, but 51 percent of that is going to be heavy metal or rock.”

Drawing from Life

“The graphic novels began, or at least the idea of it, began back in ‘08 or ‘09—right after high school. Me and my buddies would play D&D with my dad. He would run the game. My friend would take down notes, and I would use those for story outlines,” explains Alessandro, regarding his graphic novel series Bard, now containing about 28 stories.

“It’s a fantasy world with a lot of scientific backing. It’s just a giant sandbox of a world that I’m trying to create with religion, with politics, and stuff like that.”

When he isn’t working on the series, Alessandro is spending time with his wife and their three children or creating commissioned pieces, such as pet portraits. “It keeps bread on the table, but I am very thankful for my wife Rachel. She’s an amazing stylist. You know, that’s where I came from. I was a stylist for ten years, and that was supposed to be a stepping stone into this. I did it for a long time, and I was good at it, but it was never what I wanted. I was always in the back room drawing.”

With Rachel’s encouragement and blessing, Alessandro stepped into the roles of full-time artist and stay-at-home dad. “My third son was born and this time I was with him [at home], and it was magic! If anybody is able to just be home with their kid in those first couple of years, it’s awesome! You’ll never let it go! I appreciate what Rachel is. Without her help, I couldn’t do this.”

Alessandro’s first foray into digital artwork began when his wife gifted him an iPad that had Procreate pre-installed. Now, he can create beautiful, detailed work, like his neon-infused pieces for Bard.

As he steps out of the box with his artwork and graphic novels, it’s easy to tell that his favorite roles are that of father and husband.
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