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Smaro Botsa is a wonderful creative person that I’ve had the honor to meet in real life. A genuine dreamer at heart. Graphic design, handmade accessories and photography are the main fields of her interest. Today she lets us in her nostalgic and inspiring world of arts and crafts. Enjoy!

Hello Smaro and welcome to EyeCandies! Give us a brief introduction of your creative activities and your background

Hello Eye Candies!!! Happy to be visiting..! :D

I started as a graphic designer, probably because as a child I kept cutting and pasting images, dressing everything in photos and having a great interest in fonts … At the same time I was constantly working with my hands, making (or destroying, it depends) various things. So, after some years in the field of visual communication, I decided that in order to keep my love for graphic design alive, I should stop practicing it professionally and thus, I took a turn towards the other part of design I loved, handmade creations!
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Where do you find inspiration in your daily life?

There is a saying that goes: “I’m amazed by life when it manages to overcome me”. So I also believe in the idea of the daily miracle, in the surprise that awaits you just around the corner – that’s why I named my tag {flu:k} as Fluke means “sudden turn of fate”. Beyond this belief, I find inspiration in light, music, travelling, poetry, both images of nature and the urban element, my young niece’s drawings and the people I love!

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Talk to us about your handmade accessories. What are your favorite elements and how could you describe the style / essence of your creations?

I constantly experiment with materials so I can also refresh my interest on work. This exploration led me to a material for which I’ve discovered a special process procedure that differs from what is commonly used and I have been evolving and working on for the last 3 years. It is the material my collections are mainly based on. It’s transparent like a crystal but unbreakable, appears as a sculpture but it is very light and I can “trap” within it various heterogeneous elements: images, words, sea shells, metal. After all, don’t all these resemble to woman’s nature?

I like to think that my jewelry are loved by women with humor but also sophisticated, with culture but also comfortable with leaving life surprise them, women that are seeking for experience but are also down to earth when it comes to their values and identity …

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As a member of the Whitebox creative team you get the opportunity to meet and interact with various designers. What is your opinion about the contemporary craft / art scene in Athens?

WhiteBox was loved very quickly and evolved to a core, a meeting platform for creative people. I feel very lucky and proud for being part of the Whitebox team! The thing that I notice in most artists is that all of them are having a difficult time by the same system that is supposed to promote them … The market, the trading system treats everything born with art, almost in an obscene manner, depriving in this way the creativity and inventiveness of artists, often overpricing creations during sales, while when it comes to the artist, rarely and with very few exceptions, does the system comply with its obligations.
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You also have a passion about photography. What kind of thoughts / emotions are you trying to express through this venue?

Photography amazes me! It is yet another language of expression … It’s magic, comprehensive – with an image you can tell a whole story that can either be a fairy tale or a nightmare … capture the essence of raindrops … a big city’s pulse. I usually don’t prefer portraits. I’m interested in the person as part of a wider context and, I may repeat myself, but I feel a constant amazement for anything random, the poetry of the moment and especially the play of light. Think about how many different images of the same subject can one capture within only a few minutes! I love contradicting images and dislike the use of direct flash! :)

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What was your latest most challenging and exciting project?


Recently, within the context of a collaboration between WhiteBox and TAF (The Art Foundation) I was invited to present my basic collection through an installation and a performance, referring to the type of woman (which I believe my work represents). It was an amazing experience. I got to work in many creative fields, from styling to photography and video projection!

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Who is your favorite designer / artist / crafter and why?

It’s always difficult to directly answer these kind of questions as the list is very long … I respect many designers but I will mention some classic names in the art scene that are major references for me: the grand, magical, mysterious Gaudi who in my opinion is also a pioneer in graphic design. Gustav Klimt and the humanitarian, esoteric, poet Modigliani. I admire many people from other fields as well, like the unbelievable mind and talent of Zaha Hadid. Japanese culture in all of it’s expressions also amazes me.

Any future plans you’d like to share with us? Or anything else you’d like to add?

INSIDEOUT: A mixed media / mixed emotions view...soon opening @ Whitebox!!
;)

LINKS: […]

-  http://www.blogbywhitebox.blogspot.com/
-  Smaro Botsa (Facebook)
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 I discovered the work of Markos Andriotis through facebook and I must admit it was “love at first sight”. I immediately proposed to do an interview so here we are! A fresh look on art by a young creative who has surely much more to show.

Hello Marko and welcome to EC. Tell us what triggered your passion for creativity in general. When did you actively start creating?

I started when I was still very little. I remember I was interested in making props for my sister's barbies and photograph them in interesting situations. Now I feel very proud of myself for understanding by instinct at the age of 6 the meaning of what a fashion story is.

Can you describe the mood you find yourself in when working on a project?

Dark. I evolve my dark side when I am creating something. When I am really happy I want to take big walks and hang around with my friends, eat good food and travel. I am an experience junkie.
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Fashion. What does it mean for you?

Fashion for me is a way to make statement of who you really are or you wanna be, can put you in a role. Fashion for me is related to theater, that's how I use fashion on my every day life. I am always acting different personalities I make up in my mind.
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Talk to us about “The Body” Painting Series


Fat cells are one of the biggest inspirations I have. I love the way a body can transform with eating or not eating.

I play this kind of 'odd' game with my body and I keep notes and photographs.

That's what I am working on now.

Your collages are filled with bold energy and many elements that compose a very interesting visual result. What inspires you theme wise and can you give us a brief description of the creative procedure?

I really just follow my instincts, I don't use logic or common sense when I am on a creative procedure.


I really have to push my self to sit down and work! These collages are made 4 years ago. I haven't tried to make new ones. In order to work I have to push myself on the limit. It's very hard for me. Discipline is something I have to work on.
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Share your top 10 inspiration links

I am not on the internet all day long and I really don't have sense of technology but this ling is dearly beloved.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2574713445313584050#

Can you give us a sneak peak of your future plans?

No idea.


LINKS: […]

-  http://www.markosandriotis.com/
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Christina, the talented and sweet accessory designer of “Strigles” lets us in her fairy tale world, a place filled with colorful inspiration. Mixing and matching, assembling and creating, this girl’s energy is enough to light up any room. Let’s find out about her magic spells!

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Hello Christine, what’s the story behind your brand name “Strigles”?

Sshhs!!!!

Kingdoms shake….
crowns that shine…
refilling of the broomstick in action…
Shrews are tangled in piles of wool and they confirm NeVer nEvEr TiCkLe A GoRiLa, WhEn Is HeLpInG uS  CrEaTe RaRe ChAiRs LeGs!!!!!!!
Ok??????
Shs!!!!It’s a secret!!!!

How long have you been crafting and how did it all start?

When I was still a tiny little person, I remember holding in my hands a string and a bag full of pasta... creating my first jewelry … that I gave away to my teachers and friends.


Later growing up, I painted the pasta, added ribbons and they became very impressive! It pleased me, expressed me, made me travel, still does… And so on so forth… It was something magical to me, like trying to complete a fairy tale…!!!
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Most of your creations have a rather playful and girly touch. What inspires you?

From my little Divina! When she is reading her fairy tales, when she is playing with her colorful toys! Many times I tried to discover what she is thinking… Every page is a mystery to me. Every look on her eyes is a surprise for me! Every smile of hers an inspiration!


Colorsssss!!!!! How many sleepers can a sleepy butterfly wear? Who is in need of many kisses, 2 twin fairies or a little witch? Why does she have in her collection the glasses that Cinderella’s grandma wore and Aladdin’s lamp? To answer your question lets just say that I am trying to visualize and give life to her wonderful being with colors colors colors….. Did I mention colors?
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You create a wide variety of accessories. What are your favorite materials and what do you enjoy making the most?

Materials? Whatever I find! Ribbons, buttons, wire, plastic, useless things. Whatever draws my attention. To be more specific, an example is my last winter collection that focuses around Granny’s Needles & Crafts! It includes, buttons, bobbins, zippers, needles and many more… As for what I enjoy most…??? It depends… for example how many sleepers can a sleepy butterfly wear or who is in need of many kisses, 2 twin fairies or a little witch?

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How would you describe the ideal girl wearing your accessories? What would she love or hate and how would she approach styling in general?

A “strigla”, who loves colors and mix and match!! Nothing more nothing less!
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Share your top 5 sites where you seek inspiration or just love to visit

www.lifeinathens.com
thesohosymposium.blogspot.com
http://lasninasylosninos.blogspot.com/
www.aleccarox.com

and of course eyecandies
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Is there anything else you’d like to share and, last but not least, can you give us a peak to your future plans?

Hmmmm! There is something that has crossed my mind… but I think it’s better if I do not say anything.. I’ll let time speak…!!!


LINKS: [...]

- http://strigles.blogspot.com/
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Sébastien Nikolaou is a young and very promising creative with a sharp eye for quality graphic design. Having experimented with drawing and graffiti he ended up giving in to what proved to be his real passion, digital art. Today he shares his views with you on EyeCandies.

Hey Seb and welcome to EyeCandies! What got you started in the creative field of graphic design and illustration?

Hello EyeCandies! I loved to draw since I was kid. After experimenting with graffiti in my adolescence, I started playing with computers, design software and digital graphics. I wasn't exactly teaching myself, neither wanted to be a graphic designer at the beginning, but after  collaborating with a graphic designer around my 18 (a fact that taught me a lot), I decided that it was what I should do. Then I took design courses at the Graphic Design department of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, where I still study.

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What would you say are the drawbacks and/or difficulties of this field in Greece?

First of all I believe that many Greek people don't know what design is. This ignorance leads to misunderstandings and mediocre design quality; therefore they don't understand its value and are not always paying well. Of course there are exceptions, and I'm happy to see that more and more, clients are acquiring a culture and a sense of aesthetics, but it's a very slow procedure. The second drawback is the education; which is poor here in Greece. The level of the design schools is not like other European countries, and many graduates are not qualified enough.

Where do you gain inspiration from? Any designers that have influenced your style?


I mostly find inspiration in the web, browsing creative communities and portfolios. But my influences often come from more traditional artists and media. Designers like Herb Lubalin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, vintage books and illustrations are very influencing.
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Can you describe the process of a project you undertook recently? What are the basic rules you follow during the creative procedure?

Recently I designed a poster for a big electronic music event in Athens, Greece.

The artwork had to be simple and intense, based on light colors, and large typography.

When I start working on a project, the most important part is thinking, an idea, a layout, how it could work, the style... I wanted something tech-looking, reminding a bit of old computer screens. So I started by working on the lettering and the information which had to be included.

Of course these might not work in real life, so a few rough sketches might help me. But the main work is done on the design software (Photoshop/Illustrator).

Also I keep staring a lot on unfinished works, to find flaws and think about improvements. I believe in "think more, design less"!

After the artwork was done, I was asked to adapt it for the pre-sale tickets and web banners.

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Top five of your favorite sites / blogs ?

I read very often the IDSGN, ISO50, Brand New (Under Consideration), Ministry of Type, Grain Edit blogs.

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If you were to create an illustration or a design reflecting your personality, what colors, forms, style & elements would you use?

That's tricky question, because I can define my personality accurately with words. But there are some elements that can reflect it, or just things that I personally enjoy more. Once I did a personality test on the web, and the result was that I was the “Cooper Black” typeface, so I'll keep that for starters, as I'm a fan of typography! About the colors, I really like the peacefulness and intensity of turquoise and blue-green colors, but also the energy and positivity of orange-yellows. I generally prefer round and curved forms, but often with hidden vertical and horizontal grids behind... I love the simplicity, but not the (extreme) minimalism, I love the abstraction and the subtraction, naive and fauve drawings, and everything original and spiritual.

What can we find you doing when not designing? Share your interests / hobbies

I'm a regular person, so I'd say I watch movies, listen to music, going out with friends. Oh, and I daydream. A lot!
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Is there anything you would like to add? Give us a sneak peak of your future plans?

I don't have big plans for the future, but I hope I can make some experiments and new artworks for personal projects. The summer is coming, and it's time for some fresh ideas and hot designs!


LINKS: […]

- www.sebdesign.eu
- www.flickr.com/photos/sebdesign
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