Chiara Principe is a numismatic artist who specializes in bringing art to life by detailing specific artwork and textures on a small, round piece of metal. In addition, her hobbies of modeling and drawing have enabled her to experience life and art both behind the lens and in front of it. Thus giving Chiara a unique perspective on capturing the essence of harmony and beauty in her surroundings in a way we haven’t seen before.
Finding Her Niche
Born and raised in Rome, Chiara was taught from a young age to find the beauty around her. Chiara was taught that beauty is everywhere, from coins to her relationships with friends and family and the unique essence of nature in the hills.
Chiara has always had a passion for creativity, crafting, and a deep love for art. She learned how to bring beauty and harmony to life, which came in handy when translating life into medals and coins. Chiara was admitted to the exclusive and long-standing Art School of the Italian Mint. The school is where she was first introduced to Numismatics.
She took a leap of faith and entered a competition in the field of Numismatics. Chiara unexpectedly won the admissions contest and placed first in the rankings amongst her new peers. By entering the contest, Chiara was able to explore the field of Numismatics.
After entering the contest, Chiara slowly fell in love with the art style and charm that came along with learning to effectively channel and communicate art or a general pattern through textures and details on coins and medals. At the start of her journey, Chiara had no idea that entering the contest would enable her to enrich her resume so much by simply interacting with people in her field of choice.
For Chiara, choosing Numismatics as a primary source of income meant that she got to work with a wide range of clients and commissions. Chiara has admitted that taking a job or commission helped her grow her career in new and exciting ways. However, she says interacting and working with national and international colleagues is essential to her career. Meeting new people and interacting with others have enriched her resume and her view on life.
A Life Changing Experience
With over ten years of freelancing experience, Chiara has had many memorable and significant experiences with her clients and colleagues worldwide. However, one experience that changed her life ultimately was Chiara’s participation in Shanghai’s first Coin Design Competition in November 2019.
She was given the prestigious honor of being one of the judges in the first-ever coin design forum. She even had the opportunity to give a speech on how technology and the aesthetics of coin design are changing. From her perspective of a judge, Chiara was able to see how innovations and technology could affect and change the industry of Numismatics for the better. In addition, Chiara could see firsthand how bright the future of coin design is.
Chiara describes her time as a judge on the coin design forum as a rare opportunity. Not only did she get to see new life in the coin and medal design industry, but she also learned precious lessons on incorporating new designs, technologies, and textures in her artwork.
Her time on the panel motivated Chiara to keep up her tenacity. From taking the time to travel and see more of the world’s beauty to agreeing to collaborate with more people from different walks of life, Chiara is passionate about expanding her life and her art in new and exciting avenues.
The most critical lesson Chiara learned from the coin design competition can be summed up best in the words of Saint Francis:
“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands, head, and heart is an artist.”
- St. Francis of Assisi
The Recipe For Creativity
Chiara believes that the recipe for true creativity contains the three components St. Francis mentioned, the hands, the head, and most importantly, the heart. She does her best to display all three elements in her work and believes that they describe the true soul of her art. Without using these three elements, she believes that her work would not be what it is today and that she would not be the artist she is without them. Therefore, she uses the three elements whenever she creates new artwork in the following ways:
For Chiara, hands represent how practical and concrete she is with her art. Her hands work methodically to create a new piece of art. Whether using her hands to guide the pencil or mouse, she uses her hands to showcase to the world how she feels inside, as all designers do.
Using her hands, Chiara can channel her creativity into a physical work of art. Chiara also manually works through the realization of her coin plaster models, meaning she uses her hands to create new textures and designs. For Chiara, not only do her hands express her creativity they also enable her to leave a distinct mark on all of her work!
The head and the mind are the foundation behind any artist’s work. The mind is a powerful tool as it is the steady guide in moving the hands in a way that truly expresses the innovation and creativity behind the art. Although an artist’s visual and cultural background influences their craft, the mind showcases the depth and feeling behind the art by channeling the emotions of the artist or designer in a rational or controlled manner.
Chiara believes that her years at the Italian Mint are a large part of what has formed her into the artist she is today. She credits the Italian Mint for helping her find her specialization and passion and is thankful to the school for teaching her how to embody her cultural and technical training in her work.
Furthermore, Chiara knows firsthand that as an artist working in the Numismatics industry, one needs to know all of the technical and particular characteristics coins possess to design a spectacular coin. Numismatics is an incredibly detail-oriented field to work in. She believes that her ability to craft such beautiful and intricate coins and medals is all thanks to her mind, body, and heart, all working together in harmony.
The last element needed to embrace true creativity is the heart. The heart is the very essence of art and the ingredient that turns artisans into artists. For Chiara, the heart reflects the unique characteristics that make each person different. For her, embracing her heart when crafting or creating art lets her audience know her mind and intentions behind her art in a very intimate manner.
Chiara often wonders whether or not she has expressed enough of her heart in her artwork. However, ultimately she judges her work by how well it represents her qualities. When working in the field of Numismatics and art, the work you create will always contain hints and qualities about your very essence, letting you leave your mark behind in the work you produce.
Learning how to express their creativity on the surface of a coin or a medal can be challenging. However, this challenge is part of what made Chiara fall in love with the field of Numismatics. Crafting a currency that can express a message clearly while adding intricate details and new designs makes Numismatics such an exciting field.
Creating a coin is both a challenge and a reward. Coins and medals are smaller pieces of artwork that can pass from hand to hand. There is no other medium quite like coins or medals, and they are designed with a lot of attention to detail, as every detail can be touched and closely examined.