Who are you and how did you start making art? Why do you make art?
My name is Effie Theodosiou, I am an illustrator and muralist from Ottawa! I have always made art my entire life. I remember painting on my walls and creating collages since I was small. Lucky for me my parents did not mind when I painted the walls! I started seriously pursuing art in 2020. I had discovered many illustrators I loved a few years prior and bought myself a tablet and started creating digital art. It started out as a creative escape from my 9-5 job working in buying and it has since evolved so much! I make art because it calms me. Whenever I am stressed or overwhelmed, it is one of the things that keeps me calm.
What do you do to get into your creative zone?
I have a specific playlist of songs that inspire me, and I always listen to that while I am creating. Also starting the day off right, taking time to journal, doing some yoga and drinking lots of water, keeps me focused. I also keep artwork around my desk to inspire me and remind myself why I create art.
What is your inspiration? Or how has your personal experience influenced your creativity?
I really love plants and the environment. I also really love fashion. Growing up fashion was something that my mom and I both loved, and we always shared different brands or styles we saw. I always saw it as a way to make yourself feel good. As I got older and studied fashion business, I learned about the impacts that fashion has on our planet, specifically fast fashion. That prompted a shift in my thinking and drove me more towards art. Murals and illustrations are a way that I can get those ‘feel good’ feelings without the guilt of overconsumption.
What is your most important artists’ tool, the one thing you couldn’t imagine creating without?
I would say the ‘align’ tool in Adobe Illustrator, I like everything centered!
How has your practice changed over the past 2 years?
In the past two years I have grown a lot as an artist. I have understood more about my worth and what I can bring to the table as an artist. My skill set has evolved and I am so much more confident in my abilities than I was when I started.
What is your dream creative project or dream team collaboration?
Any project where the company or partner is supportive of the environment, is a dream collab to me! If I had to get super specific I would say I would love to work with a non-profit that works on ocean cleanup and conservation.
Who are your biggest influences (art, music, film, socials, activism etc)?
Definitely Gittemarie Johansen, she is a green activist in Denmark and she is so funny. She is who really introduced me to the idea of zero-waste and what that looks like for different people. I also love watching Disney movies, specifically older films. It is amazing thinking about all the hand drawn animation that went into each movie. From an artistic standpoint, I think PANDR Design company has helped me so much. They inspire me everyday and have taught me so much about being an artistic business.
What is the role of an artist in society?
I think our role is to express a feeling with our work. My goal is to always make people inspired with my work. I want them to feel calm and cozy and ready to take on whatever life throws their way, like a lazy Sunday!
Do you have any tips or practices to share with people who are making the lifestyle shift towards zero-waste and sustainable practices?
I would definitely recommend checking out Gittemarie Johansen on YouTube and Instagram, she has so many tips and tricks. Besides that I would say that just being conscious and doing your best is often the most productive way to do it. You can’t go from 100 to zero-waste overnight. The best thing you can do is use what you have first before buying anything else. If you have plastic bags right now, use those up bring buying a tote bag. Use up your cleaners before starting to make your own, and research the companies you shop from.
What is the highlight of collaborating with Wrappr for you?
The highlight for me is that it is a Canadian company that is providing a solution to wrapping paper, bows, tape and all the other waste that goes along with it. Wrappr makes it easy to be less wasteful and supports artists while doing it. I can’t think of anything better. I am very honoured to have been able to create pieces for Wrappr and I can’t wait to see the many ways in which they will be used.
What is your favourite way to use a Wrappr?
Every time there is a large occasion, like Christmas, I am overwhelmed with the thought of how much waste is produced. My family and I a few years ago switched over to using kraft paper and twine to wrap our gifts and we try to not use tape. We save all the paper and twine we can to use again the following year. The only thing I have a hard time with is the fact that eventually the paper rips and we can’t use it, and it isn’t as pretty as normal wrapping paper. Wrappr solves all those problems I have! I love it.