Faery in Ink
Interview with Katerina Koukiotis
How To Become a Children's Book Author
Interview with Katerina KoukiotisArtist Spotlight
by Constanza Ehrenhaus
Katerina was born in Greece and came to the USA with her family. Her art is soft and sweet, reflecting probably what is in her soul. She is not only a good artist; Katerina is a wonderful person, always taking time to encourage other artists to continue with their journey and having nice words for everybody.
How did you end up in the USA?
As a youngster with my parents and brother, when they moved from Greece to the U.S. in the late 70's.
How long ago did you start drawing professionally?
4-5 years ago.
Your favorite medium seems to be graphite. Why is this?
Since I was little holding a pencil in my hand just came naturally to me. I love the control I have over it. Also, I don't think there is any other art medium with the exception maybe of oil that can get a traditional artwork to look so real and lifelike. It’s amazing what a simple little tool like a graphite pencil can do. It's so versatile; you can create so many different textures and soft shades of gray.
I love detailed work, and pencil is the number 1 art medium for details. It also helps that you don't need an easel or any special equipment to create; you can do pencil work even on your knees. And the best part? No clean up or washing art tools afterwards! ;)
Why do you choose monochromes?
I love the simplicity and beauty of it.
What is your technique in your colored pieces?
I like to use colored pencil with pastels, alone or with wet medium. For the last two years I have been using watercolor more frequently, painting backgrounds, laying light washes on portraits or figures, then going over details with colored pencils or watercolor pencils. To bring out highlights I use my white charcoal pencil, white gouache and sometimes white acrylic.
What tools do you use to transform traditional pieces into digital files? Do you think the digital file represents your original faithfully?
I don't think any digital file can do justice to an original drawing or painting. Scanning alone can be very tricky sometimes, getting it to match original colors. The originals are always so much more beautifully vibrant and detailed in person, but we have to rely on digital resources to post and share our work, and for that I'm grateful.
I have Paint Shop Pro 8, a graphic software program that I scan my work through and prepare my files for the Internet. I also use the program for making prints, designing wallpapers and graphics for my website and designs for my art products.
How do you feel about digital art, and why you choose to stick to traditional media?
I think digital art is beautiful. I have many favorite digital artists who do amazing work, but digital art is not for me. I like working with art traditional media to bring my artwork to life. I like the feeling of holding traditional pencils and paint brushes in my hands, sketching and creating on paper or canvas, and getting messy sometimes. ;)
What are ACEOs and why you make so many? Is there any advantage to them over other sizes?
ACEO stands for "Art Cards, Editions and Originals". These cards have one main rule -- they are 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches, the size of a trading card. Working so small can be faster, which is an advantage, but it can also be very tricky. You need control and a steady hand to draw or paint so small, it can also be eye-straining.
I love ACEO's. I got into doing them a couple years ago, trading with other artists, and got addicted to them. I love the fact that i can draw or paint something that inspires me and I know it won't take me forever to finish it. You can quickly build up a little ACEO gallery. They are very popular and highly collectible among ACEO collectors. I now sell original ACEOs on eBay, and ACEO limited art prints from my website. They are affordable and collectible.
How did you get in the business of portrait commissions?
I advertised on my website, galleries, etc.; accepting commission requests; also letting people know off-line. But I find online advertisement works the best for me; so many people from around the country and world can see your art, as opposed to a small number of people.
What do you think is your strength and weakness in art?
I think my strength is my pencil work/shading, capturing emotions and expressions in portrait work, my patience... once I understand how an art medium behaves/works, I tend to learn fast. My weakness would be perspective and backgrounds. I would love to improve on adding more difficult backgrounds in my artwork.
The eternal debate: finger smudging, yes or no?
LOL... I know it's not recommended, but I do smudge/blend with my fingers now and then. But i always make sure my fingers are clean. :)
Do you have a favorite piece? Which one?
This is so difficult for me to answer. Favorite pieces tend to change because I do new art all the time and with new artworks come new favorites. I like fans of my work to pick favorites. :)
How does your family feel about you being an artist?
They love my art; especially my mom. She's my number 1 fan. :)
How does your religious life influence your art?
It influences it in a very positive way I think the sensitivity, softness people often comment in my artwork definitely comes from my faith. My religious artworks are very special to me.
Where can the readers buy your art?
My website where I sell my originals and prints. Other online outlets where I list my art for sale are: ebay, etsy and zazzle
What Others Say
Katarina's work is just great. There's something very magical about her creations. Every work she does evokes emotion, and that's what every artist is shooting for. ~Brian Duey
Katerina is easily one of the nicest, most caring people I know. When I first met her, what struck me most was not only her passion for art and her dedication to it, but also her sincerity and helpfulness towards other artists and the fans of her art. She's a talented portraitist who has a knack for capturing unique emotion and setting in her pieces. Her art has a unique touch of innocence and candor to it that you just don't find too often nowadays. I'm very glad to call Katerina my friend and colleague. - Maria William
Kat is just one of those persons you wish the world had more of. Kind, caring, and an all around amazing character! I love her and am happy that I met her! - Ida walker
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