Art by Konu Community Spotlight
In this month’s community spotlight, we sat down with Greek artist Panos Zizos, also known as @ziz_crew on Instagram from Kastoria, Greece to talk about his passion for art.
Why did you choose murals and street art? What brought you to those mediums to express yourself?
I’ve been doing graffiti for many years, and for some reason this form of art has always been very interesting to me since I was a child.
I remember myself gazing at murals for hours. It was exciting to see painted walls, especially during times when graffiti was not so popular and even seen as heretical. It was rather groundbreaking and alternative during those years, even though it has since become widely accepted and popular! I really enjoy this!
What I also enjoy is the interaction with people who walk by when you create something in the street. It is magical. I feel that I bring people closer to art.
How many murals have you done? If you could choose a number, how many do you want to complete in your career?
During the last 3 years I have done around 30 murals. It is hard to keep count though, and I don’t really care about the number. What I want is to keep improving as an artist and continue creating for as long as I need.
If you could choose anywhere in the world to paint a mural, where would it be?
That’s hard to say. There are so many amazing places and big festivals around the world which always attract artists’ interest. But I would surely choose a place where graffiti is not so popular, because I feel that it would really benefit the people by addressing social problems and opening new perspectives to them or even bring them closer to new ideas. I feel that art can do that.
You went to school for a long time. From what I see, you have achieved some impressive levels of education. As an artist and an educator, do you ever struggle between the two identities? Do the goals ever become conflicted?
Personally, I don’t really like labels, I started working with graffiti in its traditional form and throughout the years it all began to evolve and transform into something different.
My postgraduate studies in Special Education as well as my experience in Greek public schools have influenced my work, and as a result, I think it is crucial to use my work to raise awareness about important social matters such as bullying, discrimination, and diversity.
For most artists, the goal is to evolve both personally as well as artistically, and this evolution is determined by their education and work experience.
You take empty walls and create a place of love and imagination. I think you have a special talent. How do you stay creative?
I think the constant struggle to improve myself is what makes me creative. The moment you think you’ve made it, you will have lost it! However, I really enjoy and appreciate the praise my works receive from people. The praise I get helps to prevent me from thinking that I do not have talent.
Are you ever fearful that your design will not turn out how you imagined it?
I think every artist has faced failure and this is actually the only way to learn and evolve. The truth is that every time I start something new I feel anxious and scared, especially until I have designed and arranged everything on the wall. After that, the fun part begins!
The videos on your YouTube Channel (ziz one) are really good. The cinematography is quite show stopping! Do you hire a professional to shoot your videos?
Thank you, I am glad you were able to see it this way. The only ‘professionals’ I hire are friends, passersby, and anyone willing to help! But most of my videos are shoot by me, with the help of a tripod and my Smartphone.
Has the Covid-19 Pandemic affected your work as an artist?
When the lock-down forces you to stay inside, your work falls behind since it is an outdoor art form. But at the same time, the unprecedented effects of the pandemic have offered great inspiration to several artists.
That is understandable. The pandemic has affected the entire world, but I think you would agree that it is very important to savour the happy moments in our lives. For you, what does the best part of your day look like?
I don’t really have that much free time, especially the last two years. When you work and attend two Master’s programs simultaneously while also doing art projects, there is little time to relax. But when I do manage to find some time I like visit museums and art exhibitions.
Thank you for spending time with us so that we could have the opportunity to learn about your artistic passion. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future, and hope that you will prosper in your future artistic endeavors.
To learn more about Panos Zizos, check out his page on:
Facebook Panos Zizos
YouTube: ziz one