One of our artists, Eleni Psyllaki, lives and works in the same building in a small village in Greece. At first, her home was a combined home with a studio, but she realized that it was important for her to be able to separate these to be able perform in the best possible way. Eleni is inspired by everything from typography to architecture, read about her dreams and goals here.
When did you realize that art was a part of your life?
Art has always been a part of my life ever since I can remember and manifested its presence through various forms of expression. I was the child with the ballpoint pen in my back pocket and drew on every surface I came across, usually my friends became like living paper. I remember that I dressed funny in school, I thought it was a very creative way to express myself, during the same period I also got to cook the most bizarre dinners for my family. I studied architecture that helped me focus and orient my imagination and emotions. I loved the problem solving that it entailed but it drove me away from my artistic instincts. After many years of work in architecture and interior design, I felt drained. I'm sure it was because most of the projects I worked on at the time were pretty uninspiring and took me miles from the aesthetics and messages I wanted to get across. Of course, I returned to the pure form of art, drawing and painting for myself again.
What does art mean to you?
Art for me is a necessity. It's like food, like air. I'm not sure I can fully describe it but it's a mandatory requirement for my healthy and balanced life. I make art to meet this need and not to create a work of art just for that. On the same level, I love consuming art in all forms of the feeling that is evoked in me, for how it speaks to me in a subconscious way.
You definitely have your own touch on your artwork, has it always looked like it does now?
Thanks! Absolutely not! I am constantly examining my style and my medium. There are periods when I like one thing and then, boom, I'm not happy about it anymore. I do and need to try something new. I have some qualities that I love to use in my works such as geometry, flat perspectives, limited color palette and typography but which can also be changed I guess.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration is everywhere! A cliché maybe but it's true. I am inspired by other artists, by folklore art, by nature and a lot by architecture. Right now I am particularly inspired by "brutal" architecture that is recognizable by its blocky and massive style, Byzantine art and ancient ceramics.
Your studio is amazing, tell us more about it!
Thanks! It's a ground floor apartment in the heart of my city, Heraklion in Greece. It was my home about ten years ago. Then I got married, moved to a bigger apartment and rented my then apartment. Today I am back in the same house and the old apartment is today my studio. It has large windows and a fantastic marble terrazzo floor. I love being able to see people pass by and I enjoy the sounds of the city. As an introvert, it's perfect for me to be able to be a part of the city without actually interacting with it. The absolute best thing, however, is that my studio is a few floors below my home and I can run down in my pajamas if I want to.
What's the best thing about being an artist?
Hmm, I guess it's me playing with color and getting paid for it? I often feel like a child who gets a brush and paper and walks away. It is of course not that simple but the feeling is something similar.
Is your creation a part of your everyday life or can you separate work and private life?
I strive a lot to separate my work from my daily life but it is difficult! Art is a part of my being and how I look at, and handle things and it's hard to just turn it off. However, it has helped me to move the studio to my own space to be able to leave it and then come back with new energy.
What are your future goals?
To create more art, to improve my skills, experiment with more techniques, collaborate with other artists and creators. In the very distant future I can see myself moving to our small village, renovating our old stone house, creating a studio and working from there.