OH MY BLOG : INTERVIEWS ‘IMATIOTHIKI’
It has only been but a couple of years since young architect and aspiring photographer, Nileta Kotsikou, decided to start a blog where various people would be able to showcase their personal style from the comfort of their very own house. Her project, [imatioèíki], has come a long way since then and it has now become a very succesful website with several mentions from many Greek publications. For this OH MY BLOG, we decided to have a little chat with Nileta to find out more about her as well as the impact [imatioèíki] had in her life so far.
[imatioèíki] features an exceptional mix of fashion, photography, art and architecture. Which one of these aspects intrigues you the most and why?
I think it’s the people that fascinate me the most. If it weren’t for them, my site would be nothing but a cold representation of objects and spaces. It is the people’s views, style, choices and personal taste that form what you understand as imatiothiki.
Taking you right back to your first photo feature. What were your thoughts and feelings back then?
Oh I was clueless! I still am, actually. I really have no idea where this project is going! When I first started out with imatiothiki, I wanted to really get as many fashion oriented pictures as possible. I had a friend pose for me, and I made her change into so many outfits and I would take pictures of her clothes and jewelry. Now, it’s more like: you want to wear something you love? That’s fine by me, but it’s not within my intentions any more.
Now that you had more than 60 people on your website, do you still find yourself being that excited or nervous?
Every single time. Honestly. I have spent so many sleepless nights preparing for an imatiothiki session and even more before the session goes online. Every time I host a different person, or group, or whatever it is that I am hosting on that particular session, I feel as though I am ‘carrying’ this person and have to bring this task through. It is my responsibility to show who these people are, what they do, why I find them to be so special. And this is why I love this.
Is there anything in particular that fuels your passion for this project?
I think it’s the freedom I have to explore as many fields as I wish and the fact that I get to meet a lot of interesting people. It’s really amazing you know, because as I said, it started out as a fashion oriented blog and now I am shooting boxers and ballerinas and riding clubs. And I have so many ideas I wish to accomplish in the near future. And what is cool about it, is that somehow people appreciate my work and are willing to pose for me, so that gives me the ticket to meet people I never thought I would meet. You have to understand, imatiothiki is a fun process for me. I enjoy every aspect of it. It is not a job, it is not something that makes me tired or bored. And I think the people involved in this, enjoy it as well. If it weren’t for the fun of it, then there would be no passion in it. That’s just how it works.
Who are the people we see on your website? Friends, family, colleagues or just people you admire?
All the above. Plus friends of friends, in addition to the people I randomly decide to say hi one day and end up having them on my website the other. These are people I come across during my many hours being online. People that I get really curious to meet in person. My intention is to keep things as wide and open as possible. You get the bohemian guy walking around the streets of Athens and then the TV star. I try to keep it balanced, interesting and democratic. There’s plenty of room for everyone.
Similar to the concept of voyeurism, would you say that [imatioèíki] serves your personal need to satisfy your sense of curiosity?
Totally. I thought I was covering up nicely all this time, pretending to do sessions of general interest. Haha, it’s the fact that I am curious that keeps this thing going. I am the person you don’t want to meet when you are not in the mood to talk. I can ask you so many questions. I don’t care what you do, if it is boring or not, I don’t care who you are, my mind is filled with questions all the time. With imatiothiki I get both answers and visuals.
Have you ever had something unexpected / funny / scary happening during a photoshoot? What took place?
Oh, yes. First of all I have had neighbours freak out with what was happening outside their windows. I have had furniture broken, clothes damaged, I have accidentally deleted all photos from my memory card and had to do the shooting again… I have had very anxious people, very shy people, very open people. You name it.
How do you see your project evolving in the future?
I could talk about this for days. I see this becoming national. Unfortunately, I have had very few sessions outside of Athens. I see this even becoming international. I wish I could one day make an exhibition out of it, which would include my pictures and some of the imatiothiki stars’ personal objects. A book would be also nice, but not like a coffee table book that you buy and never again go through. Hm… I am already on the talks about some future collaborations with some of the people I have hosted on my site. Designers mostly, because I am an architect and love creating things and making things.
Photo by Yiannis Priftis
Website: http://imatiothiki.com/ (see rich collection of photos)