This month, we asked Ekaterini Koliakou to answer a few questions about her work and her life as an artist.
When and how did your interest in art develop?
When I was five years old, I attended private school in Athens where my teacher at the time told my mother that she believed I should become an artist because my paintings were intriguing and well beyond my years. This sparked an interest and passion in me to pursue painting from an early age.
What influences your art?
My trip to New York at the age of 24, when I studied there I learnt about Abstract Expressionism – synonymous with NYC art. I make figurative art because of my love for humanity and my great admiration for people.
What process do you go through when you are creating a piece (starting with the initial idea)?
I make notes and sketches, and then I use immediate writing on the canvas or paper. My work is expressionistic; therefore I work more on impulse. I simply feel inspired and follow my instincts.
Which artists, if any, have you drawn inspiration from?
William De Kooning, Jean Michel Basquiat and I also love Jean Dubuffet and Karel Appel.
What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?
I hope the viewer can interpret my pictures as messages for the spirit and soul. That's why I call my art work ‘Message Art.’
What has been the highlight of your artistic career?
The highlight of my artistic career was when I exhibited next to Picasso M. Chagall in Gallery Spigel, Amsterdam. I also enjoyed giving a speech at the Royal Academy of Art in London at one of their InPractice events.
Has being a part of Outside In been beneficial for you? If so, how?
Being with Outside In has been beneficial to me because it has given me a platform to present my work digitally and the opportunity to enjoy some one on one support I from the team. It’s good publicity and fun!
What is next for you as an artist?
To display my work in a group exhibition called ‘Contemporary Painting’ in Brick Lane Gallery in February 2016.