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Candice Ježek

HL caught up with fine artist and illustrator Candice Ježek to find out what makes her tick in her magical land of forest creatures and folklore... When did you develop an interest in art? My interest in art began at a very young age... My mother was quite inspirational in feeding me with beautifully illustrated books. Because of this I've always used pictures and books to lose and find myself again, if that makes any sense. After high school, I studied at UCT's Michaelis School of Fine Art majoring in sculpture, which was instrumental in making me truly excited about all the possibilities the art world had to offer. Since then I've been influenced by both local and international illustration and lowbrow art scenes. What mediums do you use? I like to think of myself as a 'Jack-of-all-trades', as I'm forever wanting to learn and create something new, especially when discovering a new material or method. Materials I'm most familiar with would be acrylic, ink and gouache on paper, as well as mixed media sculptures. Where have you exhibited your work? My illustrations have been exhibited in numerous shows at Salon91 Contemporary Art Collection on Kloof Street since 2010, as well as a few garage and pop-up exhibitions in and around Cape Town. My favourite was working alongside Jade Klara for our two-person exhibition, The Witching Hour at Salon91 in October 2013. Who or what are your influences or inspirations? I am totally fascinated by Japanese storytelling, especially in the way they tell stories about the consequences of humans and nature, much like Hayao Miyazaki does in his films. And my fascination with creatures and animals has always been a huge influence, including the folklore and stories depicted in Femke Heimstra, Amy Sol and Audrey Kawasaki paintings. Locally I'm a huge admirer of Andrew Sutherland, Jean de Wet, Motel7 and Kirsten Beets. Do you have a piece that you are particularly attached to? I always try to create work with the intention of never keeping them, as I feel they always need to move on and make someone else happy. But from The Witching Hour, my favourite piece was A Windy Journey, depicting a silver fox carrying a castle on his back. It will always be close to my heart. What are your plans for 2014? I'm forever jotting down ideas and inspiration during the moments before dawn or while daydreaming over a cup of tea. I find these moments to be my most creative times for thought. I am hoping to organise a mini-solo show towards the end of the year with a possible four-girl group show too, but whatever this year throws at me, I definitely will keep creating new work. To view more of Candice's work, visit Interviewed by Michaela Stehr