Ellie Lasthiotaki, born in the heart of Crete’s ancient Minoan civilization, Heraklion in Greece now lives and works in Singapore. Grounded in a rich background spanning, Classics, Art History and Archaeology her artistic journey has flourished through studies at NAFA (National Acasdmy of Fine Arts, Singapore) and invaluable mentorship from acclaimed artists.Tell us your story, why did you become an artist?
The decision to become an artist was not a conscious decision. It was an unexpected journey and still is. The seed grew from my studies in History of Art and Archaeology, a fascinating journey where I discovered the resonance of emotions across centuries. In a more realistic and practical way I would say it started when I tried to restore an old painting successfully and since then never stopped using colours since that day.
When you create a new work, how do you go about it? What comes first?
It is difficult to answer this in a simple answer as creating new work can be the inspiration from myriad sources. Fragments of past emotions, sunsets of love, nostalgia, but it can also be an idea, a beautiful sentence in a book or even an unexpected visual encounter. At some point, all these emotions, ideas, expressions and echoes of childhood and adulthood fuse and they create brushstrokes giving birth to something entirely new. The conscious and the unconscious are in a dance converting everything into art that breathes on its own.What can you tell us about your studio, what makes it special to you and how does it influence the way you work?
I feel one important aspect of my studio is the view. I like to have a view on water. Any kind, the ocean, river whatever and there must be enough natural light coming in. I paint at home and this can be chaotic at times, but it is very convenient for a mother artist of three children. There are times, I may reach a point where I will take a few days off painting to tidy up before I proceed again after clearing, it kind of clarifies my thoughts. As it is nestled in my home, being amidst familiar sights and sounds, like my birds or my children can be inspirational. At the same time, my home is not just a home anymore but it transforms into the extraordinary and it becomes a canvas itself, changing paintings and transforming. In my home studio, my emotions find expression and the creativity is boundless.Is there a work of art in your life that has especially impressed you?
There are countless works of art that have left an indelible mark on me, each resonating in its own unique way. However, if I were to pinpoint one that particularly impressed me is Egon Schiele’s work “Seated woman with bent knees”. The emotions captured and the intensity of the piece have left an unforgettable imprint on my artistic journey. The fragility, the pose, the lines and rawness of the depiction revealing every aspect of human vulnerability. It kind of serves as a reminder of the emotions a piece can unveil along with authenticity in art. These uncharted territories of emotions and vulnerability resonated with me and when I started painting it has always been in the background of my unconscious mind, urging me to explore more on my artistic journey.
Reach to the stars: where will you be in 5 years?
I cannot imagine life without being surrounded by art. I picture myself continuing doing what I do with an even deeper sense of purpose and mastery. Most probably my artistic voice will have evolved through practice, new experiences, inspirations and challenges. New collaborations with artists, galleries, exhibitions and hopefully having the time to share this knowledge and experiences throught teaching and engaging in projects that blend art with social causes. Most important of all, I imagine having the same happiness and satisfaction while creating, despite the struggles, because at the end of the day that’s all that matters.Learn more about the artist: