Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Designer Profile: Corina @ Cocorrina

Written by Julie Karatzis + Eugenia Bazigos

The beauty of technology is the ability to work from anywhere in the world, with just about anyone, anywhere. Before the virtual worlds of Instagram and Twitter you could only really admire someone's work from afar; but with these new platforms comes new creative communities and opportunities to collaborate as well.

My sister Eugenia and I met Corina Dadami (@corinanika) on Instagram last summer, and since then we've been crushing on her photos. What's even better is that she lives in Kefalonia with her husband and their family of adorable rescue animals. Not only are her photos amazing, but she's our year-round insight into our favorite place in the world. Kefalonia's population is a whopping 30,000 people, so it's as if her lens is our portal into the island where we can check in from time to time.

This girl not only has a talented eye for photography and graphic design, but she also creates her own line of jewelery which she sells in her Etsy shop. I bought a few necklaces as gifts over the holidays, and now she's getting ready to launch her newest collection - handcrafted concrete jewelry (love!).
Last month we invited Corina to take a day trip over to Villa Ersi, and photograph our home from her perspective. Eugenia and I also interviewed her to get a bit more insight into her life, her loves and we're super excited to finally meet her this summer when we're all in Kefalonia!
Corina at Villa Ersi
You and your husband decided to move away from your life in Athens and chose Kefalonia as your new home. What factors led to this decision? And why did you choose Kefalonia out of all of Greece’s islands?
My husband and I always craved a peaceful life in a small and quiet community, with lots of nature around us. Athens was getting too crowded for us and at some point we just weren't happy living in a flat on one of the busiest neighborhoods in Athens. Theodore - my husband, is from Kefalonia, and so it was our vacation destination every summer. It wasn't difficult to decide that we wanted to live in Kefalonia, since it was everything we wanted, a better quality of living.
Villa Ersi by Corina
We’re huge fans of your stunning jewelry line (and blog, Instagram  and logotype shop, for that matter). What line of work is your husband in?
My husband is an IT and also a web designer. Both of us are freelancers, and we work from home, so thank God he is in the same line of work, since the hours we spend in front of our computers on a daily basis are way too long, but we can understand, support and even help each other.

What do you draw upon for inspiration when designing logos or your jewelry line?
Hmm, that's a tricky question because I haven't ever sat to think about it. I guess it's usually my aesthetics at the time (which changes quite a bit). I can be inspired by the weirdest things, like the view from my office, the shades of colors the sky takes, nature (big part of my inspiration since I came to Kefalonia) and fashion itself.
Villa Ersi by Corina
If someone were to visit Kefalonia for the first time, what are the top 5 things you would recommend for them to do or see?
The first time I came to Kefalonia, my hubby took me to the most famous sightseeings. Even if I could easily say that the beauty of Kefalonia lies in the numerous small villages and streets, I just can't ignore the dream-like beaches and lakes. Antisamos Beach is on the top of my list. You can feed the fish and feel like you are in Jurassic Park all at same time while you swim. Myrtos Beach is one of my favorites too. Maybe the view of it even more. Lake Melissani had to be the most perfect place I have ever witnessed in my life, simply a paradise-like spot. Mountain Ainos, the highest mountain of the Ionian islands, looks extraordinary to witness in summer and in snowy winter. The view is simply breathtaking, above the clouds. Last but not least, Assos one of the most beautiful villages in Kefalonia.
Antisamos Beach by Corina
Assos village by Corina
Do you have any favorite places to shop in Kefalonia for clothes or home goods?
To be honest, and I'm a bit shy about it, lots of shops are closed in the winter so I hadn't gotten the chance to explore Argostoli (where I live in Kefalonia) just yet. Most of the things I buy are from the internet, but there are some nice little traditional shops in Argostoli and they are all hidden in the small streets. It is definitely worth a walk to just get lost and explore some of the greatest shops.

I think we're some of your early Instagram followers. You're now up to 35K followers - bravo! How did that happen? 
Thank you! It was a very exciting surprise to wake up to an email by Instagram saying that i was in their suggested users list. My honor couldn't be bigger. I started Instagram because I already had a huge love for photography. And that love grows day by day as I try to capture my everyday moments in an artistic way. And then I got a second email from Instagram saying that I was in the suggested users list again, and I had no idea that could happen. It's nice to be recognized for your love and passion about photography.
How important is the Instagram community to you and what have you gained from it? 
Instagram has become a way of life for me. I had never had a community where I was so active for such a long time. Most of the times I just got bored and gave up, but with Instagram two things keep me going: the love of people, and how this community feels like a second family. I would never have thought that I would meet so many amazing people that i would call friends and would be able to meet in my real life. I wake up every morning and think of them and their lives and am thankful to be able to be a part of their lovely moments. This couldn't be more special. It's always like a tradition in my day, to stop everything and keep up with how my friends are. A big part has played the fact of how much inspiration i gain from other talented photographers. It's amazing how many remarkable artists are out there. And lastly, Instagram makes me feel creative, and allows me to evolve in photography daily.

You're a very talented photographer as well. Any plans on making this a new career?
Thank you very much. I have thought about how much I like photography, but I don't think I could make a career out of it. I really enjoy taking pictures when I see pictures to take. All that magic would be lost for me, if that was my job and I think I would lose my interest in the end. I think freedom is what inspires me the most.
What's next for your jewelry line? We know you're working on a new collection - can you share any sneak peeks?!
(See photo above) Everything is quickly coming into place, and within the month I'll have my look book photoshoot. I'm more than happy to share though the concept of jewelry line. I am designing necklaces and earrings with a very new to me material; concrete. What I'm aiming is to combine this cold material with bright colors. White and nature are part of my campaign, and everything is coming lovely into place. I can't wait to share more!

All photos in this post were taken by Corina Nika