My name is Theodora Augusta Lionti. I am an artist and designer. My body of work is inspired by the modern Renaissance aesthetic and the nude Greek sculptures with idealized and beautifully proportioned bodies. As I was born and raised in Athens, Greece, my work often depicts modernized Greek mythological characters rendered on big paper or canvases with watercolor, gouache or oil paint – mixed media paintings featuring men who are not afraid to show their feminine side, a trait that goes against the macho man cliche of our previous generations.
Unlike other artists whose parents did not wish them to study art, my parents fully supported me. At first, I was torn between pursuing fashion or visual arts. Eventually, I decided I can do both, in a way. I’ve completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Leeds Arts University and hold a Masters of Arts in Design from AKTO+Middlesex University. Today, on top of being ZenART’s resident artist and Dynamic Social Integrator, I’m a designer.
My Life in Athens
I was born on the 17th of August 1995 in Athens, Greece, to parents Anastasios Liontis and Kyriaki Alexiou. My father Anastasios is a well-read businessman who greatly inspired my visual style through his fascination with history and mythology. My mother Kyriaki Alexiou is my personal cheerleader, encouraging me to reach my full potential by keeping all my drawings and even painting with me from time to time.
I have been painting since I can remember, but I took things more seriously when I was 15. I realized then that I wanted to pursue a creative career. I was not sure yet if I wanted to become an artist or a fashion designer but I knew I wanted to paint.
My Life in Leeds
So after I decided I wanted to be a painter, I moved to Leeds and started my BA in Fine Art in Leeds Arts University. Life in Leeds was a very eye-opening experience for me that shaped my visual style. I was exposed to more contemporary and conceptual art that was very different from history-inspired classical art in Greece, art that I’ve been familiar with.
Art Experiments and New Found Love for Mixed Media
Watercolor was the first medium I felt comfortable with and was my preferred medium for years since I was 15 to be exact. When I started my studies in Leeds, I wanted to take things a step further and differentiate myself from classical art so I started to experiment. For instance, I would combine watercolor with vibrant Indian inks, glitter, cork, collages with colorful pieces of paper and even vitra paint.
To my experience, experimentation is something that leads to fresh ideas and defines my visual identity. So my advice is not to be afraid to experiment with different subjects and materials. Get out of your comfort zone and you will be able to discover your own unique style!
If you’re curious about my journey, you can also check my feature at ZenART’s blog and you can always drop by to say hello through my Instagram. Happy painting!
Theodora Augusta Lionti