It wasn’t until the age of twenty-one when Constantinos Vorrises started drawing. He recalls that one day he was bored in class while studying at San Francisco State University, he started sketching on his binder and he hasn’t stopped ever since. That was sixteen years ago, as he is now thirty-seven years old.
The artistic process, Constantinos says is his favourite part.
“I start every piece without any idea or expectation in mind. The process begins and the artwork will be simple or chaotic, it just depends on the moment, mood, or colours used. Some artwork takes 20 minutes while some take 20 hours! The best part of my artistic process is that I don’t know what’s going to happen, and that mindset has created some of my most memorable pieces.
“The most important thing is to keep creating and keep drawing or painting. You’ll get better and better without the pressure of being in a class, art school, being critiqued. Just keep creating and sharing.”
Colours that he particularly likes using is black and white because of the simplicity and for Constantinos, they have been the most intense. Lately, he notes, he has been using more colours – blue, green, greys and reds, depending on his mood. “Sometimes it starts simple and ends up with many colours.”
Born and raised in the Greek Orthodox faith, Constantinos went to church at the Annunciation Cathedral and Holy Trinity Church in San Francisco, Greek School, Sunday School, played in his church’s basketball team, Greek danced and also grew up listening to a lot of Greek music.
“My dad played drums and my Thio (uncle) played bouzouki in the Greek local band for events, festivals, weddings, etc… I still listen to Greek music every day when I’m driving in my car – all old school Greek music though,” he says.
Proud of his Greek heritage, Constantinos has also created some pieces using dark or light blue as he says, “there’s a connection to my Greek heritage with the beautiful blues.”
Constantinos has also been involved with Mesh Collective, an art group in San Francisco who have presented many shows in San Jose, San Mateo, San Francisco. His art has also been featured in Philz Coffee, an American coffeehouse chain and Penelopes Coffee & Tea, an American cafe multiple times.
“My art has been showcased in festivals, fundraisers, restaurants, cafe’s, small galleries, and my favourite of all, peoples homes and that is amazing to me. To have my artwork in people’s homes is important to me. I have some artwork in Athens and some in Hawaii. Most are local in the Bay Area, San Francisco specifically.”
For Constantinos, choosing his favourite artwork is a very hard decision. “Some are made for fun and some are commissioned pieces which makes it feel more like a job. The black and white piece I am holding above took me the longest, at least 6 months to create. This is made with only black sharpie oil paint pens and has to be created with multiple layers of the same black oil paint pen. In terms of the size of canvas, patterns, patience, and time to create this piece, this has been one of my favourites.”
In five years time, his goal is to “be featured in galleries and to have more exposure, create a personal website to sell prints and possibly t-shirts, hats, etc. I want to keep improving and making my pieces bigger and bigger, and more colourful and crazy! I want to have my artwork featured in Greece too. That’s always been a goal of mine for my artwork.”