Featured Artist: KanellosCOB
Where are you from?
I was born in Athens, Greece which is one of the most vibrant and alive cities in Europe. The diversity between the European and Balkan culture is really visible in every corner.
How would you best describe your art style?Tough one. I could not really give a name for it. I love ink as a base and I’ve always been influenced by pop, abstract and surreal art. I am thrilled by the benefits of technology so I use mixed materials by curiosity and I’m surprised by the results. Not every time though ;)
Where do you find your inspiration when creating your art? Inspiration comes with the theme of every project. But observing people and situations in my life always gives me a backup that I tend to visit every time I have a project. In my personal projects, inspiration comes from the everyday life. Political and social issues are always the base of my inspiration. My job helps me to say things I believe need to be heard. So an illustration or a comic strip of mine is always a result of some critical thinking in my everyday life.
When did you know you wanted to make a career in the art world?Since I can remember. As a child, I was grounded many times because I used every surface of my apartment as a canvas. When they were asking me I was always saying: "I’ll be a painter when I grow up” without really knowing what it meant. The insecurity of the difficulties of the job of an artist made me decide to study Conservation of ancient works of art in Athens, which is a really interesting and respectful science. It helped me understand art and its origins. But my need to draw made me realize that this could no longer be a hobby and if I really wanted to do something with it I should really study it. So I moved to France to study comic and illustration and the rest is history.
What does a day of creating artwork look like for you and how to you start your creative process?My everyday routine starts with waking up early, having my first coffee with my first cigarette (it's a ritual), put a podcast or some electronic music on (depending on the mood) and start my research. I could pass the first half of my day on searching the palettes and the photos that could give me a vision of what I want to do. When I have enough I start drawing. Most of my work is made on my computer and the process is sketching, inking and coloring. Every step has its charms and its difficulties. Sketching is about putting on the paper certain techniques, inking is about controlling those techniques with patience and coloring is about the mood and the sentiments you want to express. At the end of the day, after several coffees and cigarettes and really mixed sentiments I have a result. Sometimes positive and sometimes negative. :/
What artist (either current or past) do you most admire and why? My beloved one is Egon Schiele. He was one of the best caricaturists of the 20th century. His study on the human body was about expressing feelings who could bother certain social classes. He was questioning the “beautiful” and he managed to find beauty in places that were considered ugly, until then. Only with his trait he created impressive paintings which were not made to impress nobody. Of course there are many other artists that are still inspiring and influence me but his is my highlight.
What's the best advice that's been given to you as an artist? When you are not drawing well, doesn't mean that you are not talented. It means that you don’t understand, yet, how to observe things.
Shop all of KanellosCOB's designs here.