Charis Tsevis is a well known figure in Visual Design enviroment worldwide. His work is appreciated among big companies and individual art admirers. He's also good example that art, visual design and commercial purpose can live next to each other in symbiosis. We've made an interview with Charis. So... Have a nice trip
Neso Art: Where are you from Charis ?
Charis: I am Greek.
Neso Art: do you still live Greece ?
Charis: I have lived in Greece and Italy and I am currently living in a small suburb called Saronida in the Athenian Riviera.
Neso Art: can you say something more about that place ?
Charis: It's a beautiful place by the sea that has a very positive influence on me and my work. Living in a country in serious crisis like Greece is not an easy thing. It's like living in a constant contrast. A very dynamic balance between immense beauty and serious social drama.
Neso Art: It sounds as you very like that place. What do you like the most ?
Charis: I really love it. But you know how it is. Sometimes love makes you also angry or sad. This is not an easy period to live in Greece. But it's probably the most interesting period of my life. There are so many things going on at the same time. A terrible economic and political crisis is seriously damaging the country and its people. At the same time people rediscover constant values and creative ways to express and serve these values.
Neso Art: What about your inspirations?
Charis: Nature inspires me the most. And people. People as a part of nature and nature as part of people.
Neso Art: We always ask artists about music and its relation to art. Do you listen to music while you work ?
Charis: Oh yes! I love music. And I think that we designers are so lucky that we have the possibility to work while listening to music.
Neso Art: oh, why is that ?:)
Charis: Some people use drugs escape, travel or learn who they are. I use music. Music opens my horizons and takes me to different places, times and makes me learn through an emotional experience.
But I am not just listening to music. I have found that all these hours that I am working is very good to listen to much more than music. So I am listening to old movies. I found it great to listen instead of watching a movie. Not only movies and fiction. I am listening to documentaries, literature, poetry, interviews, lectures...
Neso Art: It's very interesting... What genres you like the most ?
Charis: I love every genre. From classical and pre-classical to punk rock or psychedelic trance. What I am doing is dedicating long periods of my life to explore one genre or one period of a genre. I have passed long periods listening to Bossa Nova or Salsa. Others with Baroque. Others with Reggae or Soul. I have dedicated long nights to techno or trance. And long days to country or bluegrass.
Charis: I don't really know. I don't exactly remember when it started and how. I was too young but I was always interested in complexity. Very complex systems were fascinating me. I loved that zoom in and zoom out in communication, art and nature. I love to explore the inner rules of a closed system. How every single piece could serve a bigger group. How a group could work for the single piece.
What is also very interesting is that the more time, efforts and energy you are investing on one topic the more this opens and gets bigger. I have dedicated decades in mosaics and I have never been bored. Because there are so many new things to discover.
Neso Art: Did you ever try something else ?
Charis: My work is not just mosaics thou. Funny enough even if there are tens of different approaches to mosaics, this study on very complex images were just a very small part of my work till some years ago. They were mostly a personal passion than a work. I have dedicated serious times in other aspects of visual communication and are. I have designed typefaces, some of them are very popular, even if people don't know that are mine.
I have dedicated serious time in gestalt theory, abstractism, photography… Like music I love to explore. And the more I explore the more I learn. Sometimes people don't know that. But I don't feel the need to show everything or make everything a commercial activity.
Neso Art: Do you find that your work typically comes out as you saw it in your mind’s eye or does it change as you are translating it to the page?
Charis: Hmmm.. This is a very good question. I am using both approaches. Yes I have envisioned images as I was walking, driving or reading. Yes I have dreamed of specific images or visual solutions. But I am always working on every one of them while in front of the page. There are new horizons opening every time you work on a piece. So I believe the two approaches are combined.
Neso Art: Do you have any interests besides Art ?
Charis: I love everything creativity. I have a serious hobby called writing. Once I was almost living out of writing essays about computer history, aesthetics or arts. I am also teaching. Having made my hobby a profession I am really exciting doing my work. But sometimes I am also enjoying other things like cooking, swimming or travelling.
Neso Art: What artists are you currently following ?
Charis: I am following and admiring many people in this environment. John Maeda is one of my personal heroes. Not just for his work but for his whole carrier as a designer, educator, artist, intellectual. The whole scene of this fusion between are and technology is something that I am very close too.
But I am also loving some other periods or genres for sentimental or personal reasons. I love Italian design of the post world war II period and Italian art of all periods.
I also love ethnic and folk art from all over the world. I believe that there is nothing more valuable than traditional art. It's art that survives in time.
Neso Art: Would you agree with the opinion, that using modern technology to create art is recourse to art itself ?
Charis: Yes, I agree.
Neso Art: The place you will never forget.
Charis: Many. Not just one. Probably every place I have been. The wild and dry beauty of Santorini island, the decayed romance of Venice, the lifestyle of San Diego, the immense beauty of Tuscanny, the informal settlements of Soweto, the rollercoster A1 highway from Miami to Key West… I believe there is so much beauty on this planet.
Neso Art: Is there any reason you choose that persons for subject of your Art ? ( for example Darwin, Obama, Michael Jordan ) Do the inspire you somehow ?
Charis: I am inspired by people and their creativity. I am inspired by people and their life. This is why.
Neso Art: What are you working on at the moment?
Charis: Many things. I am actually trying to get closer to my country and its problems. I am somehow returning here from a big trip abroad. I am rediscovering the world in Greece.
Neso Art: Do you like classic art ? Any Favourite classsic painters?
Charis: Sure! I love the classics. There is a reason they called classics. Again, the Italians are my favourite. Michelangelo, Rafaello, Da Vinci.
Neso Art: Do you think it's possible to do art for a living nowadays ?
Neso Art: A list of your clients is very impressive. How did you begin to cooperate with them ?
Charis: Probably you can call it luck. Or hard work for too much time. Or both.
Neso Art: What is the Universe to you :)
Charis: Immense amazing beauty for our limited life.
Thank you Charis once again for your time. It was pleasue to know you ;)
If you want to see more Charis's art you can visit his website: