Hello blogging friends :)
It's time for the July's interview. Our featured artist of July is Aida Castellano. I'm very exited especially since she is the first doll-artist in this series of interviews.
I've seen Aida's dolls in Etsy many times and I love how all her creatures and characters have very different personalities.
Please tell us about yourself and what kind of artist you are?
Hello Everybody! My name is Angela but I sign myself as Aida. I was born in Genoa (Italy) in 1984. I'm a scene painter, set and costume designer. I remember that already when I was a child, I went to my mother and said to her: "I need to create something but I don't know what". I still remember that sensation. It was so frustrating because the need was so big and I was not able to find the right way to express myself. I'm a multifaceted artist and I'm able to use many techniques and many materials, probably this is why, when I was a child, I was not always fulfill using just pencils, tempera or modeling clay.
How did you started your artistic career?
Work in the theater was really great, you are always stimulated, and at any experience you can learn something new from others. It was really helpful for upgrading my artistic skills.
I still remember the exact moment when I decided to create my first fairy
The sister of my boyfriend at that time, was teaching in decoupage course, I was sitting at the same table and I was working some puppets for the theater play. I still remember the amount of appreciation that came for my work. She was speaking with her students how much she loved collecting fairies. Christmas was coming... and the fairy was done!
Of course most people would have thought of buying one of those classic fairies in resin. The problem is that I never liked them!
I love fairies and elves, I also bought several of them, but I am very picky and selective, I thought I could do something better and create something truly unique. I've always seen those reproductions too much cold, without care and attention. I decided to work with the details, to make her warm, alive!
Over time I created other fairies, elves and other characters of the little people always tried to keep them as much as possible linked to nature, with elegant and floral dresses and earth colors. I know that is one of the things that many of my customers appreciate..
The Idea of selling them was born during a trip to Ireland, the land of Sidhe, where the little people live. Several shops showed interest on my work and there came the first orders. Following the success I moved to Ireland where I lived for two years. From Ireland I started the business on Etsy and started to collaborate with some of the pagan shops and introducing new products in my shop.
You can say that the name of the store was born itself.
For many it might seem that there is a spelling mistake, but it's not. The inspiration comes from a text:"a song sung dismally by a ghost" from "What d'ye call it: A Treagi-Comi-Pastoral France" by Mr.Gay - Volume 3 The world of Fairys, in addition, unlike "Fairies" or "Faeries" more common and used, also with search engines.
What are the things that inspire you? do you have message in your art?
For me creating these objects really has something magical and I feel that when I'm creating them that I'm in an enchanted forest in perfect harmony. I think that each object is the most beautiful and unique of it's kind, the antagonist of mass production and to disposable. Trough them I want to bring the pleasure of that forest in to your home. Also as a stage and costume designer, I think that each object, as well as being well designed and aesthetically beautiful, it must be especially well done.
As an artist I look for inspiration and innovation, something unspeakable and unexpected, that can give emotions.
I work a lot on the details, because I know that they are what makes them so special. There is a great culture about fairies and I love to follow it. Especially if linked to the Celtic culture. In all my puppets you will find a lot of little details that will remind you something about the legend of Celtic divinity. They always have something more of what you can see at the first moment and they perfectly reflect their nature. You will have the one that brings luck to your life (Leprechauns) , or strength (like Werewolves), happiness and protection (like Fairies) or bit of zest (like Spriggans or Goblins).
I can't say what makes me to create, I just have a need to create. I can see something interesting and I get lot's of ideas to my mind, like if the fairies come to whisper my ears how they want to be created. My dream is to be able to work one day for some big animation company. "Labyrinth" and the "dark Chrystal" movies have always been great sources of inspiration.
Any advice for starting artists?
Never stop experimenting, increase your cultural awareness, be curious and investigate all that surrounds you. Do not be afraid of being judged for your eccentricities and do not let the opinions of other hinder you. Do not loose your heart of failure, it's always a one step more in your "personal luggage".
Let your mind flow and be open to inspiration, don't miss your path and be focused on your goals.
Thank you so much Aida for this great interview. After reading your thoughts I'm very eager to try doll making myself. You're great inspiration to us all!
Here you can find more about Aida's dolls and her projects: