The Free Expression of the Soul: A conversation with Cicero D'Avila - Fantastic Art Studios

The Free Expression of the Soul: A conversation with Cicero D’Avila

A conversation with Cicero D’Avila on the art of sculpting and The Fallen Angel.

“The Studio’s going to be a place of learning and international integration for sculptors from all over the world!” Cicero exclaims. He’s talking about the sculpting school in Tuscany he’s been working on, his nearest and dearest current project. That’s how we start; with the same passion, artistry and personality that infuses all his works.

The Perfect Overture, the creation of The Fallen Angel, a Fantastic RPG Miniature

“Art is the free expression of the soul at its most innocent and sincere”, Cicero states. “Take the Fallen Angel, the piece I’ve crafted for Fantastic Art Studios. It has a delicacy that contrasts with the brutality of its form. Every feather was modeled by hand”.

When asked about the experience of creating his first D&D miniature, he muses for a moment. “Creating with a market reference was a challenge. I felt the urge to express my origins, my vision. At the same time, I wanted to meet and surpass industry standards”. He concludes, vividly describing The Fallen Angel, Fantastic Art Studio’s First collection flagship RPG miniature, as if it was still under his expert eyes and hands:

“When I felt I had a throughline of reality, of artistic coherence and congruence, when it felt true, I knew I had something. An artist’s work must have personality.”

The Fallen Angel is a fan favorite, but it also holds a special place in the hearts of the team behind Fantastic Art Studios. Showered with compliments about his statue, Cicero expresses an artist’s gratitude: “I’ve learned everything working at the marble workshops, and by studying the art of the great masters, in museums and galleries. All answers lay there, waiting to be found. They spoke to me, as they’ll speak to you”.

How To Fall In Love with the Art of Sculpting

Cicero was intrigued by sculpture as a medium quite early. He was 13 when he became fascinated by a talented local wood sculptor, Mr. Milton, in his hometown of Rancharia, São Paulo, Brazil. “I would go to someone’s house and appreciate a work of art, or I’d see a monument in City Hall that caught my eye, and it was always his.”

“Eventually, I had the courage to put myself in front of the man and ask to be apprenticed, as many kids did at the time. He granted my wish, and opened his doors. I remember the first time I saw him sitting at his easel, whittling. The smell of wood, the tools…”

Then Cicero learned the craft daily, right after school, come hell or high water. That’s where a lifelong devotion to studying sculpture began. 

From woodworking to becoming a portrait artist in a local foundry in São Paulo, his talent and passion fueled one another, and took him far. “I was traveling to Europe with some friends, and yearned to visit Pietro Tacca, a Marble School in Carrara, Italy. There, they ended up mentioning their need for good portraitists. Almost on a dare, they asked me to make a portrait of the school’s principal. It took me 4 days, a picture of him and a slab of clay. Afterwards, the principal himself insisted I stayed with them. He even took me in, too, so I could get settled in as a foreigner. He simply insisted I had to be there”.

From Marble to Your RPG Miniature Collection

Cicero and his creation, the Fallen Angel, invite us to let a bit of this appreciation of art into our games and our minds As dreams and plans for future collaborations take hold of the conversation, it’s clear that The Fallen Angel and its creator are the perfect way to express our values of art, innovation, community, and the fantastical in and for all of us.

Working in Italy allowed Cicero to truly connect with his voice and public as an artist. His skill with marble and clear artistic vision made him well-known among patrons that sought his expertise, and allowed him to travel all over the world with his art. “Opportunity came to me like a saddled horse, and I jumped on it in a heartbeat”, he depicts with remarkable modesty, considering his sculpture of Mother Teresa of Calcutta  in The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington D.C., welcomes hundreds daily.


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