q)Please introduce yourself.
a)My name is Meni Tzima, I am an illustrator.
q) Where do you live and work?
a)I live and work in Athens, Greece together with my husband, Nicko, and Ozi, our orange cat. We are the owners of Dinnerr, a small design studio. We offer print and web design services. I specialize in illustration & character design.
q) How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
a)I like using colour and I enjoy experimenting with it. I also enjoy drawing characters. In general, I create happy images
q) How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?
a)I’m drawing ever since I can remember myself Just because I really loved drawing, I received my sketching & painting training from a very young age. At a later stage, I studied graphic design in Athens and after graduation I found a job as a full time illustrator. Two years later, I decided to become a freelance illustrator and work on my own projects.
q) What are your favorite art materials and why?
a)For illustration commissions, I use pencils for the rough sketches and then, I finish the work on the computer. When I paint, my favorite materials are coloured pencils, acrylics and Indian ink.
q) What/who influences you most?
a)A walk in the city, music, anything that gets me in the mood to paint.
q) Describe a typical day of art making for you.
a)I wake up, press snooze button, wake up again, play with my cat, dress, go to work, make coffee, check emails, decide the kind of music to listen to, do what needs to be done, make random sketches to random pieces of paper and forget about them for months, do more stuff that need to be done, play, do more work, play again.
q) Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?
a)No special goals, my plan is to keep working, and see what happens.
q) What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?
a)I’m interested in painting, animation, story writing, toys, comics, … I wish I had the time to do it all!
q) How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?
a)It depends on the project. When I’m working on commissioned projects I am working fast . On a personal level of work, I have many unfinished pieces, but I do finish them eventually. Not too many, but I have too many ideas I’d like to work on and so many sketches I should start working on. I think that what I love doing the most is sketching and planning new projects.
q) Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?
a)I get commissioned to create illustrations or characters and licence my work for certain uses. I like seeing my work used and making my clients happy. Also, I enjoy selling original artworks or giving them as presents to my friends. Making people happy with my art makes me feel good. Very often I get attached to my artworks but I see it as my creations are adopted by other people who love them the same as I love them. I like thinking that they started their life somewhere else.
q) Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?
a)Yes, music is very important to me. In general I’m listening to post rock & metal , usually progressive death & doom metal. Lately I’ve been listening a lot to : Opeth, Ataraxie, Burning witch, Disembowelment, Godspeed you! Black Emperor and I will always listen to King Diamond because he is the King after all Although the music I listen to is nothing like the work I produce, I think there is a connection between my work and the music I listen to.
a)I love books. I read many stuff, I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s writing, his stories are so beautiful. I also enjoy collecting and reading horror books for fun.
q) What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?
a)None. I like to paint when I feel good and then I feel even better.
q) What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?
a)Watching films, reading, playing video games, cooking, drinking beer, playing with my cat. Fun stuff.
q) Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?
a)I’ve been working on a personal project for the past couple of years between commissioned projects. It is a story about 2 characters living in a strange world. I keep working on the story, the world and the characters and I’m very excited about it. I hope I will be able to show it to the world soon
q) Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?
a)I try to look at art and see new things from different artists every day. I visit some blogs, I receive newsletters from artists I like, follow interesting people on twitter, I also like the randomness of fffound.
q) Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.
q) Any advice for aspiring artists?
a)Always remember to be yourself and be nice!
q) Where can we see more of your work online?
a) www.yupyland.com my portfolio
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yupyland/ more work and fun photos
http://yupyland.blogspot.com/ my blog
www.dinnerr.gr our design studio