Joanna, or as her friends call her, Joe, is a Greek artist whose art really is something different. What impressed me the most, was the mysterious aura that she effortlessly manages to pass through her work. Even though she is only 23 years old, her art is quite mature and the melancholy of her creations creates a romantic atmosphere that will definitely mesmerize you. And that’s exactly why I decided to approach Joe for an exclusive interview, which I am so excited to share with you below. Our talk was long and personal, but I will cut to the chase and give you what you are looking forward to: an artist’s raw view on her own art. For more of her work you can check her Instagram account, sappy.jo.
How would you describe your work in a few words?
“Hmm, mysterious I suppose and atmospheric… People often describe it as impressive, and I can only hope that my work creates intense feelings to. I’d say that a common denominator between my creations is the intense expressions on the faces and the melancholy that- for good or bad- is profound in my sketches.”
How did you get started and what are your influences artistically?
“I was familiar with drawing but it was mostly caricatures and comics that I used to do in school, in order to deal with the endless boredom during class. I seriously started to draw as a release during a pretty tough period in my life about three years ago. I can’t really say that I have a certain person whose work gives me the most inspiration, but from a young age I would feel a strong attraction towards darkness and melancholia. Once an (let’s rule out wannabe) emo, always an emo.”
What do you love the most about creating your art? Are there are any deeper messages you are trying to communicate through your work?
“The time I spend working on my projects, always gives me a feeling of redemption, no matter what the outcome is. I get lost when I draw and I never know how it will come out and at some point a clearer image for what I want to pass through forms. There is a deeper message to whatever I create, but the most important think for me is to leave room for interpretation, so I try to be as inconspicuous as I can.”
What’s the hardest part of being an artist in today’s day and age?
“As of today, I can’t say that I’ve faced too many difficulties, life was pretty kind to me on that aspect. Maybe one thing that comes off the top of my head, is the older generations find it hard to understand that this is a real job, but that’s mostly their problem, amirite?”
What are you working on right now? What are your plans for the future?
“These days my goal is to take this final turn that will completely set a distance between me and my old, unpractical and unsustainable. I am working on my character and my technique so I can trust myself enough in order to follow my dreams. This winter, I am starting as a tattoo apprentice at Tattoo & Piercing Studio.”
What inspires you the most?
“Everything in the beginning is a vague idea that comes from a few lyrics, a song title, or just a simple thought. Even the shadow of a leaf that creates an interesting shape can be an inspiration for me! My general guide, however, are always my raw feelings which manifest on the paper in their purest form.”
What would your number 1 advice be for those who are just getting started in creating art?
“Do not give up. No matter how far away your goal seems to be right now, everyday that you work on your art and yourself, you evolve. You become a better artist and a better person, even if you don’t realize it right away. The difference will be visible over time. Until you reach that point, however, you need to keep working even when you don’t feel like it. Discipline and tenacity will get you a long way. But learning to fight for what you love is all worth it.”
And lastly, what’s the weirdest thing about you, that no one would have guessed?
“Oh that’s a tough one! Probably the weirdest one would be the fact that I really like the vast majority of people. Yes, probably even you, reading this passage right now, are one of my favorite people, even though I don’t know you! Some people would think of it as a weakness, but for me it’s a blessing and I keep feeling grateful that this positive energy seems to be infinite”.