In the section “Meet the artist” we portrait a talented artist who uses Old Holland colours.
When did you first start painting? Were you born with a paint palette in hand, or did your interest in art develop over time?
I started painting 7 months ago, as of the time of this interview. I’m definitely a late bloomer when it comes to creating art, since I pursued different academic and professional paths first.
While I spent a lot of time drawing in my high school days, it was always something I did for fun and relaxation. I simply spent hours and hours drawing whatever I found enjoyable without any specific goal or practising thoughtfully and effectively. As I grew older, art was replaced by other activities. Eventually I went on a complete break for a long time while pursuing a degree in business administration and later working in the corporate world for a few years.
I was drawn to art again a couple of years ago. I went back to drawing in my free time, and it eventually became an obsession. I discovered a need to spend more and more time creating, build my skills and meet other artists. Of course I had to fight to fit all that into my work schedule.
After months of debate, I decided to focus solely on art and try to build a career around it. I signed up for the best art classes I could find (Kevin Murphy’s Evolve Artist program fit my needs perfectly), freed up my schedule completely and began painting and drawing daily. I’m still in the early days and the goal now is to build a strong foundation of skills. I’m creating as much as possible and I’m keeping my eyes open for opportunities to improve and support myself as an artist.
Was there a moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?
It was more a collection of moments rather than a single moment. The first time I picked up a pencil to draw after my high school days, I did it to relax after a hard day at work. I eventually found myself drawing every day and wanting to do more. In time, I came to realize that creating for hours on end would actually make me happier. Eventually, I had to choose between my new-found creative interests and a high-energy & demanding corporate career. I took time off to clear my head, did my best to assess my options realistically. I decided to go with my gut and see where the journey would take me.
How can you describe your own style?
I am creating realistic artwork, so I would say contemporary realism. I am open to experimentation however, and you never know what the future (and more experience) may bring!
Do you have a personal favorite piece? Can you think of a piece that was particularly fun to work on?
Every piece I make is dear to me. I have a soft spot for portraits and the human figure, because I enjoy the particular challenges they pose.
Where do you derive your inspiration from? Do you have a painting, which inspires you?
Besides the technical aspect of capturing light and how it plays with different materials (I am a bit of a perfectionist), I derive inspiration from stories. I love working on pieces that tell a story, and I get inspiration from other peoples’ experiences – particularly artists I admire and aspire to.
Which artist of the past would you most like to meet?
What is your favorite art gallery / museum and why?
The Museo Del Prado in Madrid. The impression I got from their collection of old masters’ paintings (particularly by Velazquez) pushed me over the edge to decide to pursue art.
What was the last exhibition you went to?
The permanent exhibition at National Gallery of Corfu, Greece. I enjoy discovering part of my home country’s art tradition.
Which artist materials do you use and why?
Out of everything I’ve tryed in oil painting, I prefer to paint with Old Holland. They are the most pigment-rich brand I’ve tried by far.
More about Dimitrios: instagram.com/dmiliotis.