Interview with Alexis Papageorgiou

In an interview with creative Alexis Papageorgiou, one of our very own first writers (you remember him as Aloa), he talks about the advantages of everyday life creativity and tells us about how he implements it in his life. Check it out!

1. It’s a pleasure to have you here. We would like you to introduce yourself.

The pleasure is all mine. My name is Alexis Papageorgiou (the easiest name to spell) - I’m a director and producer from a country called Germany. I’m self employed and mostly work in projects that involve any of my passions in life as well as traveling. That mostly means documentaries in politics, economy, science and philosophy as well as more experimental work such as music videos, art & short movies. But that could include event & project management, youth and volunteer work. Basically the right balance between working for others and working for myself.

A test to create fitting images to experimental audio files turned into a very short music video underlined with the music of artist “Soosh”. The artist wrote me a mail where he expressed his gratitude. He really liked the work, which turned into a collaboration for new projects.

2. Please tell us more about the “Everyday Project”. When and why did you start it?

The “Everyday Project” is a challenge I set upon myself to stay creative every day, for initially 30 days. The task:
Work on whatever you like and create a piece of art every day.

For me that meant: photography, photo manipulation, music, film, animation. I started in 2013 as a 30 days challenge but kept going and just finished my 180th piece.

The main idea emerged from Matt Cutts’ TED TALK: Try something new for 30 days. The idea is simple: Instead of spending a huge amount of time to learn something, reduce it to a small amount of time spread over a longer period. Human are much likely to lose motivation and energy when challenged with a huge task. You want to learn spanish? "Yeah, sure, somewhen. What? Now? Puh, well I have so much things to do right now. I’ll try when I finish what im working on right now.”

It turns out that small steps are more sustainable and more likely to stick. If you want to invest an hour or two a day in experiencing or subtracting a habit from your life, 30 days is just about the right amount of time to do that. Every month is used for another 30 days challenge, while this everyday project turned out to be much more than just a limited undertaking

I took this picture on a journey from the greek island Corfu to Igoumenitsa with the Rollei S35 analog camera from my grandmother. I was waiting on this spot for 15 min. for someone to take the place in the middle of the picture to complete the atmosphere. An image I printed a couple of times and gave to friends to hang on the wall.

I shot a picture of a beautiful flower. Being heartbroken at the moment, I felt it misrepresented my current live situation, so I edited it into a darker, more melancholic piece of art. The review was surprisingly positive so It ended up as a piece in an art exhibition of the national gallery on Corfu, Greece.

3. What’s the importance of everyday creativity?

  1. Efficiency - The brain learns and perceives new information best during small and regular activation of your braincells. Executing a new hobby everyday for just 10 minutes is a very effective way to grow.
  2. Feedback - One of the most important learnings was that I did not have to have weeks of preparation to master a new technique. I just went out and tried it, published it and got valuable feedback by sharing it on a Facebook page.
  3. Low pressure - Trying something new or challenging for 30 min everyday sounds much more compelling than a 10 hour session. You will be much more open to confront your fears and realize soon that it’s easier than you thing (which will boost your self confidence).
  4. Commitment - You are more likely to continue a habit if you implement it in your daily routine and therefore make faster results.

I was shooting a music video where I followed graffiti writers during the night. One of them asked me to join him the next day to the yard to take pictures of his piece he painted on a train a day earlier. I only had my very old iPhone with me, which has a poor sensor. The lack of dynamics increased the flare of the sun which turned out to be perfect. The blur of the head added a sense of anonymity.

One of my every day challenges turned around taking a HDR image every day (HDR images are pictures that consist of 3 images taken with different light settings and fusing them into one). I partnered up with a fellow photographer and went out for 3 weeks every night.

4. How did it change your life?

It positively influenced my life in various aspects. But I did not expect the amount of impact it makes on other peoples lives as well. When taking portraits I sometimes printed them and gave them away as presents. Sometimes I made small documentaries about people. The extent of happiness of people was just more than rewarding. One company liked my work and hired me for a summer to do architectural photographies on a greek island.

Other than that I grew upon myself. I learned new techniques, methods of working, I got better in working in teams, I got to know new people, and visited places I wouldn’t have visited otherwise. An “Everyday Project” can be an important brick in the self development journey of becoming a better person. (I recommend others to take the challenge as well).

This picture is my personal favorite from a recent trip to Norway. I went up north for a seminar on project management; it felt like I was catapulted to another world. The space, the air and the general sense for living with the nature just kept me speechless. With this image I wanted to capture this very unique spirit.

This is another photo of my my trip to Norway. It was a different experience to never see darkness. No matter what time it was, it was bright. I had to give this picture an extra vignette to make it feel like it’s night.

Follow Alexis Papageorgiou on his public Facebook page. Join him on his journey: Everyday Project.