Amani Terzakis | Illustrator Interview | Drawing From Observation
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Interview: Amani Terzakis

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Interview: Gavin Wynford
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Interview: Lena Hermann

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Getting to Know Amani Terzakis

1. Tell DFO a little bit more about yourself

I have never been one to think inside the box and see myself as an imaginative free-thinker. I have always coloured outside of the lines. My art is a reflection of my self-growth, encapsulating my journey and my lessons.

This to me is more important than just creating something to sell, and my desire is to share this philosophy with other creative people.

2. From an art perspective: What are your biggest weaknesses?

My biggest weakness when it comes to art would be my own limiting beliefs. This in the moment can mess with motivation and disrupt creative flow. I am aware of this and see how powerful my own thoughts really can be.

The best way around this is just to find even a small moment of appreciation, within appreciation comes patience. And then once you are settled through this patience, test the norm and allow the “situation” to be seen as a challenge to grow.

A fun way to try something different and think outside the box - perhaps that is what the purpose from the beginning was and you just had to clear your mind to see that.

3. Be bold – tell us: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

In five years time I want to have my own art school. But art of the soul, the mind and the body.

4. Out of thousands of artists in SA, why should people appreciate your art?

I have come to understand that the work we create is produced by our own true and unique energy. This energy is what defines an artist. When you are true to yourself and authentic this will reflect in the work you produce.

Authenticity attracts authentic response. And so this alone is what makes every artist different, because each of our authenticity is unique. As long as I am true to myself I know I will create work no one else will ever be able to. And I believe there is enough room on this whole planet for all of us to be authentically successful!

5. Why do you want to be an Artist?

I think what is so awesome about being an artist is the influence you can have on people. I hope to use this to motivate others to also want to do whatever it is they feel like doing – as long as you are causing no harm to anybody, but rather just expressing yourself however you please.

6. What do you consider to be your biggest creative achievement??

My biggest achievement so far is a painting I did in my matric year of my younger sister. It was exhibited at FADA UJ and won third prize. This painting is a highlight to me because it showed me what I was capable of and it remains my inspiration.

7. Tell us about the last time a client, family or friend questioned your art or creativity. Elaborate on what happened.

I was recently asked to create a logo for coffee beans and this project changed so many times and we kept going back and forth because the client wasn’t sure what she really wanted. The feedback she kept giving me was somewhat discouraging but through that you just have to work with the client and reach the solution together which we did, and she was over the moon.

8. When working on art "describe your definition of done."

I honestly don’t believe an artwork could ever be finished. But for me I know it’s time to put the pencil down when any more detail would be “too much”.

9. When creating, what kind of work environment do you like best?

I think your environment is very important and the type of energy you bring to this space does define the vibes that will fill it. So any space that has good vibrations really!

Filling your studio with plants, people with good intentions and motivation, music, art! Even affirmations written out stuck all over. Incense. Keep it warm, smelling good, looking good and feeling good.

10. Define your creative/drawing style?

I enjoy drawing and painting expressive portraits. As I establish “realism” I love to then also draw and paint in an expressive and free-like figurative style with many bright colours.

I feel like Van Gogh during the Post Impressionism era inspires me greatly. His work portrays normal scenes in an expressive and emotion driven way.

11. What can we expect from you in the near future?

You can expect my online Amani Art Classes soon and more art.

12. What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Advice to young artists... Be yourself and creative from within. Honor everything you do. This is where the power and magic is.