Hi Marianna, thank you so much for letting me to feature you on this site this week! So please let me and the readers know, how did you become an illustrator? What do you think you would be doing if you didn't pick this as your career path?
I am a fine artist, and my work was 'locked' in a fine art context until recently. Starting to work on applied projects was a new opening to me, which I consider to be a pure form of visual communication, interesting, flexible and direct- another form of contemporary art. I can't imagine myself being anything else than an artist, creating images with my hands and living by it is all I want to do in my life.
There is no doubt you are a fine artist, especially I really like the details on your drawings. Well, how will you describe your style? Other than colour pencils, do you use other mediums to illustrate your works?
My work mainly consists of pencil, color pencil and aquarel/gouache drawings on paper. Pastels also interest me a lot as medium. My work is rather realistic. The thematology is anthropocentric, around the human nature and passions, and a sense of eroticism is always present. I focus on the expression of the eyes, the position-interaction of the bodies, and the scenography of the image.
Whenever I look at your works, I always feel the intensity in them and this is probably all coming from the expression of the eyes or the pose of the figures. From you biography, I know that you have been to a lot of places. Is there any advantage of working at different cities?
Every city is different: the rhythm of life, the 'air', the aesthetics, the culture, the people, the opportunities, the market, the 'creative space', everything is different. And of course all these factors have a great influence on an artist's work.
If I was an artist, I would definitely want to travel a lot to absorb the cultures in different cities. I know recently you have done a collaboration with National Museum of China. How did that happen?
I recently created a series of scarf designs for the 'Dragon' project, a collaborative project of the National Museum of China and Eegoo Cultural Institution, organized by O2 Creative Organization. During my solo show 'Sphinx' at Fake Space gallery in Beijing this past April, I was contacted by the art director of O2, who proposed to me to participate in this project, as he was interested in my work.
This project got me interested as all participants had to create a series of objects, based on the traditional Chinese Dragon, seen from their personal artistic point of view, so I accepted. I decided to design a series of scarves, as fashion design also interests me a lot, and I designed each scarf considering it as a new 'canvas'. A preview of the 15 artists, designers and architects group show was recently presented at Beijing Design Week.The official group show with original artworks and objects created, is going to take place at the National Museum of China in Beijing this winter. All objects are going to be thereafter available at the Museum Art shop, as well as at other selected art shops around China.
I really like the scarves so if I am coming to China in the future, I would love to get one of them and treat it as a collectable. Out of all the shows you have done up to date, which one was the most memorable? Why?
I think that my last solo show, 'Sphinx' at Fake Space (Beijing, China) in April 2011 will stay in my mind, as this was my first solo show in China. Also my participation in the 13. Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean in Bari, Italy in 2008 was a memorable experience for me.
I really hope one day I would be able to come to one of your shows and see your works up close. Last but not least, if you was asked to illustrate a series based on a specific city in the world, which one would you choose and what kind of things would you illustrate?
I would draw a series about a city of Japan, Tokyo or some small isolated villages. I admire Japanese culture, aesthetics and civilization. The city is all about high standards in every field, sometimes too stylized and frozen like a mask but in reality so human and kind. It is all about perfection, which can sometimes lead to destruction.
------------------------------------Now it is time for some trivia questions!
Germany or China?
China, in all its incredible speed of development, it is so beautiful and pure.
Birds or Rabbits?
Birds I think.
Digital or Hand Drawn arts?
I am mainly in the hand drawn, but i also admire the digital.
Rice or Spaghetti?
Rice and noodles!
Rainy or Sunny day?
Sunny of course, I am Greek:)
Green or Black tea?
Green tea, I love it.
Chocolate or Candies?
Desert or Ocean?
Ocean, easy question.
Cartoon or Comedy?
Comedy. Good comedians are incredibly sensitive persons.
Pen or Pencil?
Pencil, it is more sensual I think.
Thank you so much to Marianna for taking some time to answer my questions and I wish her all the best for her up coming shows! If you want to see more of her works, you can click here to see them. All images are courtesy of Marianna Ignataki.