As a person who often travels the world via her television screen, Greece has always been one of my favorites in theory. A beautiful history filled with creativity that has spilled over into modern day. Likely why Athena Papa of Athenart Jewelry has art running through her.
While she comes from a creative realm, many thought she was crazy when she set out on her first past; graphic design. She remembers, “It was something completely new in Greece and no one could imagine that it would help me in any way,” adding, “I love innovation and creativity and graphic design gave me both!”
After nine years working for various magazines and newspapers, Athena said the stress of deadlines wore her down. After some classes with a silversmith, her life was forever changed. She switched gears and Athenart Jewelry started to come together.
We talked about her beginnings, inspiration and what’s to come from her line, including her new collection that drops February 23. So be on the lookout for that then and read what she had to say now.
Kendra: Have you ever thought about where you’d be if you hadn’t grown up in such a creative environment?
Athena: Actually no, I can’t imagine! My love for creativity gives me life and it keeps me going on. I can’t even think about doing something else!
Kendra: How long did it take you to leave your full-time job once you decided that you wanted to be a jewelry designer full time?
Athena: It took me about three years, at first it was very difficult, it’s not easy to stand out of the crowd. You have to have love, passion, be patient and persistent.
Kendra: What about jewelry spoke to you? Was it that you got to create art that is always on the move?
Athena: My road to jewelry making was long.. All of my education on painting, sculpture, linear design and graphic design combined with my passion to create helped form my way to see things, helped me transform my ideas to a piece of art. That’s the way I see my jewelry, a piece of art that can be worn and appreciate it every day.
Kendra: Where would you say you’re inspired the most when it comes to your designs?
Athena: While it will sound cliche…but it’s true…an idea of a design might be conceived everywhere. When I drive, dream, travel. For instance, the idea of Kelifos Collection, which is also my firstborn, came up when I was driving and listening to Sting & Cheb Mami’s “Desert Rose.”
Kendra: Of all your pieces, is there one that stands above the rest in your heart as a personal favorite?
Athena: That’s a tough question. I love all my creations maybe I favorite a slight more Kelifos Collection for the only reason that it’s my first one!
Kendra: Do you have any new collections coming in 2018 we can look out for?
Athena: Rhombi Collection’s my new one for 2018, represented on February 23 at Zappeion megaron in Athens among other Famous Greek designers. It will be available for purchase on February at my eshop.
Kendra: When you’re working on a new design or just in the office, what music do you like to have one? Can you give us a five-song “Athena Art Playlist?”
Athena: I listen and love many styles of music and these for sure are my soul’s songs. They travel with me, open my horizons and make me feel, imagine and create!
Finley Quaye -”Dice”
Loreena McKennitt -”Marrakesh Night Market”
Schiller -”Dream of You”
Khaled – “Aicha”
An extra bonus one, Robert Miles – “Children”