Eventually I saved some money and bought my first DSLR and shooting scenes became my new hobby. Soon I discovered that simply just taking photographs was not producing what I wanted to see on my monitor . . . and, here we are now.
In many ways I see you as a digital artist or image-maker more than just a photographer. Would you agree with this assessment?
I can’t deny your opinion. Some may call me photographer, others an artist. I'm taking a lot of pictures, I use a camera, and I borrow stuff (digital images) sometimes as well. But the final result is never a pure photograph since I’m using techniques to manipulate them such as paint, Photoshop, and more.
I don't really know in what field or category I belong, but this is the way I like to work with images. For me, the only value is in the final image not in what type of artist people consider me.
How long would you estimate each image takes to create?
In the past I used to work many hours only for a single process, for example cutting photos. Now I'm a bit faster, although I typically need a couple of hours to create most of the scene. It can take multiple days to create just a single image when you consider everything from brainstorming, adding details, improving visual quality, problems that arise throughout the process, etc. It really just depends on the picture and each one has its own journey and value.
Are your Photoshop & editing skills largely self-taught or did you study the craft at university or with a mentor?
When I started in this field I was totally self-taught. What I mean by "totally self-taught" is I didn’t even look for tutorials or books on the subject. I just opened the software and played with it. I would spend my time trying to understand what all that buttons do and how to best use them.
I never had a mentor or anything. However, I used to show some pre and post works to friends to see what they thought. So, in a sense, they were my mentors.
Your images tend to evoke a surreal dreamscape like feeling that resonates with the viewer – is that part of your goal with each image or is it purely an organic creation from something that comes to mind that you enjoy?
I think my mind tends to gravitate toward creating pictures that involve some surreal qualities within a natural environment. I can't describe why or how I end up with that style, it just happens. A lot of my pictures are non-motivated.
I enjoy looking at works of people who are forcing their ideas at pictures, even if there are not technically right.
You’re from Crete and many of your photographs were taken in Heraklion. Has growing up in such a historically rich city impacted you artistically and personally?
Greece is a very beautiful country in general and Heraklion city has many memorable places. Everyone who visits these historical monuments, can find inspiration and feel at home with past generations
During the last few years you have likely heard about the situation in Greece. Almost every Greek citizen knows the meaning and seriousness of the current economic crisis. Every young person is constantly facing the fear of a blank future, and I’m not an exception to that.
You’ll notice that I started working with pictures when the crisis in Greece started. So, if anything the current situation in my home country has impacted me more than its rich history. Seeing the problems facing people in the present and the uncertain future is what truly affects me.