Digital Artist tells us to treat our work like a balloon

When I finish a piece, I just sit quietly in front of it and get fed with all the feelings and emotions it throws back at me. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction
— Phaedra

People with Passion

 

Who I interviewed: Phaedra Richter

Passion: Digital Art / Dancing / Cooking

City: Munich


From my art work, you’ll see that women tend to inspire me more...I like passionate women, shy women, young and old women - there’s something beautiful about all of them.
— Phaedra

Change is a vital part in my life.
— Phaedra


What makes your heart skip a beat?

Oh dancing, cooking and the moment I finish a painting! I love reaching the point when i know that “This is it! This is exactly what I wanted”. When I finish a piece, I just sit quietly in front of it and get fed with all the feelings and emotions it throws back at me. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

 

When did you know that you're passionate about creating art?

It started when I was studying. I’d say that I found my passion at the age of 20. Before I finished my communication design studies, I studied Architecture which I hated. During my courses I used the architecture programs but I started creating something different with them and that’s when I discovered my passion for digital painting.

 

What is it that makes you love digital painting?

I love the way colors mix together and I love creating different patterns. It’s so much fun once you get to know how it works, as your possibilities for creating become endless. There’s constantly something new to discover.

 

What's your story?

I was born in Vienna, but grew up on a gorgeous Island called Syros in Greece. When I was little, I tried ballet, tennis, sailing, surfing...you name it. I was surrounded by water my whole childhood, so a lot of my activities where in the water.

My father is a doctor and a wine producer, and my grandpa was a farmer. We had a farm next to our house with chickens, pigs, cows and peacocks...fields with wine, olive trees, peanuts, tomatoes and watermelons...those were the days!

We were living in a huge house that my parents built with their own hands and my beautiful mother decorated it. The interior was a paradise of colors - a mix of okra, ocean blue and shades of red / orange. It was magic!

This is where I come from and that reflects in my personality -  I am playful, I am happy, but like any other person I've had my battles with life.

I am very active, love to have a good laugh with my friends, and quality time with my family is very important to me. I get bored easily so that's probably the reason why I get very anxious and feel unsettled at times. Change is a vital part in my life.


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I run under my balloon and puff air into it, so I feed it with air a little every day.
— Phaedra

Who inspires you? 

I am certainly very inspired by movies, and by people who surround me. From my art work, you’ll see that women tend to inspire me more...I like passionate women, shy women, young and old women - there’s something beautiful about all of them.

 

I love the wisdom and sophistication of older women and the youth and romance of the younger generation. It’s like taking their aura and putting it down on paper. My paintings are obviously not realistic. It’s a “Fedralita” version of what I see and feel. I portray it in shapes, colors and human emotions: the look in someone’s eyes for example, their body posture or their current feelings.

 

People I admire are Frida Kahlo, Niki de Saint Phalle and Picasso


 

Events you love to attend & recommend?

Hmmm… a difficult question! I love weddings for example - I mean not the wedding ceremonies as such, but the wedding parties! I figured out that it’s really a great place to meet interesting people - getting drunk with a bunch of well dressed ladies and gentlemen is really not bad at all!

I love festivals on the Greek islands, like for example on Ikaria  - something you should definitely try once. I'd say that this place is the Fusion of Greece, where people from the age of 8 till the age of 90 dance all night long! It’s the Greek tradition to dance till you drop.

Another recommendation I have for you is the art festival called the Stroke Art Fair in Munich (Germany), which takes place every year and a lot of great artists participate.

Another is the Bologna Art Fair in Italy.   

 

What are your favorite spots in Berlin and Munich?

I love having breakfast at Im Nu in Prenzlauer Berg. Great tapas is at the Tres Tapas on Helmholtzplatz, and fab food at The Bird where you never find a place to sit!

Clubs I really like in Berlin are Katerholzig and Wilde Renate and I love to walk around in Mauerpark - Oderbergerstrasse and Kastanienallee.

As for Munich I love the green parks: The English Garden and Cafes around Glockenbach Viertel - it’s a great area with a lot of nice shops and cafes.

 

Your most valuable possessions? 

My love for my family! Parents, Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and my Brothers. I cannot live without feeling that I love somebody and I cannot live without feeling loved.

I obviously cannot live without my laptop - that’s like living without my arms! I love music - especially sad music when I am working for example. Melancholic music helps me express my feelings. So that’s something I need in order to create.

My other obsessions and things I would not want to live without are: coffee, cheese and wine!


 

What do you dream about?

My dream is to settle down one day - somewhere where I can finally call home. I've constantly been moving from one city to another, so I’m getting a little tired of it and would really love to call some place home. I've recently moved to Munich where most of my friends are and I’m trying to make it happen this time.

I’m also planning to give digital painting workshops for Fashion and Graphic Design Students, as I’d like to start interacting more with people while I work - exchange ideas and get direct feedback - instead of just sitting alone behind a computer for hours and days.

 

If you could give advice to people who are in the same professional field as you what would it be? Or general advice for life…

Imagine your work like a balloon. It's an open balloon, and while you stand underneath it you constantly need to give it some air for it to stay above ground. I see myself and my work exactly this way. I run under my balloon and puff air into it, so I feed it with air a little every day. Sometimes it flies high and sometimes it almost touches the ground, but it never flies away nor does it ever collapse on the ground.

As an artist you are probably very depended on the feedback you get from the outside world, but I think it’s important not to get carried away by peoples’ opinions, because too much of it will make you create only what others want to see instead of doing something represents you.

I am also one of those artists who does a lot of work just because I know people will like it, but at the same time I never stop creating what really reflects “Fedralita”. Remember that there’s a job and there’s art - Art belongs to you and Jobs are for clients. I would advice people to work on their creativity and to ignore what’s going around them once in a while. I see how many artists suffer because of this, so don’t forget who you are and where you wanted to go in the first place. Keep feeding your art with what life gives you and tells you to do, while you use your talent to pay your bills. It’s a gift, so make the most of it.