“Creativity" is defined as "the use of the imagination or original ideas especially in the production of artistic work"
I first heard of the concept of "Greek creativity" when I was introduced to Iliada Evangelia Kothras, and started following her work for "Living Postcards" showcasing Greek artists and other young local artisans.
Being born and raised in Greece, I never actively thought of "Greek creativity”. Greece has an abundance of natural beauty, history, culture, and cuisine, to be proud of. But most of its blessings have been left to their own devices-with a lack of infrastructure and will from the locals to "step the game up". Like a very bright child that failed in class because he or she was not willing to work hard, when everyone could clearly see the potential. And we fall into the stereotype of Southern European countries that pale in comparison to their Northern European neighbors, and we are left speaking of Greece's former glory. So the big question is: is there more to Greece other than #sun, #souvlaki,and the famous #greekislands? And if the answer is yes, then what is that?
As an expat, living in the US for the past 11 years, I miss home but also see things with a different eye. Nostalgia makes you want to notice less of the bad and see more of the good: the incredible beauty of the country, the kind nature of the people.
Iliada, has made it her mission to look for the good in Greece and to showcase all the young people that live there and have made it their mission to promote the good as well.
She was was kind enough to answer a few questions about her work and gives us a better insight of what is happening in Greece of 2016.
C: Tell me about "Living postcards": How did it start?
I: In one of my trips in London, I noticed a lot of local food products in elegant food stores and I suddenly realized that as a country,we had something more to offer other than the typical ''Greece'', more than the typical ''moussaka'', “souvlaki” and the picturesque beaches of the Greek islands.. When I returned, I decided to make a global platform that would showcase ''The New Face of Greece''. Deep in my heart, I wanted to prove that Greece is not a country with lazy people but a blessed place with tones of vision and creativity. New fashion and jewelry designers, small boutique hotels, local food products, Greek cosmetics, artists, musicians, all the things that were born in the middle of the financial crisis. After 4 years, Living Postcards is the greatest data base about this ''new face'' and we are very happy about the concept!
C: What is your background? In Greece and Europe in general there is the idea that you only work in the field that you studied. How do these two blend?
I: My background has to do with business. My studies were in the field of marketing, sales, and advertising. The idea that someone has to work in the field he studied, doesn't exist in our modern world. People have many abilities, hidden talents and dreams. Sometimes all you have to do is listen to your heart and follow your passion.
C: At what stage is nowadays "Greek creativity"? Could it be a possible exit or improvement in the financial crisis?
I: Greek creativity was never so high. Its amazing how many talented people decide to re-start their own lives and build their own business future. At the same time, there is a lot of optimism in the air, sometimes without strategy and marketing skills. Many people think that just because they have an amazing idea or product, they will get rich in one night! Being successful takes so much more than a '' unique'' idea or product..
C: I also mentioned it above but I often see you "complaining" on social media about Greek professionalism or better yet the lack of. If you had a magic wand how would you change that?
I: I would change the way many people think.You have to be professional in every business move you make, either its a photographer that you will have to pay for taking photos of your products, or a good packaging, or a strong logotype! Otherwise,you will never be ahead of your time, I am afraid.
C: What is the future of "Living Postcards"?
I: .A natural evolution of the Living Postcards is the planning of more interactive events, media sponsorship, business seminars, global presentations. These actions would further support and expound the energy and dynamic of the new Greek entrepreneur and afford the attendees of these events to meet and interact with these individuals and their products and services.
C: I am a big fan of Greece and there are a ton of us abroad whose hearts beat for Greece. How can we help?
I: Well! I guess Supporting Greek Creativity is a perfect idea! If you ask me, I always buy everything from small brands, my food products, my gifts, my jewelry and clothing are from new Greek designers and local producers. This is my own, personal way to help!
I would like to thank Iliada for her time and wonderful work promoting Greece all over the globe. You can follow her work at http://www.living-postcards.com/