Yannis Andreou, aka @vinyl_face is a 20 year-old Visual Arts student. He lives in Corfu, Greece where he studies, creates beautiful imagery, dances endlessly on his instagram stories, and amazes everyone with his impeccable style. If you knew Yannis a year ago, you would have had the honour of witnessing his work take a 180-degree turn and mature immensely. I knew him a year ago. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to sit down with him – over skype- and discuss artistic growth and evolution as a creative.
How have you been?
A little confused but I’ll manage. I suppose.
Talk a bit about Greece/Corfu and about being an artist there.
For starters, the word artist is a big one, that I do not use lightly. That being said, I wish to become one in the future, but for now I am too young and I have plenty of time to experiment with my subjects of interest before I get there.
Concerning Greece and Corfu, in less at one month my University has two exhibitions in which I’m presenting my work (photography and sketches) to the public of the island and my classmates. It really feels like this is the right moment for me to be here, regardless of the country’s situation and the island’s lack of “big” opportunities, as I get the chance to work on my projects and develop my craft before the wolves of the industry tear me apart.
Was there a time you wished you’d be where you are now?
I think this question is quite complex, since I personally don’t see myself as someone that has achieved much yet; I’m still mostly experimenting, growing and learning. If told me a couple of years back that I’d be doing what I’m doing and I’d be in an Art School, I would definitely be surprised, as this was a quite unexpected turn my life took and definitely wasn’t something I planned. I was always very creative and interested in the arts but I think my parents expected me to do something different..something that pays for rent, you know. Me being in this school and doing what I’m doing was something even I couldn’t have predicted for myself, and for that reason it is what I do now that matters for me; it’s now that i’m setting my goals and determining those little steps and milestones that I deem necessary in order to get where I want to be (even though I haven’t determined the final destination yet).
Who’s your favorite subject to take photos of?
My female friends because there are very beautiful and real fucking weirdos at the same time. However, in the future I would like to expand my variety of models/subjects, and start photographing male models as well.
In what way does colour impact your work?
I like a good variety of colors. Vivid and rich. They really help me achieve a more theatrical vibe and therefore, bring my concepts to life. I really like to experiment and challenge myself by doing things out of my comfort zone, so I tend to go for darker shades or pastels for my images, as I find working with them is an intricate process.
How do you think your work has changed over time and what do you think the source of that change is? What would you attribute your artistic evolution/growth to?
My spirit animal is the butterfly and the metamorphosis is a virtue of it, and something very dear to me; I always allow myself myself space to change and grow. I work hard and any progress I make is a result of that constant work and effort. I have high expectations for myself, which I have definitely not met yet, but being strict with myself helps me improve and get closer to my goals. That being said, I attribute my growth to the love I have for what I am doing and the passion with which I pursue it.
Would you say that it was upgrading your tools (better cameras, lights etc.) that changed your work more or the expansion of your skills (both with the camera and post-production skills)?
I think it’s an undeniable fact that upgrading ones tools results to a better outcome. My aim is to have my own equipment – the right equipment – in order to be able to see my vision come to life. The change in my imagery was a combination of both; I changed a lot as a person, and that is reflected in my work and visual orientation. At the same time, I also learned a lot and invested a lot in my craft, and that is also something that is easy to see on the evolution of my images.
What keeps you inspired and going – i.e., what gets you out of bed on rainy Monday mornings?
Art, movies, fashion and the certainty that there will be little things and special moments that happen as the as the day unravels that will make it special.
Lastly, what is your goal when creating imagery and what is something you’ve always wanted to shoot but haven’t had the chance to do yet?
My goal is to tell a story and to communicate through my craft with different and interesting people. I want my pictures to have substance- to say something beneath the surface, and I always keep that in mind; especially when working on fashion shoots. Something that I really want to do but have not had the chance to do yet is to shoot real models in motion, like Avedon.
Find more of Yanni’s work on Instagram: @vinyl_face
YANNIS ANDREOU INTERVIEWED BY IRA TASSOULI