Laoura Nicolaou is an artist, art teacher and tattoo artist as well. She answers some of our questions about her inspirations, the best part of being an artist, and more.
What’s your background?
My journey started with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts Painting and a specialisation in Curating and Exhibit design from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence Italy. I then continued with a second masters in Arts and Project Management from Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom. Upon returning to Cyprus however, I found a passion in teaching so I developed my own art school in Nicosia and have been working as an art teacher for 6 years now. I love sharing my knowledge and develop the skills and creative thinking of my students. I work with people of ages 8 and up and specialise in portfolio preparations for universities in the Fine and Applied Arts. I am in constant need and search for new passions in my life and that is why I started tattooing as well. I have been working as a tattoo artist for the last 3 years. I find that I am the happiest when I am not just taking up one road in my professional life, but more if possible. I believe that all artists are and should be restless spirits.
What does art mean to you?
Art has many meanings for me, it’s my way of life, it’s all of my life, it’s what I make, what I communicate, what I share and the environment I built for my self. Its the most stable factor in my ever-changing life.
How did you start making art/Why do you make art?
I obviously started making art as a kid, all kids make art, its in their nature. I continued making art and to this day, I do it to survive and be more balanced mentally. A very banal statement I know, but art is expression. A person that does not express their inner world is a prisoner to their self and of the world they live in. Many times I have found my self too busy to make art for me and I could feel the negative consequences in my mood and psychology. Also, I make art because I love sharing it with the world. I am happy when a person communicates with something I make. It’s as if we share a special kind of connection you cannot find with anything else.
What inspires you? What are your biggest influences?
Its hard to narrow down in a few sentences and explain what inspires me. I find as I get older my aesthetics change constantly. I am inspired by strong feelings, people and my environment but if I had to choose a period in the art scene that changed me as an artist, its art during the 90s with the YBA’s (Young British Artists) in the UK at the time. My favourite “art movement’ if we can call it that, is Confessional Art led by (mostly female) artists such as Tracey Emin and Louise Bourgeois.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
Both a blessing and a curse, the best thing about being an artist is the extreme sensitivity you are forever bound by.
What gives you the most joy?
Being productive and free.
Considering the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, what do you think is the impact on the art world and how could we overcome it?
The art world needed the pandemic. I consider it a blessing and an undeniable source of inspiration to an artist. We are required to document this strange time we live in in every way imaginable. As artists we need to push our art out into the world and communicate with more and more people. I also think it's a time when most people that stayed at home realised that they needed more creative hobbies and more passions and hopefully found them. All people are creative in their own way, but their daily routine does not leave time for them to develop more passions and abilities. The pandemic was a game changer, every artist was forced to change their ways, transform and adapt.