I met Tassos Papaioannou when I first discovered his Giganto Comics series. He is a multitalented guy with an awesome illustration portfolio. Personally one of my fav greek illustrators – comic artists. He has proven his creativity in various fields and was also included in Taschen’s Illustration Now vol.2 2009! He shares his views with EyeCandies.

Hey Tasso! You’re into so many creative things: illustration, graphic design, publishing, comics, music. How do you manage to combine and which field in particular wins you over?

Hello  Aphrodite! This thing with doing so many different things, actually came by chance. I started as a self-taught comic artist and illustrator and got my first job in 2001. I took some classes for artistic b/w photography and I also had the  chance to study graphic design because I won a prize in a competition. All the other things that I love doing, from journalism and radio production, to publishing books and set-designing  came as a  surprise, which is something that I am really grateful about it. I think that illustration and graphic design win me more because they take most of my time.

What is your favorite drawing / designing subject and where do you seek inspiration?

As you can see from my portfolio, I really love drawing people. People are the essence of life. I seek inspiration from everyday life and stories, from my friends, from artists (of every creative field) that I admire.
Can you describe an average working day in your studio?

I usually wake up near 10:00 in the morning (some times earlier, some other times at noon). The first thing I’m doing is to hit the power button on my computer. While the computer is starting, I make coffee. I check various sites on the internet (design-related and not) and I speak with clients on the phone if that is necessary. I eat lunch and then I start working on a project. If I finish early, I start working on another one or continue with a work-in-progress of mine. There are times that I work until the early morning hours, but that happens when I know that I don’t have any other deadline for the next day. I do mini breaks for speaking on the phone with friends, watching episodes of tv series or just fooling around on the internet.

Talk to us about Giganto Books. How did it all start and what are your future plans for this project?

Giganto books started 6 years ago and publishes only comic books, mostly by greek comic artists. During those 6 years 26 books have been published. Giganto started while I was a member of Subart Comics team. Back then we wanted our comics to be published in good quality (offset print) and in good paper and there was no other comics publishing company to do that (in Greece). To tell you the truth, now I don’t know how things will turn out for giganto books. I have some problems with the distribution of the comics and the payments from the bookstores. That’s serious shit! Thought I’m not gonna quit believing in it. In April, at Comicdom Con Athens 2010, 3 new comics will be released by gignato: “common comics” #5 by Panayiotis Padazis, “krak komiks” #5 by Tassos Maragos and last but not least “hehe” vol.II, #1 by Tomek & JB. Also giganto’s new site will be up on the internet, soon.

Share your top fives in: art, magazines and music

Top-5 in Art (in general):

1. James Jean > http://www.jamesjean.com/
2. David Fincher > http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000399/
3. Chris Ware > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Ware
4. Charlie Kaufman > http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0442109/
5. J. D. Sallinger > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._D._Salinger

Top-5 in Magazines:
1. +81 > http://www.plus81.com/
2. IdN > http://www.idnproshop.com/
3. TAR > http://www.tar-art.com/
4. WAD > http://www.wadmag.com/wadmag/
5. Wired > http://www.wired.com/

Top-5 in Music:
1. The National > http://www.americanmary.com/
2. My Wet Calvin > http://www.mywetcalvin.com/
3. Pan Pan > http://postnoise.com/
4. Architecture in Helsinki > http://www.myspace.com/aihmusic
5. Roisin Murphy > http://www.roisinmurphy.com/

What would you advice a young upcoming artist / designer who is just starting out?

To observe nature as much as he can, to spent time on personal works and arty experiments, to promote/communicate his works on the internet and beyond, to aim high without losing focus of himself as a creator, to try to have fun on every project, to leave Greece while he is still young.
What do you consider as your most important achievement by now and what are your future plans?

The most important achievement and the thing that I am most proud of myself is that now I make a living from something that I really love: creating art. Believe me, it wasn’t easy and I didn’t have a lot of support when I was younger.

For future plans, I am joining forces with Penny Zevoli on a great project that is called FIIL (stands for Friday I’m In Love). I can’t say much more about FIIL right now. Soon the official site www.fiil.gr will be online with more info. We are working on it.

This is it! Thanks for participating! Anything else you’d like to share?

No, I guess that’s all. Thank you a lot for having me here. It’s been a pleasure.