Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu

Last week I turned on the recorder one last time for The Human Behind The Artist  project. All throughout the interview I was overwhelmed by mixed feelings and as I turned the recorder off I knew that the project is complete, that this was the final interview; I could almost hear a whisper telling me that it felt ready to be released into the world.

For those of you who don’t know, The Human Behind The Artist is my brainchild that I came up with in October 2013. I will never forget that day. Dragged to an event by my husband, I found myself standing in a room filled with artists, holding my ten month old baby, feeling lost and confused, when a painter, walked up to me. Her words changed my life and hours later, while driving home, the title of the project was settling onto my thoughts.

Two months later I recorded my first interview with a brilliant playwright, living in Florence at the time. I remember shaking and breathing in her every word, afraid not to miss a sentence, a frown, a smile. Her story only made me crave for more, to wonder about the mystery artists seemed to be surrounded by. She became one of my dearest friends.

Since then I interviewed over twenty artists, poking their thoughts, digging deep into their souls, seeking for the story within the artist,  trying to reveal their human nature, usually concealed by their alien looking outside shell. I had the privilege to meet, connect and listen to people from all walks of life. I had the honor to become friends with people I only dreamt of existing in real life.  I found a harsh, yet loving mentor in the bunch and I learnt that the word professional is not just a word. This project means more to me than I could ever express in words.

This final interview was special, not only because of the wonderful people in front of me, sharing their stories and memories, but also because the playwright, now my friend, was a table away from us looking at me while I was working. That’s when I knew the project is finally complete. I felt as if the beginning page was looking at the ending one, nodding, approving and smiling at what I have accomplished in between.

The Human Behind The Artists still has a long way in front of it, but a few months from now will fly away to be revised and turned upside down by other people, other hands, other minds.  As the final touches are put in place a hint of melancholy caresses my memories, and I remember every artist I interviewed, the locations, their stories, their enthusiasm. Thus, I would like to thank all the wonderful humans who made this project possible. Thank you for sharing your stories, memories, struggles and fears. Thank you for allowing me to share them with the world. Thank you for your trust and most of all thank you for following your dreams and for trying to make the world look more beautiful through your art.

Last but certainly not the least, The Human Behind The Artist is dedicated to Laura Thompson. Thank you! This project would have never existed without you and your words.









Amy Sarno – first recorded interview

Brendan Kiely, Jessie Chaffee – last recorded interview

About the author

Ela Vasilescu

I’m a writer based in Florence, Italy.

Human nature inspires me, different cultures, traditions, folk stories and the differences which make us unique. Documenting stories is a privilege, a glimpse into humanity, an unforgettable experience, one which I embrace and honour every day.

If you have a story twitching in the back of your pocket, one that is ready to be told, shared and heard, chances are I will be ready to listen; so don’t hesitate to send me an email.

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Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu