When did you start drawing your first comics? Which artists did influence you the most?
Well, there’s not a definite answer to that; I was doing some pages here and there in highschool but I was mostly drawing comic strips for the conversations I had in exchanged notes with friends during class. They were mostly influenced by mangas at the time, as they were the main comics I was reading.
As to artists that have influenced me, I am not sure either. It has changed a lot over the years and I have taken elements from artists of different mediums. I was always struck by the work of Toulouse Lautrec and Van Gogh, Harry Clarke, Daido Moriyama, the films of Wong Kar Wai.
Your drawings balance between color and black and white. How did your aesthetic form? What does inspire you?
I’m still not quite sure whether my works actually have a specific aesthetic – sometimes when I look at them from a distance it feels like they are too spread out over various things, instead of one solid image. I suppose that makes sense since I myself tend to be all over the place and interested in a variety of things.
I can tell, however, that over the years I have accumulated details from here and there that I like or that attract me and all those influences have been gathered by friends, films, books, music, anything that I have come into contact with. Though after high school I felt quite drained and repulsed by the institutionalised way of teaching, I have opened up to the idea of learning and studying again and that has just paved the way for coming into contact with new things.
As for inspiration, I can tell that it’s always been about people, one way or another. I have always had difficulties with them so they have always fascinated me in many different aspects. Their stories, their memories, their presence and their absence.
What does the depiction of nudity and sex mean for you?
Like I mentioned beforehand, I have always felt the need to understand and connect. And initially, drawing the body and sex was a way of exploring and understanding what sex is and what it can mean. I always tried to draw what I did not understand – and afterwards it just evolved into something that I felt most comfortable with in expressing myself.
It’s a bit difficult to give a precise answer, I suppose because I am writing in a period where everything is very murky to me when it comes to what I draw. But ultimately drawing sex is fun and relaxing, I think nudity can portray intimacy in many ways, we’re the ones that keep overcomplicating it. I feel that our perceptions of sex as a society have overcomplicated my creative process.
What bondage has to do with your art?
I have always been visually attracted to bondage – aside from the erotic aspect or the sadistisc/masochist part of it, there is something mindblowing about trusting another person enough to actually hand them over your ability to move. And I have found that it can be used to express many different aspects of the human psyche and its needs.
How was the experience of the “SmutComic”? Would you like to tell us some details about this collective artwork?
It was quite a new thing to do. First off I had never actually drawn an erotic story per se and then it was also the first time taking part in an anthology, so the experience of meeting with other creators and sharing the work and getting feedback and then discussing how the anthology would be structured was certainly a lesson. I would say the enviroment was quite ideal because we were all women and understanding of each other, there was no certain guideline we had to follow but at the same time there was definitely an exchange of opinions and open dialogue happening. I was quite nervous about it because I am used to working by myself.
And the reception was honestly more than I expected, certainly more than any of us had expected, for a self-published comic. It was quite heart-warming and a boost to our confidence (at least for me.)
What do you believe about the sensual content in the Greek comic community? Do the greek artists and readers prefer this kind of content?
I am not quite sure whether I can speak of the greek comic community as I have always felt that I am only vaguely part of it. I have had a lot of positive feedback from other artists, though based on the reactions of many readers, the anthology was kind of unusual. On one hand we don’t have many female creators writing smut and, well, Greece is not quite as progressive in terms of sex as we would like to think. But the sensation that it caused and the way people approached our tables during the cons and their reactions certainly show that there is a curiosity and even perhaps a need for it. If not only for the reason that the most prevailing depictions of sex have a very, ahem, characteristic aesthetic and parameters.
What about photography? What do you prefer depicting in your photographs the most?
In photography I like landscape a lot and architecture in a way – or rather, spaces occupied by people without them in it. Working with a camera makes me very self-conscious, so I don’t often work with people one on one. I have a very complicated relationship with photography and I am still working on it. When it’s outside of work I often wonder whether by taking pictures I’m really missing the moment or invading the other person and I have gotten kind of stuck, so it’s still very much and ongoing process. I would like to work around that because fashion and cinema have always held a certain allure to me.
Are you thinking of trying a more NFSW content in your photographs?
Yes, but again, this ties with the previous questions. Somehow when I photograph another person I feel I am just as exposed as they are, so I am building up to that.
Any contemporary artists, photographs or illustrators, with sensual content who you admire?
Ahm shit. DaNi for sure, Apollonia Saintclair (duh), Maria Krugovaya, Tryxxy Sphinx, Frida Castelli, Four Chambers, Chantal Convertini, Carolina Maez, Tamandua Kinbaku, Paolla Malloppo, Fyodor Pavlov, many more whose names I can’t come up with because I am shit at making instant lists. And I am also not overlapping the terms sensual with erotic all the time, so I just talked of some who do both. By the way, I included living artists only, so, you know, people that actually can get support.
What are your future plans about drawing and photography?
I am sort of improvising to be honest. I have an exhibition at Marika’s Tarts in Athens on the 25th of September (come for the tarts, my work will be SFW for the most part) and there is the second volume of Smut Comic vaguely in the making. To be honest the pandemic screwed with most parts of my life, so I am just trying to gather my wits at the present. I think my plan is to start exploring and creating again because I have been feeling too stuck and overwhelmed in the past few years and cut off from the creative process.