Interview with surreal artist George Karakasoglou

George Karakasoglou is a Greek artist and occasionally works as an illustrator. He attempts to narrate stories through his paintings. Surreal, autobiographical, maybe fairy tales. Colorful to black and white,  complex compositions and intentional use of distortion redound to final  resault. He has been showing in galleries with personal or group exhibitions. He participated in international art fairs like Swab Barcelona and ArtAthina Athens with Kaplanon galeries. Karakasoglou‘s illustration also has two nominations in category “illustrated Children’s book” in greek “DIABAZO” awards and Greek Children’s Book Cyrcle.
Hello dear George, please, tell us how did you find the artist inside you? How long have you been doing art? Is art something that you always wanted to do?

I’m doing art since I was young. In my opinion everyone is an artist but some of us never quit of being that.  I guess I’m a crative person. If it wasn’t art it surely would be something else like decorating ,customizing, designing...
What was / is your major influences? Other artists, books, movies, music or any other media....What inspires you to create your artworks?
I like movies, comics, cartoons, music. I admire Flemish painters, pre raphaelites, surrealists, futurists. Kandinsky, Otto Dix, Klimt, Escher, Marck Ryden are just few of them that their work thrill me so much and gives me the motivation to work harder and improve my self. Like an alarm which awakes my creativity. I also love the art of some illustrators and graffity artist.

How does "a normal day of artist" in your life look like?
I’m just a normal artist! I also paint a lot.

What’s your background? Are you self-taught artist or did you study art? Do you think an art education is important or imperitive for anybody wishing to be an artist? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you have encountered throughout your career with/without the formal training of the Art Academy?
I studied art at National School of Fine Arts of Sofia, (Bulgaria). In my opinion art education it’s not that important as long as you keep your vision of what you are doing clear and your eyes open to absorb.

Sometimes, formal training might have an influence on work that is not truly yours but you have to follow the „rules“. On the other hand an art academy can provide you with knowledge that it’s to difficult to find out yourself.

What fascinates you the most about surrealism? How would you describe your style? What themes do you pursue, what surrealism mean to you and what do you hope the viewer will take away from your art?
It‘s to difficult for me to say what fascinates me the most in surrealism. It’s the feeling of the adventure to those new worlds, the endless imagination, the freedom to express your emotions ... The themes that inspire me inspire every one of us, hope, suffering, love, money, sex, religion, death, power. My works its like narrating of a story. I like to include past, present, and future in my paintings.  I hope with the use of cartoonish, sometimes even childish characters and intentional distortion of the figures ,colourful and complex composition, through narration to activate the power of the creative child within ourselfes, so redefining our adult concerns.

What do you love most about creating and being an artist? What does “being creative” mean to you?
It takes the meaningless out of my life. Its an every day procedure of renewing and reconsidering. An everyday small victory.

Can you describe your typical workflow when you’re working on your art? What are your tools of trade? What medium do you most often use and why?
I’m working whith oils, acrylics, ballpoint pens, watercolurs, coloured pencil... it depends on the idea, the sketches I’ve done to end up to the final composition. Then I transfer it to paper ,or canvas, or wood and i move on with the medium I feel that fits.  Love them all equally!
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
I’d like to work with clay or paper mache and try to make some sculptures.
Tell us more about your workspace. What was the most funny or weird thing that happened to you in your studio? What is / was the most strange thing hidding in your studio?
I guess the funniest thing is I never had one. I mean studio. Because of the nature of my job didn’t have the opportunity to have a studio. I hope in the immediate future I’ll have one and a couple of funny stories.

What toughest challenges have you faced as an artist during your art career? What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
No. 1 to find galleries to show your work (the art word know what I mean) and no. 2  working on two jobs at the same time. The 1st as an artist the secont one just any job to do for living.
Biggest lesson, be flexible.

What’s the best and worst advice you ever received in your art career?
Best: Do something that you feel worthy for yourself.
Worst: Too many details, too babble.

What do you dislike about the art world? What is the hardest thing on being an artist? Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I’d like to look at the possitive side, otherwise it hurts my creativity.

Where do you see yourself in the future? Professionally, what’s your goal?
To be able to focus entirely on my art and have the oportunity to show my work worldwide (the second part already fulfilled with the efforts of  Kaplanon galleries who represent me).

Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? Maybe advice for beginning artists out there?
Practice at every level.

Your favorite art or life quote is ...
"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it". - Maya Angelou

What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?
 Trying to have fun, be with people I like, talk a lot, have new experiences. I also like to ride my bike, playing basketball, some kickbox, reading books, comics...

Do you have an online portfolio, blog or social medias where we can view your work?
You could  find more of my work on my website or Facebook.
Is there anything else you’d like to say? Is there any project you are working on right now or any ongoing event or exhibition you would like to share with our readers?
I am working on a project for an exhibition about William Shakespeare and another one about Nikos Kazantzakis. Also trying some new ideas with my painting, I hope they will work out so I’ll be able to share them. I feel honored for this inderview to be among artist i really admire!
Thank you dear George, it was a honor to interview you, I wish you only the best for you and your art and already looking forward to see your new art works :)
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