Interview with Greka magazine
Graphicart-news in Grekamag
“Since I started this blog in 2010, I have featured more than 800 artists from around the world”…
The following interview was recently conducted by Costis Pierides, from Greka magazine, about my blog and poster art and published on the website grekamag.gr. The following text is a translation from the original interview which was published in Greek. Photographs are by Aleksandros Akrivos.
Graphicart-news.com interview by Costis Pierides
Maria Papaefstathiou made her love for graphic design and poster, a very successful blog. Presents and essentially detects the most innovative and interesting posters worldwide. Innovative ideas, international championships, competitions, festival posters, a microcosm of graphic design and aesthetic perfection. I met her and talked about all of them and about her future plans. Posters and graphics ie.
“I started my blog in 2010, but initially I was not quite so focused. It’s about a year that I started to feed it more systematically. My goal is to feature 4-5 articles a week. but of course, it’s not always possible to keep it on schedule, with all other projects running at the same time. I am working as an art director at Stamoulis Publications in Athens, Greece, but also as an artist, designing posters for social issues. And from there my hobby is my blog. I do not publish my own projects there, instead, I feature works that I love and inspire me and that I believe will inspire others too.
As a designer, I have participated in several social awareness exhibitions such as. In 2011, with the social activist artist from Jamaica, Michael Thompson, widely known as Freestylee, we launched an international competition, named International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC). I discovered Michael through my blog, searching for new articles. His work blew my mind since I saw it on Flickr. I had the honour to interview him and since then we collaborated with the IRPC, and other design projects.
For me, graphic design is a tool of communication. Posters are those I create to express my thoughts but also to find peace in my soul. It is a passion. It is not just something to fill my time but it is a way to fulfil myself. When I design something that is too challenging, to get it right, I feel very exhausted for a couple of days but at the same time, it is what excites me. Sometimes, I feel like my soul feels thirsty, then I know it’s time for a new poster.
This feeling is something I didn’t have in the past and I think that what is happening now is an indication that I will not stop creating and will not ever give up this blog.
What makes me feel awesome when I publish a new article is to see the first visitors coming from America, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, UK, Carribean, Japan, almost every corner of the world. I feel as though they passed the door of my house, to come in and say hello. It’s a wonderful feeling to hear so many “Hello”! The next is when you hear “thank you” is undoubtedly the largest payment. Actually, it is the only payment I get from this blog as I don’t use it as another income, and if I receive something that hardly covers the cost of maintenance. Neither ever care to see that. It’s just a great love to share such beautiful artworks and make happy so many new talents.
The world has accepted the blog greatly. The blog has tremendous traffic to the extent that I initially could not imagine. There are many artists who have asked me to do articles and tributes to their work and this is a great honour for me.
The first graphic designer to give significant support came from a friend of mine, Vasilis Magoulas aka VamaDesign, who was extremely supportive in the early stages of implementing the blog. I am grateful for this assistance. Since then I have received enormous support from the Greek visual artist Charis Tsevis. Charis who live in Athens is one of my most ardent supporters, and always find time to sit for coffee to discuss the blog’s progress. When I got involved in the world of poster design, I was also lucky to have many good supportive friends who advise and helped me transition on this new creative path. Some of those who were instrumental are Andrew Lewis, Roy Villalobos, Yossi Lemel, Richard Doubleday and Michael Iva. I have to thank them all.
There are some of my posters for which I am very proud of because they were used to raise awareness and funds for charity. One of my most memorable poster design was for the great liberator Nelson Mandela; for an initiative titled the “Mandela Poster Project.” My poster was chosen from among 700+ global participation. Today this poster travels to various countries of the world from Africa to Greece, also to many online design magazines and blogs. These posters were used to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. I am also proud to contribute my Reggae posters to our International Reggae Poster Contest, to raise money for a very important but needy school on the Island of Jamaica, the Alpha Boys’ School, this school produced some of Jamaica’s greatest musicians.
Recently I have begun designing a series of posters celebrating a very special music for me “Rebetiko”. These posters honour the Rebetiko musicians and their amazing contribution to Greek music and our popular culture. The project is still in progress and I am very encouraged by the support for the art so far. My design techniques draw strong influences from the Cubism and Futurism styles, for example, the posters I created on the subject of, Solitude, Rape and the Fifa World cup 2014 were designed using those two influences.
I would love to express my biggest gratitude to my friend and partner Michael Thompson who inspired and encourage me to confidently explore my hidden skills.