# Interview surrounded by the concept: World Excellence #
What is excellence to you?
Excellence is anything with above average quality. In terms of art, excellence is the use of good craftsmanship and creativity to produce a work of art. It is what we strive for in our artwork, reaching our full potential. Excellence is a certainty, when you see a work of excellence you know it right away
What do you consider a runway to your success, i.e. what helped you “take off”?
I believe the first key to success is passion. You really have to love what you do to excel. I live, breath and sleep in a constant mode of creativity. I couldn’t be happy or reach my full potential living any other way. The second key is dedication. I dedicate a lot of time to doing art, learning new techniques and honing my skills. Art is an entrepreneurial profession, so you need to be a hardworking, self-motivated individual. The third key is marketing. I quickly realized that to do the best possible art I can, I need to be paid for it. If I need to work at another profession, I simply won’t have the time to create my best art. So I took the marketing side of my profession seriously. My art only “took off” after I built up my art skills, my body of work and a good base of contacts with clients, gallery owners, the media and other important people in a professional artist’s life.
As far as my art career “taking off,” I have been doing art professionally for almost forty years now, so it has been a long flight. In that time there have been a few “take offs” and a few “crashes” as well. The trick to crashing is to get up and keep going. In my case it’s about making art from the wreckage of the crash.
What do you consider growth?
I believe growth is about providing stimulation to create abundance and vigor. Whether it is a flower, a business, a talent, it needs the right stimulation to promote growth.
I work to stimulate my creativity to grow as an artist. Being an artist is not a 9 to 5 job. If you want to grow to your full potential as an artist you need to live it. Personal growth comes through hard work and honest reflection.
What do you consider success?
Success is a hard concept to describe. We all have different ways we measure it. As an artist I would measure success in a few ways. Firstly, is my artwork successful in conveying the message I am trying to convey? Is my artwork successfully saying anything important? Is my artwork successfully making people think? Is my artwork visually pleasing? Also, am I successfully living as an artist?
As a human being I am trying to be successful at being the best me I can be. Am I successful in this pursuit? This is a “work in progress”.
What do you consider uniqueness?
Uniqueness is that which has its own fingerprint, its own identity. Although many have copied Picasso’s style, but when you see a Picasso you know it’s a Picasso. It’s an “original”.
Uniqueness defines artists, nations, ideas, innovation. Uniqueness is our signature. It is the measure of a healthy culture.
When analyzing ancient cultures, archaeologists study objects from their time period, usually ceramics. When archaeologists find many unique fine quality ceramics they know they are looking at the high point of that culture. When they see poorly mass produced pottery they know they are looking at the fall of that culture.
Who are the people and why that you could include in a section called “as done by the best”?
Since this is a blog with predominantly Greek readers I would choose modern Greek artists for this section. Stone carver John Bizas from Chios, wood sculptor Manolis Tsouris from Crete and multi-media artist Stelios Maragos from Nemea.
What is your favorite habit that you could include in a section called ‘diamond pages’?
I like to clean up garbage from beaches and other areas. I try to reuse much of it into art. I am currently working on a series that are inspired by ancient Greek stories called “Recycling Mythology”.
What is your favorite city and why?
Athens, Greece. I like to call Athens the “Great Human Experiment”. Athens is where we as humans have tried many of the most important social experiments to see how we should live, think and govern ourselves. Athens is easily the most influential city in the world, it has no equal. One of the ten oldest cities in the world, yet still very much alive and vibrant today. Even when you visit an area of Athens you know well, you will always find something new, the city constantly evolves. Ironically, although the city is the birthplace of civilization, the very symbol of Athens, the Parthenon sits on the youngest rock formation on the planet. That is one of the many contradictions that define this incredible city.
What kind of landscape around the world would you be able to include in a blue-green world?
Well, we call this the blue-green planet for a reason. I would say that any landscape that hasn’t been destroyed by us humans is blue green in spirit.
I love Greece and its landscape, it’s definitely a blue-green country, from the Cycladic blues to the emerald green waters of Alonissos Island.
As an artist, the blue green world is my main motivator to create. My art is inspired by nature and the patterns I find in it. Much of my art is done with recycled materials. I like to breathe new life into things society has discarded.
Even the act of making art as a homage to nature. What better way to honor the creator than by creating?
What is your wish for the planet we live in?
I wish for our planet to return to a system of naturally balancing self-sustaining ecosystems. Ideally with humans still being part of that world, but if we cannot learn to live here less destructively, our extinction will be inevitable. But I remember that when Pandora opened the box and unleashed all the destructive forces upon the world…..all that was left in the box was hope.
Rene Cyr, Artist, www.timeofart.gr