Simone Conti: I am a 22-year-old guy and I’ve always lived in Padua, an Italian city near Venice. I never undertook art studies, I’ve studied in Scientific high school and after I had to choose who I wanted to be, so I tried the test of entry to the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, after being admitted, I decided to take the road of design, without leaving my passion for drawing that I had since I was a child. In June 2014, however, I could not wait any longer and decided to paint and since then I have not stopped. In my work, I try to improve the quality of life around me, making the other person happier with my paintings.
In fact, before I finish the paintings I ask the subject to finish the work with one final brush stroke made by her/him. In my work I use mainly primary colors, for everyone, because we are all equal, then I wonder what color is the soul of who I paint, and there the people are extremely precise (for example, they not just say green, but say green forest, green leaf etc.), so in the final brush stroke they use them, because if the portrait is beautiful, its thankfully due to the subject, to the person him/herself. In fact, if the people wouldn’t exist all this beauty wouldn’t be around us.
Times of Youth: What led you to choose Art faculty as a career?
Simone Conti: Art is not a career choice, you do not choose to be an artist, you are an artist, as doctors, engineers, lawyers etc. It’s stronger than you, it’s like breathing, if you do not, you are in apnea, and you can’t breathe in apnea.
Times of Youth: What style of artistry do you rather prefer?
Simone Conti: The style that most fascinates me is painting, I find it the most expressive and immediate for my soul to find a voice. But there is no denying that in the future I can dedicate myself also to sculpture, photography, performance etc.
Times of Youth: Which was your first most praised piece of art that you still cherish?
Simone Conti: Certainly the picture of Charlie Chaplin, that is one of the first I made. I remember the excitement I had while I was doing it when you want exactly that shade of color for that perimeter in that position on the canvas. I wanted it in that way and so it came, although I must say that “Jimi” is another of my favorite paintings I made, lots of people said to me that the portrait looks like me especially the hair, eyes, lips. I do not know if it’s true, but it is certain that every time I paint, I leave a part of my heart in them, inevitably.
Times of Youth: What has been your biggest moment of pride?
Simone Conti: My greatest moment of pride? Well, I’ve had many, since I had the first exhibition to CSO Pedro when I was called to the Sherwood Festival, and at my last shows, I’ve done in the gallery in London. I could say that more than a moment is a time of pride.
Times of Youth: Has your family been supportive of your choice of career path?
Simone Conti: Yes, without any doubt.
Times of Youth: Do tell us one incident which totally changed your life/perspective.
Simone Conti: There haven’t been incidents fortunately yet.
Times of Youth: How would you describe your art style in one sentence?
Simone Conti: The Art is you.
Times of Youth: What makes your day? What spoils it?
Simone Conti: During my day I spend a lot of time observing people and places, I feel them. I do not seek inspiration, I am totally immersed in it because it comes from the common things the truly great beauty until I am full and then bursting out of my hands to pour onto a canvas.
Times of Youth: Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art? How did it turn out?
Simone Conti: I love art and I watch a lot both past and contemporary artists and their works, on what they do but also on what they want to express that it is much more important.
Times of Youth: What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio or while working?
Simone Conti: The most important tool is certainly the emotion, the heart, that you can never miss. I saw photos of artists who paint even without hands or arms, using their mouth, because when you have the feeling that you want to express it already has everything. But if you remove that feeling, you’ll be surrounded by dozens of pencils, crayons, colors and empty canvases that you’ll never be able to fill out your imagination.
Times of Youth: Do you have a favorite artist? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
Simone Conti: My favorite artist is Amedeo Modigliani, a painter from Livorno who lived in Paris. His paintings and style that are unique and extraordinary, but I’m more fascinated by the poetry behind them, the romance in his paintings.
Times of Youth: If you were given one wish, what would it be?
Simone Conti: That everyone can feel beautiful and unique, as they really are, and may have the opportunity to make their dreams come true without fear because the only obstacle they may encounter are themselves. In doing so, I believe, everyone would be happy because they can do what they want and at the same time they can do it better, it would become a vicious circle.
Times of Youth: Considering your potential, we believe that you have the power to bring a rational change in the world using your skills. If given a chance, what would you like to do to make this world place a better place?
Simone Conti: Certainly, my greatest wish and my purpose in life are improving the quality of life around me, taking care of the happiness of others, valuing others, making them understand that they are as unique as the stars, as it is this moment and this interview.
Times of Youth: Do tell us how your admirers/fans can reach you to share their appreciation or feedback.
Simone Conti: People who like my pictures usually text me on Facebook, or they talk to me when they meet me around the city.
Times of Youth: Any advice you’d give to aspiring youngsters who want to be artists now or in the future?
Simone Conti: Listen to yourself, always trust your instincts, because your mind is wise and knows what it wants. The real tool for creating something is your heart.