Introducing Danai Smoustopoulou, a talented graphic designer from the vibrant city of Athens, Greece. With nearly six years of experience in the advertising industry and armed with a Graphic Design degree from the Technological Institute of Athens, she's been making waves in the creative world. From a young age, Danai discovered her passion for art, a journey that has not only honed her artistic skills but also shaped her character and beliefs. Rather than chasing wealth, her primary goal has always been to find professional fulfillment and happiness. Despite being largely self-taught as an artist, her graphic design studies have significantly deepened her understanding of colors and composition.
As an illustrator, Danai thrives in the digital realm, using her trusty tablet for project development and experimentation before translating her ideas onto canvas. While digital art has its place in her creative process, traditional art holds a special spot in her heart. In her studio, you'll find her fully immersed in the world of acrylics on canvas, with a recent penchant for exploring larger-scale works.
Being an artist, to Danai, is nothing short of a gift—a unique connection akin to a friendship. She often likens art to this relationship, acknowledging that it can be warm and inviting at times, and at other times, a bit distant and cold. Regardless, it remains unfailingly honest, and that authenticity is what she cherishes most. Below you will find our interview with Danai and all the amazing things she shared with us.
Tell us a few words about yourself and your art. How did your artistic journey begin?
Art, for me, is the window through which I see a way for my everyday life to gain real meaning. I find it invaluable that I can make a living from something I love without having to wait for a weekend or a day off. Painting has always been a constant element in my life since childhood. I can't remember when I started, but I remember that in 2018, I decided to seriously pursue painting and illustration. After three years of working in something I didn't consider ideal for me, I decided to focus exclusively on evolving my art.
Would you like to talk about one of your works that stand out and why?
From my digital works, I distinguish the pink cat, or "Meawd." In the simplicity that characterizes this work, without many colors or intense contrasts, I find strong elements of expression and balance. I have tried to reproduce this work in various ways on the screen, on paper, and on canvas, and it's one of the few that doesn't tire me to paint many times. Although I wouldn't characterize myself as a minimalist artist, I find works that, in their simplicity, manage to evoke intense emotions, perhaps even more than others that are more detailed, incredibly interesting.
What is the source of your inspiration, where do you draw your themes from?
Every brushstroke, every color, every form, and every composition conceal my daily thoughts, emotions, and even my dreams. Usually, before I start painting, I wait a few minutes for an idea to appear in my mind. Once I find the basic inspiration, such as a girl on the beach, I add details in the form of a sketch, incorporating elements from related themes until the composition is complete. Then, I instinctively decide whether to use colors or not. I have also noticed that many times my works reflect moments of tranquility. It's probably because when I paint, I feel calm and secure or simply because I have a calm personality.
What do you consider the highlight of your artistic journey, and do you have any goals for the future?
I feel that I am still very young to have a highlight in my artistic journey. I believe I am at the beginning of my career, with much to learn and give. For me, the most important step I took, and I owe it to art, is to leave the stability of an ordinary office job and pursue what I want to do, as naive and dreamy as it may sound. This decision marks the starting point and the most critical moment of my artistic journey so far.
For the future, I wish to evolve and become better than I am now. Specifically, I would like to have more solo and group exhibitions and collaborate in the field of illustration with larger brands. I can also imagine Labeldone evolving with a team working behind it, and I would be able to focus exclusively on the design aspect of each collection.
This year, you had your solo exhibition; how would you describe this experience?
The exhibition I presented in October represents for me an expression of love and support from all those I feel close to in recent years. It was a beautiful experience that I enjoyed without any stress. The exhibition featured works from the last three years, and by observing them all together, I could clearly see my evolution and the various phases of my journey as an artist. Another interesting element was the different perspective each viewer had for each work, which sometimes was completely different from mine.
Are you currently working on something? would you tell us a bit about it?
The most immediate and significant news I have to share with you is the opening of my e-Shop www.danaismouart.com. It's something I have been preparing for a while, and I feel proud and excited! People will be able to find original works, art prints from my digital illustrations, stickers, and Labeldone collections from time to time.
All artworks and photographs copywrites belong to Danai Smoustopoulou & the photographer.