Musings: Interview With Valentina Zummo

Valentina Zummo is an artist and dedicated cat person from the beautiful city of Rome. Nature, pop-culture and often a surreal combination of both find their way into her artwork that depicts the ease and comfort of familiarity, with a keen sense of playfulness.

We had a chat with Valentina recently, and got to know more about her art, her passions and most importantly, her cats.


INTERVIEW

Hello Valentina, it’s a pleasure to have this conversation with you, tell us more about yourself.

Hi guys, I’m happy to talk to you too. I was born in Marino near Rome in 1980. But soon after birth I moved to Rome. A very beautiful, crazy , chaotic and stimulating city. I have pleasant memories of my childhood, when I spent most of my time drawing and playing with my younger brother. I loved taking trips with the family on Sundays. Now I live with Dolly, Wendy and Simone (two female cats and a man) Can you guess who the man is? hehe (We’re guessing Simone 😉) I have a studio in my flat where I realize my ideas.

How did you find your passion for art? Did you always want to be an artist?

I have been interested in art ever since I was a baby. My parents introduced me to drawing by spending time creating paintings together with me. My mother used to sew the clothes I created for my dolls
while my father bought me canvas, colours and many books about art to feed my passion. They are still my favorite fans.

Is there any particular theme you have in mind when you approach your art?

I don’t neccessarily have an idea in mind all the time, sometimes I have one but I end up turning it into something else in the end. By the way the things I like painting the most are: cats, sea life, circus and witchcraft.

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My Sacred Heart by Valentina Zummo

Tshirts, posters, prints, coasters and more available here

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My Lighthouse by Valentina Zummo

Tshirts, posters, prints, coasters and more available here.

Talk us through your creative process. How long does it take you from the moment you form your idea to the moment you complete it?

I usually prepare my working table, run through my sketches, decide which one inspires me the most and let my emotions guide me. If I like what I’m doing I try to finish it as soon as possible even if it means I won’t go to sleep.

Familiarize us with the tools you use to get the desired output; we would also love to have a glimpse at your work station.

I keep my tools secret, but you can try to find out by looking at
the picture 🙂

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Valentina’s Workstation

How do you manage to divide time between personal projects and commercial work?

I have two distinct working tables to divide commercial from personal woks. I’d like to spend more time with the latter,but I’m often unable to. I’m working on a collection of puppets hand sewn and painted by
me, but they’re just some heads for now (soon for sale on etsy)!

Are there any artists whose works have influenced you significantly?

As a child I was influenced by a well-known comic artist called Benito Jacovitti. Growing up I was conquered by the worlds of Dalì and the faces of Modigliani.

Are you working on any projects currently? We’d love to know more about your work.

I’m planning my solo show, though I’m still trying to find a main line for that. While you’re reading this one of my paintings is taking part in a collective show at Cotton Candy Machine, artist Tara
McPhersons’ gallery in Brooklyn,NY (until december 31st).

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Happy by Valentina Zummo

Tshirts, posters, prints, coasters and more available here.

What does success mean to you?

Success doesn’t bother me. Of course I like it when people appreciate my work,or buy my creations. My idea of success is being recognizable amidst other artists.

How important is music in recreating visions off your mind?

Music is the perfect wife to my imagination. I can’t sing but I love listening to James Brown or other powerful funky stuff while I’m working and sing along with it.

According to you, what is your greatest work so far? 

My favorite work is the tribute to Tim Burton for the show called “Nightmare in Wonderland” presented at the Rotofugi gallery in Chicago featuring mostly black and white original artwork by international artists and curated by Ixie Darkonn. I have represented the marriage of “Beetlejuice” with Lydia Deetz in a tryptych called “Home is where the ghost is”.

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I’m Watching You by Valentina Zummo

Tshirts, posters, prints, coasters and more available here.

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Victorian Love by Valentina Zummo

Tshirts, posters, prints, coasters and more available here.

Are you familiar with any Indian artists? If you were to visit India which is the one place would you like to go to?

I love Gary Taxali and I also like Sandhya Prabhat, who I found through Cupick. India is on my travel list. There are many places i’d like to visit …but the Elephanta caves is definitely one of them.

Procrastination, what is your relationship with it? How do you deal with it?

I try to follow my schedule so I don’t have to do old work together. Procrastination is not an option.

If you could wish for one, and only one superpower, what superpower would you chose?

My favorite superpower would be teleportation.

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Always On My Mind by Valentina Zummo

Tshirts, posters, prints, coasters and more available here.

If you weren’t an artist, what do think you would be doing?

In another life I perhaps could have been an archaeologist. I always loved Indiana Jones movies.

If you could give one piece of advice to budding artists, what would that be?

Learn to get the respect you deserve. Painting is a serious job! But too many people seem to forget it.

Lastly, how has the journey been with Cupick thus far?

I’m very happy to meet you guys and your fantastic platform. It has been a wonderful experience. Thanks for this interview. Love Valentina.

 

Check out more of Valentina’s work at Cupick.com/vallantain

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