The dancing pencil
Every product of an artist, must be the expression of an adventure of his soul “. Somerset Maugham, a British writer, once said. Elina Papathanassiou, has been painting since she can remember. Her workplace is full of colors. Small and large brushes. Thin and thick. Brushes and pencils. Lots of Pencils. Harder and softer. A bright place, where Elina expresses herself and creates. In that space, every day, lives a new adventure.
Elina, was born in Athens. She studied French literature and music. She was making illustrations for children’s rooms, on demand. She is engaged in calligraphy but above all she is a “mom”. “I have been painting since I can remember. Painting, was not an option for me. It was a natural evolution. Only with painting i can be “me”. I was making illustrations for children’s rooms, on demand – custom. But I really like notebooks, and anything that is related to stationery. At one point I made a notebook for a girlfriend. In fact, I wanted to make fun of her, I thought “what would Angie be like in a cartoon” and more immediately other cartoons followed. That’s how the little “dancing pencil” was born”. Elina tells us at humanstories.gr.
Elina’s notebooks, through which we met her, have a personality. Through her work, you can see Elina herself. Her cartoons have a clarity in their expressions. A brightness in their eyes. Just like Elina’s microcosm. Clean and bright. The pencil for Elina is her most important accessory. With a pencil in hand, the artist can do wonders. And that’s how the name little dancing pencil came out. “The reason the page were named that way is because one pencil is enough. Handmade illustrators are obsessed with materials. There are a lot of brushes in my office. Inks, colors of all kinds. Everything is needed. But even a pencil is enough to make wonders. The materials do not make the artist. I try to remember this when I’m getting ready to spend on paints, the budget for the supermarket of the month” she continues.
Elina’s pencil never stops “dancing”. But what process does it take to create a diary-notebook? “Before I make a notebook, I try to find out as much information as I can about the person being pictured on it. The goal of the project, is to be as personal as possible. I usually need a day to complete it. But that time may change. It depends on several factors”. Elina tells us and continues: “Calligraphy is a form of meditation. It’s not just your mind and hands that are working at the moment, even if your posture is adjusted differently. It requires concentration and calmness and when you are the mother of a small child, that becomes a great challenge. People imagine the illustrators a little differently. Sitting in the drawing room waiting for inspiration while the sun sets with a cup of coffee. But the truth is that most of the time you just sit and work, like the teacher, the carpenter, the bookseller. We all do a job, and when you don’t have inspiration, you start planning and inspiration fids you.”
The philosophy of the “little dancing pencil” and the agony of the Artist.“Most notebooks are meant for gifts. That is something that excites me first of all. This is exactly the philosophy of the “little dancing pencil”. The gift. People who love other people and give them something as personal as a notebook. I always ask for impressions when a notebook is given. To be honest I look forward to it. It is important for me that the recipient is happy, out of respect for the people who trusted me. “
The reaction of the people… “I am often told: ‘I am thinking of not using it because I am afraid I will spoil it’, but if you do not use it, it does not fulfill its purpose. If you don’t use it, you don’t enjoy it. It is not a painting that you just looking and admire it. After all, even if it’s filled with notes, it’s something you can keep forever. Okay, his pages will end at some point, but it won’t be interesting to see what you read, what you were thinking, even what you bought from the supermarket 10 years ago? Elina ends.