November 13, 2015

An interview with SaraRRocha Illustration

I discovered Sara's beautiful work through her instagram account. I was really happy when i found out she's an illustrator from my beloved city, Lisbon. This cat lady loves to illustrate cute things (together with her cat Maio) combining retro with modern style. In her illustrations you can find fiction characters, girls with a lot of confident and of course lots lots of cats. Also, if you want to make something unique, Sara hadles custom orders. Let's meet Sara and her magical world!

1. Tell us a few words about you and the idea behind your illustrations.
I’m an illustrator based in Lisbon. Inspired by vintage clothing, literature and cinema, my art work is retro and thoroughly modern at the same time. I try to add to my illustrations whimsical and delicate environments, confident girls with a fashion sense.

2. How did it all start? Describe to us when you decided to start to design illustrations and transform them to brooches.
I started to draw since I was a child. I did spend a lot of time amusing myself drawing and painting. All over these years I’ve been trying different techniques like crayon, acrylic and watercolor.  In 2014, I opened my etsy shop where I started to sell some of my original illustrations. Later, I found funny ways to transform some of my illustrations in brooches allowing people to wear my art every day. 

3. From where or whom do you draw influence.
Along these years I’ve been developing my own style inspired by my peculiar world where some of my favorite fiction characters from literature and cinema coexist. I also like to do a visual diary of me and my cat, and sometimes I do fan art illustrations of some of my favorite instagram accounts, fashion blogs and youtube channels.

 4. Describe your style in 5 words.
 Delicate, fantastic, whimsy, quirky and fashionable.

5. Τell us a story about one of your own favourite illustration heroes.
I love to customize super heroes. Last time, inspired by my friend Sophie, her cats and her bear, I decided to illustrate all of them as super heroes! This is what I love about being an illustrator because you can make your own imaginary world become alive.

6. If you could be a hero in real life which one would you choose?
 I’d be catwoman! I absolutely love her style.

7. What else will our viewers find in your etsy shop?
You can find in my etsy shop original illustrations, prints, brooches or order your own custom illustration. 

8. And finally, which are your future plans? Do you have any projects coming up?
I want to keep drawing every day, and inspire people all around the world with my art work.
I also have some upcoming projects that include some new products for my etsy shop and some project collaborations with brands.

November 5, 2015

A letter to Angeliki from Athens

Dear Angeliki,

I'm so happy to receive your letter. Autumn London looks perfect. The orange shades of the leaves are so warm and comforting. Oh, and those Japanese ramen soups look so delicious that when i visit London we will definitely go eat together. 
Autumn has clearly arrived in Athens as well. Following a really hot summer, it was about time! I have started going to my first autumn strolls, drinking hot coffee and finally wearing warm clothing.
In one of these strolls, i have discovered a mysterious secret home garden with beautiful roses, that i liked so much. 

After visiting the first solo art exhibition of my good friend Filippos, i came across this flock of origami birds in Philos Athens, which is basically what you notice when you enter. This really made me want to learn how to make origami birds for my own room! When you come in Athens i will take you there for a cup of tasty coffee. 

Unfortunately, i caught a cold two weeks ago and i stayed at home for a week. That means i spent a lot of time reading books, drinking hot beverages, mixing fresh herbs in the kitchen and watching my new favourite series ''Once Upon A Time". It's a TV show about classic fairytales presented in a different way and of course a lot of magic! It might be boring for some people to stay indoors, but this has a silver lining after all.

I know how much we both love rings so i couldn't help but sharing with you my new ring obsession from Break A Stone. I'm sure it's totally our style!

Finally it is well known that ours is a cat dominated blog, however i have the following news to deliver...
Our family has a new member and she turns her head at the name Foxy! Foxy is a little cute white westie mix. We found her around Psiri area and we couldn't not help her. I cannot believe that there are still people out there who abandon their pets. It's so sad and awful. I named her Foxy after my beloved Wes Anderson film, ''Fantastic Mr. Fox'' and because with those ears and snout you could mistake her for a little fox! She's really playful, she climbs all over the house and she wakes me up every morning by literally climbing on top of my head!

I look forward to see you and to introduce you to little Foxy!

Lots of kisses and hugs!!!

November 2, 2015

A letter to Georgia from London

Dear Georgia,

Long time no see... I think the last time I wrote you a letter was still summer or something like summer, a British version of summer. But now, autumn is officially here and London is a really beautiful place to be around this time of the year. The weather is not that cold, so you can enjoy long walks at the parks, wearing a light coat and scarfs and drinking a cup of hot chocolate.

 My favourite thing about autumn is its autumnal colours. The tree leaves gradually turn brown, red and gold and they are falling at the ground. You cannot but totally fall in love with the city during autumn.

But, when it's rainy outside, it's a great opportunity to stay at home and pamper yourself while listening to music or reading comics. So this is my usual Sunday to do list! Currently, my favourite comic is Soppy, which is about the relationship and daily routine of a couple. It's super cute and funny. You know you really love somebody when you can spend all day together, doing nothing in particular. This couple appreciates the importance of a hot cup of tea, I like them!

Another great thing about autumn is, of course, the food and especially soups. You know how much I love soups. London as a multicultural city is a great destination to try new tastes and cuisines. Well, the last few weeks, I'm obsessed with Japanese ramen soups. At Ippudo and Tonkotsu you can taste the most yummy ramen and warm both your body and soul.

Another favourite of mine is Polpo, a Venetian small plates restaurant. There, you can enjoy simple and good food while drinking local wines. My favourite dishes from Polpo are the vegetarian meatballs and the Crab & chilli linguine. But there are also options for the meat lovers like the classic beef and pork meatballs with spaghetti. You know, the classic "Lady and the tramp" dish.

Last but not least, I will just say pumpkins...PUMPKINS!  

I wish you were here, Georgia.

Lot's of kisses and hugs!!!

PS. Ramen photo credit: here

October 26, 2015

The Black Square of Imagination

I have known Filippos since we were little kids. He and I were going to the same kindergarden and we've been good friends since then. 
Filippos Georgios Tsidavis grew up in Athens and he has been a big fan of art, since he was a kid. He graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts based in Milan, where he worked in sculpture, graphic arts, video art, design, fashion design, theatrical costumes and painting. In 2012, he published his very own poetry book titled "Familiar Stories", ( in greek: "Οικείες Ιστορίες").
This week I was really looking forward to visit Filippos's first solo exhibition titled, "The Black Square of Imagination". On Tuesday morning I finally met him, we strolled together around the exhibition space and talked about his work, which I really found intriguing and interesting. You can find Filippos's exciting new art in Gallery Ersi until November 5th. 
Let's learn some more about “The Black Square of Imagination” from Filippos himself:

1. The Black Square of Imagination is a place of prosperity. Tell us a few words about this.
I’m glad we are beginning with this statement/artwork as it provides the basic meaning of this particular collection of work and is a unique piece that describes the black square of imagination. It is a place of prosperity, an interactive space that invokes imagination and turns into a source of creation.

2. Which were your influences for your first solo exhibition.
I started working on this collection of work in 2013 and it was also part of my thesis during my first degree. I was in Milan at the time. What influenced my work aesthetically was the contact I had with engravings, and this is what made my work have simpler forms and less painting. What also had a great influence on my work is my interest in writing. Through writing, my stories form a base and my art becomes conceptual. My first solo exhibition is titled, ''The Black Square of Imagination'', and it consists of 28 works of art. I want to thank Antheia Kotsi, who curated the show in collaboration with myself, and Veronika Papadopoulou who created all the graphics.

3. What is the connection between ''Familiar Stories'' and the ''Black Square of Imagination''?
The Black Square of Imagination is the evolution of my first poetry collection-artist book titled "Familiar Stories". In this artist book my first body of work is highlighted, which is focused on the observation and presentation of objects in the house, and presents my desire for these objects to attain an identity. So, the black square of imagination is formed to give life to everything and solve the plot of my stories.

4. How does the Black Square works? Does it work differently for every person?
The black square of imagination works according to each person’s experiences.
Each artwork presents a synthesis of a black square and an object, a form, or a poem. These encourage viewers to create their own story through their personal experiences. In this way, the stories of my work constantly develop and are given identity. The object is no longer static, but in progress.

5. A piece that i really liked was the "Metamorphosis of the Goose''. What's the story behind it?
The “metamorphosis of the goose” is one of the most popular pieces. There is no particular story behind it. I often use animals in my poems because they strengthen the fairy tale element in my work. Even for me, some of the pieces have different stories that I come up with at the moment.

6. Tell us a few things about the technique that you used.
These works are woodcuts which are engraved drawings on wood printed on cotton paper. The process is that I first create the drawing on a thin and durable wood, I then carve the drawing and apply color to its surface. Next I print them on the woodcut press machine. The best moment is when I print them as I am never sure of how the result will be. So every time it is a surprise.

7. Which are your future plans? Do you have any projects coming up?
My future plans are to publish my second book and after that my second solo exhibition will follow.

info: Gallery Ersi

October 14, 2015

A night at KINONÓ

We all have our favourite places. Favourite places to eat, to have a drink, to grab a cup of coffee, or to socialize. KINONÓ is all of those things and even more. KINONÓ is an exciting new place located quite near to the Akropolis museum, in a really quiet neighbourhood, Koukaki. And basically what lies at the core of its philosophy and the secret behind its name is its social character. "KINONÓ" in greek essentially means "participate".

When you enter, you will notice its really beautiful spacious interior. Industrial walls, tables and chairs that remind you of your school childhood, beautiful plants and flowers, its wooden bar and surfaces.The even more exciting detail is that KINONÓ is filled with nice tunes, which isn't something very easy to find in the city anymore.If you add its great menu and cocktails on top of everything else, you get a combination that's hard to beat. Pay it a visit! I know I will (again).

info: here