Day 4 for Adobe's #womencreate22 campaign, we celebrate Stavroula Adameitis who has a love of kitsch Australiana and Memphis graphics. Her bold pop art in fashion designs, neon lights and immersive installations will transport you into another world.
What was your journey to become an artist?
I grew up in Adelaide, Australia and studied arts and media at university in the hope of becoming a journalist with a ‘steady job’, all the while harbouring a secret desire since childhood to start my own art and fashion design practice.
It wasn’t the done thing to pursue a creative career coming from a Greek-Australian cultural background that valued traditional professions over anything too risky - but that’s exactly what I ended up doing - after moving to Sydney where I had a lightbulb moment to create statement oversized acrylic jewellery inspired by my love of kitsch Australiana and Memphis graphics.
The journey to working as a full-time artist and designer has been more squiggly line than straight-and-narrow, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone else who feels that deep-down creative itch to bring those ideas to the surface - your future self will thank you!
How important is it to be original and how do you identify your work as original?
Without having the necessary tools or skills, I taught myself how to draw digitally by staying back late at the animation studio I was working at to master the ins and outs of Adobe Illustrator. I started sharing my work online under the moniker Frida Las Vegas where it steadily found an audience, to my surprise and utter delight.
It’s important for creative practitioners to strive for originality, not because anything can ever be ‘truly’ original, but because it’s plain old boring to re-hash someone else’s work in a paint-by-numbers kind of way. There are infinite combinations of mediums, messages, styles and sensibilities out there to play with; the trick is to create your own unique ‘recipe’, rather than following somebody else’s.
Your relationship with colour is quite unique, tell us about that. Are there any colours or hues that are your signifiers and why?
Playing with colour is something I have always loved to do since I was a kid, ripping open my first packet of Connector Pens and going nuts with the brightest colours in the pack. I would use up the yellow texta first, then hot pink, then aqua, then purple.
We all understand how certain colours have an innate ability to affect our moods. As a general rule, I like to play with colours that make me feel energised. I’m partial to colour combinations that remind me of my childhood growing up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when loud hues and bold prints reigned supreme.
For my neon and acrylic artworks, I wanted to combine interior design with fashion illustration to create stylised artefacts that look convincingly 1980s - but in actual fact, were made in the late 2010s. In the same way that a DJ will sample a soundbite from an old song and mix it to create something new using the technology from the present, I like to play with visual elements from different time periods and smoosh them together to make something.
Where is your favourite place in the world that gives you the most inspiration and enrichment and that has informed your artistry?
The pastel-hued art deco district of South Beach, Miami is one of my absolute favourite places and the source of never-ending inspiration for my illustrations and textile prints. I’m always on the lookout for candy-coloured buildings in the Australian ‘burbs that bring my love for Miami to life, but *much* closer to home, in the form of artworks, textiles and photoshoot backgrounds.
I also love a good road trip through the Australian landscape scouting for hidden time capsules of forgotten splendour. There’s nothing more satisfying than rolling into a small town and finding mid-century motels, 70s pubs and 80s Chinese restaurants with interiors and exteriors that haven’t changed since being built.
It’s a form of archaeological tourism I really dig- feeling inspired by vintage signage, architecture and typography as much as (if not more than) the natural beauty of Australia.
If you had a message for other women creators, what would it be?
Contrary to the saying ‘life is short’, life can actually be quite long - so there’s no time like the present to make a start on your dream project.
It’s important to allow yourself as much time and space as you need to develop your skills.
Learning and growing with your chosen medium can be deeply satisfying in a way that only comes from doing something over and over again until you reach a level of mastery that is uniquely your own.
Create your own personal universe, feel the fear and do it anyway.
'Create your own unique recipe, rather than following somebody else’s.'