December 14th, 2016
Jesse Gussow

The first time I saw a piece from artist Simona Candini, I fell in love. There is something about her characters that draws you in. A lot of them are easily recognizable from popular culture. Seeing the Wicked Witch of the West holding a flying monkey makes you forget how evil they were and makes them human and vulnerable. It makes you want more, and to carefully check over every piece to see what you missed the last time you looked. Her work is meticulous and I absolutely love it!


Where are you from?

Bologna, Italy. I lived in the USA for a few years, mostly in Florida, but I've been back in Italy since 2014.


What first interested you in art?

I was very much into comics and Manga cartoons when I was younger and I was dreaming of becoming a cartoonist or a comic writer. Growing up I've understood that I'm more into traditional paintings and so I think I've combined my love for comics and the old masters doing what I'm doing now. I'm trying to constantly learn and improve. I've always been fascinated by the ability of art to speak to everybody, to convey universal emotions and move the hearts of people.


What do you think your art says about you?

Most of my artworks are very much a combination of light and dark, creepy and cute elements, sweet and sad characters, melancholy and hope, love and life and death. So for all I know, some people may think that I'm also a little bit like this :)


What jobs did you have before becoming an artist?

I worked as a secretary, a customer care operator, a clerk, an art teacher in school... I worked at several different jobs while studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna.


What advantage has getting a Fine Arts degree given you compared to someone who is self-taught?

Honestly, I don't think that the degree means anything as far as becoming an artist. The difference is made by the teachers that you have had. If you had even one good teacher then you've been lucky. The world is full of bad teachers. Sometimes the best teacher is just experience and perseverance. I consider myself a self-taught artist especially as far as painting techniques.


If you could travel to any point and time, where would you go, and why?

I love to travel, and I would mostly love to have the chance to go to Japan and visit some places that I've idealized since I was a teen.


Who are some of your favourite artists right now? and why?

My top three favorite artists are Mark Ryden, Kukula and Nicoletta Ceccoli but there is an infinity of artists that I truly love and that inspire me. Because their art gives me so many emotions, it truly speaks to me and I could stare at their works for hours without getting tired of them and because they are an example to me for their dedication to their art.


What mediums do you work with?

I like to experiment a lot! Lately I’m loving oil on wood slices. But I also enjoy oil on Masonite or canvas; mixed technique on paper: I like to mix graphite, watercolors, colored pencils on coffee stained paper which has this nice vintage look.


Do you prefer Fudgee-Os or Oreo Cookies? Or some other treat?

I do like Oreo cookies but lately I'm going crazy for an organic coconut-almond butter which I can find at a natural [food] store here in Bologna. I've turned all my friends into coconut-almond butter addicts :)

You can find Simona Candini on Instagram and Facebook, and at her personal website. If you want to purchase some prints check out her Etsy page as well.

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