I consider Yiakou as a storyteller. Romantic – sensitive street artworks around downtown Athens – Greece. July belongs to his dreamy work full of colors and imagination…
What does your name mean, how did you come up with it and at what age did you create your first piece in a public space?
My name is Yiakou. For me it is something very simple, simpler than my regular name. If you ask me, I definitely prefer being called with this name which I have chosen that with the one that I have been given. I have now been identified with the name Yiakou.
Have you studied art, do you earn your living as a street artist?
I haven’t done any studies, nor have I ever been taught (officially) by someone my art. My creativity and my identity comes from within, but at the same time due to the artistic egoism, my tendency to evolve in constant. I have gained a lot from art. The largest trophy however was and is my freedom. In this world that we live in, when you persist in what you love and this thing repays you is an amazing thing.
Your work really differentiates from all the others. It seems like it came out of some fairytale. It there a story that you want to tell? Is it the same one or is it a different one from one piece to the next?
There is no specific sequel amongst the designs. I live and get inspired by love and if there is something that I present through my pieces, this would be my world. If you could enter my mind, besides the unbelievable darkness, besides the eternally lit torch in the depth of my thoughts, you would find a place of romance in the generator’s area where the pulse generates.
The characters that you draw never have any facial features while your pieces are generally very detailed. Is there a specific reason for this?
My decision on no features is clearly and completely definite. Some times in my spare time I draw eyes, lips, faces, fingers (work that I have never shown anyone). Lately, I have worked on pieces with a small illustration of more realistic lower ends (feet) with very little surreal energy, which is more of an experiment that anything else.
Describe to us the stages of your process, for the vision to the completion.
Everything starts from a movement, some kind of stimulus either positive or negative. The rest are implemented on paper. Notebook, pencil, pen, eraser, colors and then notes and title. Thereafter, a walk, a spot, people, my colors, my paintbrushes, a draft and finally my signature. Nice and easy.
Why do you do it? Why use public space?
I love the interaction with people, communication, the existence of the air that caresses your face and then, imagine it, the creation deriving from the people’s walk. There amongst the dirt, the grey, the daily routine, when you least expect it, it is there waiting for you, bam!.. and you keep walking!.. and this is why I use the public space.
How do people react to your work? Tell us the most negative and the most positive comment that come first to mind.
The reactions are beautiful! For the most part smiles, photos, positive comments. The bad reactions are the ones that you don’t get to hear (and then the police shows up).
Your favorite collaboration with another Greek or foreigner street artist and why?
I have collaborated with many artists and of course I will not wrong any of them! But the most vivid memories are from festival, from group nights out, there when everything seemed like an excursion, an art academy. One of the strongest art excursions was a trip to Tzia for a local festival where iNO, b., Vasmolakis, Taxis, Cacao Rocks, WD, Scar (and then in the group exhibition) we were living a very strong encounter.
Urban culture. Very grey and a lot of concrete. Do you live in the city center and if so which are the advantages and disadvantages?
Grey, city noise, hoodlumism, beauty, painting, cars, metro, me, you, the building… this is it! Yes, I live near the city center, I am in the center non-stop (I love it!) and the only disadvantage that I find is the ceaseless infliction that devours everything, the monstrous garbage-infliction of the known stranger gangs, that do their dirty work in the name of putting up posters.
10 years from today?
10 years from today… me…
Everything starts from a movement, some kind of stimulus either positive or negative. The rest are implemented on paper. Notebook, pencil, pen, eraser, colors and then notes and title
The reactions are beautiful! For the most part smiles, photos, positive comments
Source: Greek Street Art – Talks