I am Candice Johnson. I live in Walla Walla where I create my Tetes, which is
what I have spent my life developing. The faces I paint tell different stories to
different people, just as the story that I will tell will speak differently to everyone
that reads it.
My life began in Seattle, where I lived surrounded by the damp evergreens. I
loved the place that I called home, but the memories that have truly lasted are those
of being away. My family frequently traveled, sometimes internationally. When I
was sixteen, we lived in Cairo, a Mecca of human wonders. Perhaps it was the
ruinous state of those colossal works of mind and body that spoke to me; I was
struck by the antiquity and seeming timelessness of human creation. But it wasn’t
just the marvels that made my trip to Egypt so impactful, but also the sorry state
that so many of my fellow humans were forced into. Poverty and hunger were more
prevalent than anywhere I’d been, and this introduced a new longing inside: the
need to reach out and touch the diversity of the experiences of my fellow humans.
Travel would continue to influence my worldview. I have lived throughout
the United States and Europe, learning and working with design through my various
careers in retail, marketing and Interior Design. In Paris, I decided to devote myself
entirely to Fine Art. I studied for two years at the Beauxs Artes classes that were
sponsored by the Ville de Paris. It was during this time that I began creating my
After living in Paris for over a decade, I moved to Los Angeles, where my
inner voice became stifled perhaps muted by the plastic veneer of La La Land. But
this was sure not to last. Eventually, I stopped to examine where my footsteps had
come from and where they were falling, and I knew I had to let my voice speak
again. When Rick and Debbie decided to use my Tetes for Walla Faces I moved to
Walla Walla in 2009, where I continue to create Tetes.
My Tetes tell different stories to different people, and it is fascinating which
faces people decide to include in their collections. It is great to know that there are
rooms and buildings in this world where Tetes hang from the walls to share their
stories with whoever might pass.