Mike Karolos Interview:
Global Location: ATHENS, GREECE
Born in Manchester, UK, Mike Karolos has lived in Greece since he was very young. Fluent in both English and Greek he now currently resides in Athens where he works as a graphic designer. He began creating graffiti designs at the age of 13, and from that moment knew that he wanted to be a graphic designer. After completing his formal education in graphic design, he now works for a creative design studio in Athens. He begins composing work by sketching a design by hand and then scans it in, vectorises it using Illustrator, and adds textures and lighting in Photoshop. “As you would expect, my works have an urban feel to them,” he says, “and you can clearly see how graffiti has influenced my use of color, shapes and forms.”
AP: What drew you into the world of graphic design? And are you Mac or PC?
MK: Graffiti is how it all started and that’s the reason I’m a graphic designer today.I think my urban influences are quite obvious in my works. My weapon of choice is both Mac & PC. Mac because that’s what I work on at the creative studio I work at and PC at home. (I’m actually getting a new one this month.)
AP: What has been your favorite design project to date and why?
MK: MA whisky company and dressing up the subway train.
AP: Your designs are like mini graffiti inspired 3-D worlds; what and/or who has been the most influential on your style as a designer?
MK: I can’t pick a specific designer since I’ve been inspired by various talented artists through the web and also by many walls with street art that I come across every day.
AP: Do you still do graffiti? If so, what do you write?
MK: Truth is I don’t do graffiti on walls any more, mainly because of time issues. But I still do graffiti digitally. I like to mix it up with illustrations and even abstract art. I think I will never stop doing graffiti.
AP: What name would you give to your own can color? And what’s your favorite current color?
MK: My own can color?…hmm… “Smirap black”, kind of selfish I know - Black is my favorite color, although if I’m correct I think black in physics is actually lack of color.
AP: You have amazing Photoshop skills. Do you take many of the photos that are used in your design creations?
MK: I use both stock images and some of my own. I like taking photographs of different textures and then using them in my designs.
AP: What kind of camera is your design weapon of choice?
MK: Nothing professional just a plain 12px digital camera.
AP: You recently were selected as a Zazzle Billboard Artist. How does it feel to have your artwork visible to the public on such a large scale and manner?
MK: I was really excited about that since it’s nice to see your personal art and not client work on a huge billboard and not to forget at a hot spot. It felt great and also it looked great.
AP: When you’re not designing what do you do for fun and relaxation?
MK: Playing football (soccer for you Americans), driving around with my car (racing just a little bit), spending time with my girl and best friends and listening to a lot of music.
AP: Thank you for taking the time to share with us the insight into your world.