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After featuring the radical and original photographic projects of Elle Muliarchyk, time came to ask her for an interview. Elle was discovered in New York by Patrick Demarchelier and started off as a model. She currently lives and creates in New York and received worldwide attention after her “Dressing Rooms” photo series was presented in the New York Times Magazine. Since then, she has been busy and today she shares her plans, inspirations and thoughts. Enjoy!

Hello Elle! It’s a great pleasure to have you in EyeCandies! What triggered your passion for photography? How and when did it all start?

Photography is more like a tool to me with which I document my current  fetishes and experiences. I took my first picture with my first camera in a dressing room of a posh boutique, rehearsing for the first most important shoot of my life with Patrick Demarchelier. And I spent next 2 years taking guerrilla self portraits in dressing rooms wearing the most beautiful and expensive garments I’d never be able to afford. I created my alternative realities there using various backdrops and crazy props of enormous sizes and materials... The store security kicked me up upon discovery, or even called the Police... But my obsession of doing whatever it takes for the image... has begun!
 

SPANAKI

10/08/2010

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Anna introduced me to her colorful world and I was more than delighted to discover her fresh creations mainly made out of old vinyl and magazines! Spanaki [greek word for spinach] is her collection’s brand name! Let’s check her out!

Hello Anna and welcome to EyeCandies. When did you first start crafting and what urged you towards it?

I think that the first jewelry I’ve ever made were necklaces from raw pasta… This was an obligatory practice I had to do for my lazy eyes when I was at about 5 years old. :S But as far as I can remember I was always one of those kids decorating their books, cutting, collecting, doing collages, sewing the cloths for their dolls and stuff. Sketching, crafting was something I was good at and could also please my closest people. So, I used to create several things, which I gave away as presents to friends & family. But things changed, when I got my first degree on Computing. When I started to work on this sector I felt the need to do something more creative in my daily routine. So I decided to study graphic design. Through my “career change” my crafts got a more compact identity.

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Most of your creations are made by recycled and reused materials. How important is this in your opinion and what are the main characteristics of your work?

I’ve been thinking lately how ephemeral and disposable most of the things we use everyday are and I felt so fed up with this… I find this cast of mind we all have, consuming and throwing away with no second thought about the environment or the economy, very disturbing. My intension is to expand the product’s lifecycle by transforming it into something new that can offer a new satisfaction to its owner and in a way delay it from being detrimental to the environment.

Do you experiment with various materials? What is your favorite one and why?

I have tried to work with several materials like metal, resin, polymer clay, threads, leather and many more but for sure my favorite is vinyl because it has all the properties of metal, it gives more than many potentials for creating unique designs and it’s more fun to work with.

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If you were to choose a persona to show your collection, who would you choose?

So hard to answer! Two women come to my mind right now:

Björk and Róisín Murphy, whom both I admire as musicians, performers and always liked their stylistic choices. So a possible approval of my work would be really important to me.
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What in your opinion makes a designer successful?

Love for design, will, hard work, knowledge on the history of design, and considering the 10 principles for good design of Dieter Rams.
Can you give us a peak to your future plans?

These days I am working on a boys collection but what I intent to do next is to create a series designed and crafted totally by me – graphics, illustration & manufacture.

LINKS: […]

- http://www.spanaki.gr
- http://spanaki.blog.com/
- http://spanaki.bigcartel.com/
- http://el-gr.facebook.com/spanaki

EMAIL: spanaki@hotmail.gr
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Designer enthusiast, illustrator, teacher, writer and a great networking and supporting spirit, Charis Tsevis has a lot to be proud for! I admit that I’ve been waiting for this interview with great anticipation! Here is what he shares with us:

Hello Chari! I’m very glad to have you here! We met online some years back in VCDC (Visual Communication Designer’s Club). Since you are one of the forum’s founding members, would you like to share a few info about the whole project? {how did it start / evolve / future plans etc}

Hi Afroditi. Glad to find you here in your new adventure. I wish you all the best for it. Yeah I remember the VCDC days. It was a project that I am really proud of being a part of. It was a simple and natural concept that tried to create a warm community of creative people. It started when several designers from Greece who met online and decided that there is no need to wait for others to do what they wanted. What we wanted wasn't exactly known, but all of us were feeling that we wanted something - like a common platform to communicate, to collaborate, to share ideas, knowledge and to form a real community for Greek creatives.

The best thing in this initiative was that there were very different people involved. Designers from almost any level. In VCDC there was space for students and teachers, employees and employers, even for unemployed designers or amateurs. The best thing of that era was the warm community that was formed online and offline. People started to meet, to collaborate, to socialize, to learn to have fun. I decided to distance myself from VCDC when the democratic experiment we were trying wasn't going too well. I also became more involved in other projects which limited my time available. I am still a member and occasionally enjoy to read the forum or joining the parties.

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Your mosaic illustrations are very original and visually attractive. As a matter of fact you’ve portrayed various famous people such as: Barrack Obama, Steve Jobs, Michael Phelps and recently Marc Zuckerberg for numerous editorials and magazine covers! Would you share some info on the technique and overall concept?

Thanks for the kind comments. Mosaics have been around for centuries. I always had this passion for images of highly complex systems and mosaics are such systems. I have probably contributed some ideas to the topic, mostly by experimenting on the grid systems, by being more corrageous with the use of varied sizes and other parameters.

The basic concept is that every image is a mosaic. Everything our eyes are seeing is a mosaic of different stimuli. What an artist is doing is collecting the different elements and arrange them in a way to communicate specific messages. There are some different architectural approaches in the creation of the image, there are many aspects that need the designers' attention, such as color, form etc, but the bottom line is the message.

You know from the VCDC years that I am passionate about Gestalt psychology. So the main rule of Gestalt is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The challenge of every mosaic is just this. To create something that is greater than the sum of the parts. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes not. For example I am really happy with my Steve Jobs and Barack Obama mosaics. I think they have found a way to talk about the personality of the people and give my personal view on them.
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Can you describe your average working day?

I am not sure there is such thing as an average working day. I am having very different days with very different faces. There is a lot of music, a lot of staying in the middle of many Macs, a lot of coffee and tea and some pizza.

My working day has more than 12 hrs of work and sometimes last more than 1 day and night. But I wouldn't exchange the designer's worklife for anything else.
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You also design typefaces as a member of the Parachute Fonts circle of type designers. How would you describe the procedure of creating fonts and what are the vital points one has to have in mind?

I have designed more than 10 typefaces but I am not considering my self a typedesigner because I am not doing it very often. Creating typefaces is a work that I have always admired and I wanted to try my self with it. It's a very nice procedure. Can be really long - or quicker - but to me it has always been something serious that I wasn't absolutely sure I could do. I was always feeling very responsible for my typefaces. Maybe because designing typefaces is something like writing a symphony when creating an illustration is like writing a song. Typefaces are also a work of yours created to be used by others and having its own life. It's like giving birth to a child and trying to educate it. Then the child is going to take its own path.
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As a design professor you get surrounded by students involved in the creative field. What is your opinion and impression in general concerning the evolution of graphic design during the last years and what is the latest ‘trend’ in the inner circles of young designers?

Teaching is a gift that you can give to your self. It keeps you young, it helps you experiment, it keeps your eyes open to the fresh part of the society.

Trends are always hot in the circles of young designers because they live with more passion in their era. I am trying to keep them enthusiastic and passionate about their generation but I am trying to make them understand that trends come and go. They are needed to any society because they renew it but as professional designers they will have to develop the skills to analyze them, to use them for a purpose and of course to create or destroy them.

What is the latest one? The mainstream rediscovered the hand painted and hand drawn graphic design lately. The underground is experimenting with a revival of the early 80's or with the ethnic styles of what we once were calling "third world".

But I think that there is space for personal trends. For personal choices that are going to be followed or not by others but they would be sincere and meaningful.

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Where do you seek inspiration from and who are your favorite designers/illustrators?

Inspiration could be found everywhere. But Everywhere! From other forms of art like music, literature, cooking, biology or statistics. Traveling is also very helpful. Being there, touching the actual experience is so educational and inspirational. I also like to have the "travel" approach with my studies. I like to take a specific historic era in a specific geographic area and try to explore it through books, online sources or actual visits.
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Which was your latest most exciting project and why?

I enjoyed a lot a work I have done recently for Unilever in Dubai. We created a gigantic billboard advertisement (200 meters x 20 meters) based on a mosaic illustration. The whole collaboration was really cool because the LOWE team was sending me photos of the place and ideas and even if I have experimented with space graphics in the past, I have never created something so big.

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[Copyright ©: Tsevis Visual Design, LOWE Dubai, Unilever Inc.]
It's going to be up and running in October and I cannot wait to go and see it live. And believe or not, one of the most exciting projects, for me is every new Steve Jobs' mosaic portrait someone asks me to do. I have created several new ones and in every one there is an new challenge. The latest, created for ALFA magazine in Brazil, tries to reflect the psychedelic period of Steve Jobs life. The trips in India or LSD and the early years in Apple.
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Thank you Chari for the interview! Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I remember meeting you back in the VCDC era and admiring your courage to go after a second carrier. That of an illustrator. You took so many steps since then that I have always enjoyed. I am seeing you taking a third carreer now with EyeCandies, that of a journalist. I just want to wish you luck in everything you do and encourage you to go after your dreams.

Thanks for the conversation.

LINKS: […]

- http://www.tsevis.com/
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