Effie Theodosiou creates new artwork for CBC Ottawa's community newsletter
‘I took the idea of nature walks representing what community currently means to me and I deconstructed it.’
Spring is in the air, and in our community newsletter, The Highlight. We asked local artist Effie Theodosiou to create a fresh, new illustration for spring representing what our newsletter is all about—community.
Read our Q&A below to find out more about Effie and her design.
Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
I am a 25-year-old muralist, designer and illustrator from Cornwall. I studied fashion arts at Humber College in Toronto, and then completed my degree in international fashion business at Nottingham Trent University in England. I worked in the fashion industry for a few years and I lived in Ottawa and Toronto during this time. Learning about the fashion business and working in the industry led me to realize how much waste is created from fashion. This has really inspired me over the past year to try a more vegan and low-waste lifestyle. I love reading and learning about different practices I can implement to leave less of a footprint in the environment.
Where are your favourite Ottawa spots to go and get inspired in the warmer weather?
I love walking downtown with a cup of coffee and finding a bench surrounded by flowers to sit on. It feels so nice after what feels like an eternity of winter. One of my favourite spots is walking over the Mackenzie King Bridge and looking at the Rideau Canal and the Parliament Buildings. It's so picturesque.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I would describe my artistic style as bohemian-minimalist. I think my work is pretty funky, and I love colours and abstract waves, but I also love white space. I think it's really important in my work to have a balance of funk with some minimalism.
Name another Ottawa artist whose work you admire.
There are so many artists in Ottawa I admire, for so many different reasons. I really like the work of Mabz (@chalkedbymabz). She creates such gorgeous florals and line work.
Tell us about your illustration for The Highlight. What inspired your interpretation for the new spring look and how did you approach the design?
One thing that is very prominent for The Highlight is its sense of community. I tried to brainstorm ways in which I could incorporate community in my design. I thought about the time over this past year when I have felt the most sense of community and it's definitely been when I've gone out for walks. You get to see other people and say hello as you pass by them (socially distanced of course). You get to see children playing outside, birds floating along the water and it makes you feel, for a brief period, that there's a sense of normality again.
It also was inspired by how within our new normal, we've had to slow down and enjoy simple things again. I appreciate going for a walk outside now, whereas before it was something I needed to do to stay healthy. I took the idea of nature walks representing what community currently means to me, and I deconstructed it.
Where can we find more of your work in Ottawa?
I've had the honour of doing illustration work for Freewheeling Craft, Dreamland Cafe and Smudge Beauty Bar. You can follow me on Instagram (@lzysunday) to check out more of my designs.
Are you interested in creating an illustration for The Highlight? We're adding to our list of creators and we'd love to hear from you. We're looking for artists whose work reflects diversity, conversation, community and a love of all things local. If that sounds like you, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.