#43 Iro Tsavala

Henry Martin: What is inspiration? How do you find it?

Iro Tsavala: I enjoy observing. I find inspiration in small, everyday things that may be slightly out of place. They open up questions like: ‘how did this get there’, ‘is there a story or character involved in this’? A lot of my stories or characters start with something I saw or experienced and had a somewhat surreal flavour. I am a big fan of magic realism and of authors such as Gabriel García Márquez and Julio Cortázar. I also love short stories. I think they capture the essence of a narrative in such a succinct manner and with a beautiful economy of means.

Henry Martin: Does your work come from the head or the heart?

Iro Tsavala: It starts as an impression, a notion that hasn’t fully taken shape but seems exciting to me. I tend to respond well to themes that have some sort of emotional resonance. I always want my stories or ideas to make sense though, so I spend quite a lot of time staring at visual sequences and editing things. I guess that part of the process is quite structured and logical.

Henry Martin: What is your favourite art work?

Iro Tsavala: It’s impossible to pick one, and also what I’m drawn to at different times depends so much on moods and current circumstances. I’m always drawn to Alec Soth’s photographs though.

I love the way he captures quiet moments as well as portraits of people; the juxtapositions made in his series are poignant in a playful sort of way.

Website, Instagram,

Title: Puss in Boots. Date: 2013. Format/Materials: graphite & ink. Dimensions: 210 x 280 mm. Picture Credit: Iro Tsavala


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