Storytelling Contest!-The winner is...and other beautiful stories

On March the 18th I launched a little storytelling contest on my IG proposing to title my artwork and tell a story inspired by my visions. I was blown away by the general response and by the amazing stories and interpretations that I've been reading in the comments for about a week. They were all great stories and it was hard to choose the best one.
Well, here they are for you to enjoy!


"The Last Truth: the island of answers"

It was a sense of profound and sudden agitation to awaken me from the state of torpor in which I had not realized I was finished.The small boat on which I was standing was now a few meters from the shore and I could no longer bring to mind the need for safety that had made me desire to reach that place.Everything there gave the idea of ​​a place out of time, immobile and at the same time, as if about to be hit by a terrible storm.The Messenger who had guided me up to that point of my journey, without addressing me a word or a glance beckoned me to come down to the island, pointing to an indefinite point at the base of the enormous plateau.The reason he brought me there was simple: answers. But as I walked, feeling more and more insignificant and subdued in front of the majesty of that spectacle, I was seized with an anguished thought; the decision that had pushed me so far did not belong to me at all.The torment changed to resignation when the Messenger joined me. Despite having uttered no words, I understood what he was asking me."Why...?"The Messenger nodded slowly and, turning his gaze to the plateau, reported my question without making any sound.An eternal moment filled the space, before three eyes, as deep as the night, fixed on me. And so I knew the Truth. -smelos55


"Twilight Oracle"

The three visionary sisters, old prophets who together constitute the ancient oracle of the buried temple, appeared before me only once, just before sunset, among the ancient ruins, near the two cypresses on the calm waters of the lake and foretold me the future, illuminating my path. An image that I will never forget, as well as their words, almost as if they were a song, sweet and tender but also polyphonic and full of phatos. I know that I will not disappoint them, I know that I will not see them again, I know that I will no longer live that moment out of time. -otanerpainter

"The Core"

The shielded, unique, tranquil island within the heart of every woman from which infinite wisdom, strength and nurturing spirit is fashioned. -aquafanforeverx

"The Fates"

Once the Fates were so many sisters, they all lived together on an island weaving splendid tapestries that they exchanged with the inhabitants of the island. One day a foreigner, a handsome and rich man, landed on the island and immediately one of the sisters, the youngest one, fell in love with him.

To attract his attention, she began to weave a very precious tapestry and in the complicated embroidery, she put a fairy thread in the hope that it would make him fall in love with her. But the young man took advantage of his heart and once their passion was consumed, he left bringing with him the magic tapestry. As the young woman realized she had been abandoned, she threw herself from the highest cliff and died. The three sisters decided to take revenge, they gathered what remained of the fairy thread and took it to the Island's Witch. They asked her to take the young man's life and the Witch demanded a sacrifice in return: the soul of the deceased sister for the life of the stranger. To save her, the sisters proposed a counter-offer; they would weave the magic threads of the Witch in exchange for the life of the young man, until the end of times. Their desire was satisfied, the soul of the young sister was saved, but the three sisters would have become the three Fates well known in mythology. Still today, they weave our lifes' threads foreseeing past, present and future of all human beings. -paolamay84

"The Alchemists"

The title would be "The Alchemists". This is the moment when these three female alchemists managed to turn any matter into pure gold. Before any man could do that.


The three female figures made me immediately think of the mythological figures of the Fates or even of the Norns of Norse mythology, three female figures who weave the destiny of men and in the mirror of water scrutinize the fulfillment of the destiny of mortals. Distant, implacable but not without compassion. -rosydiasgard

“The vigil”

Lovely, as I wrote on FB ;) my version of the story is “The vigil”: a silent vigil on a water surface, hellish lake or pond. -hoshimemdraws

"Volcano Gods"

Below the surface of the blue planet, they hid from our eyes and those of their enemy and, in the bowels of the earth adjacent to the sea of ​​magma, still today they dream of regaining their lost home and the freedom for their oppressed people.
Periodically they go out into the outside world through the mouths of the active volcanoes, disguising themselves among the common people for the purpose of exploring and observing the human race, whose technological future they predicted: enough technological growth to help them realize their dream.
Some people swear they have seen mysterious figures crossing lava rivers and flames through small reflective capsules and have given them the name "Volcano Gods" ””. -elmalikko


Your artwork is amazingly beautiful 💙 the art reminds me of the Hindu epic 'Ramayana' and the three characters looks like Rama with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana during exile in forest.The Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. It consists of nearly 24,000 verses (mostly set in the Shloka meter), divided into seven Kandas and about 500 sargas (chapters).The characters Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Hanuman, Shatrughna, and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and south-east Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. -siyavideha

"The Emergence"

Once there was only fire, from the fire emerged the titans, who ruled ans built the world. -_that_artist_

COMICON!-April 25/28

One more time I’ll be attending this amazing event! For me it’s a great chance to meet fans and artists/colleagues that I love and admire and I’ve never missed one show in fifteen years. This is one of the top events in Italy for comics, games, art, entertainment and pop culture and I’m lucky to have it in my beautiful city. Naples really becomes an even more magical place in those few days…This year I’ll be there at the Scuola Italiana Di Comix booth where I’ll have some sketch sessions and I’ll be presenting my courses in the “Area Games”. If you’ll be there, step by and say hi! :)


Just few words to let you know that I’ve recently created a new section of my website dedicated to an ongoing illustration project of mine. I’ve lots of images to bring out and stories that I need to tell; hopefully you can enjoy my journey as well! I’ll keep posting new works mainly on my Instagram @barbaraciardoart. Follow to get some more cues about the stories behind the pictures and if my visions inspire you a story, please write it in the IG comments or send me an e-mail, I’ll be happy to share it!

My illustration "Parthenope" has been featured on the national newspaper "La Repubblica" with a great article by Alessandro Di Nocera.

Dylan Dog Color Fest n. 28 Cover Art -February 2019

It’s out today in stores!!! This is the second time I’ve got the pleasure to work with master artist Nicola Mari on a great character. The first time we had the chance to create together three covers for miniseries Orfani: Juric (you find the three covers here in the “covers&poster” section) and we finally met again to create this piece. It was fun and a challenge to not over-render these amazing lines and I hope you like the overall mood and the general outcome.

A                   B               C

I did three versions and the one approved above (A) was the one I liked best. You know…don’t always goes like that but I was lucky enough to get the precious Emiliano Mammucari’s feedback to go straight and follow my taste.I post the alternative color proposals for you to enjoy and why not, write me what you think about!

Peace & brushstrokes!
Pencils: Nicola Mari
Colors: Barbara Ciardo
Sergio Bonelli Editore


How To Paint a Comics Cover Art-TUTORIAL

I’m here again with my unmistakable mix of British/American/Italian/Neapolitan English to let you know that in my Gumroad shop you find now my new tutorial on How To Paint a Comics Cover Art appliable to any kind of illustration. There you find also my tutorial about Flats for Coloring and Digital Painting. I can affirm with no doubt that painting the amazing lineart of Raul Cestaro took me very little time and effort compared to writing and editing; moreover I was repeatedly asking myself…how hard is it creating something in a chaotic state of flow, putting the process in an ordered away and recording all while it’s happening, still being short and clear for people? Big challenge for me, I hope I’m giving something good:)
You’ll let me know;)