Editor’s note: I did an MA in Creative Writing and had big dreams of making the written word my way of life, but for the last three years, I’ve been struggling to write. I’m on a journey to unblock my creative pathways and I’ve turned to Cape Town’s abundant supply of inspiring womxn to help me. By having them share their creative processes, dreams and struggles with me, I hope to reconnect with my own.


KELLY MAKROPOULOS

kelly makropoulos photographer cape town south africa

Kelly Makropoulos is a cosmopolitan creative. Born in Greece, she grew up in Mozambique and settled in Cape Town as a young adult. She’s a photographer and visual artist on the rise and her characteristically surreal photographs capture the dreamy aesthetic of the Tumblr generation.

PREFERRED MEDIUM(S):

Photography, writing, drawing.

SOURCE(S) OF INSPIRATION:

Art for sure (movies, music, other photography). Also certain colours around me, especially warm-toned and cool-toned colours near each other. Colour has always made me feel alive, but very specific shades combined are appealing to me. For example a burgundy and mustard together. Oof!

TURN AROUND TIME BETWEEN INSPIRATION, EXECUTION AND SHARING: 

I’m a very contradictory person with everything in my life. In terms of art, I can mull over an idea for years, thinking I’ll have time to do it at some stage or another. If I set deadlines though, like for an exhibition, or writing a script, I can bang it out in a few days.

DAILY PRACTICE: 

For my photography, I’ll be on Instagram and Pinterest a lot of the time. I find they’re a special mix of aesthetically rich and quick.

HARDEST PART OF DOING WHAT YOU DO:

It’s not something easy to speak about, but creative block holds me back quite often. Just before I nod off to sleep, a flood of images and ideas stream in front of my mind’s eye, but it’s difficult to harness or remember anything during that stage. I can appreciate and be inspired by art, but lately I’ve been trying very hard to be motivated to do art.

HOW MUCH EMPHASIS DO YOU PLACE ON MAINTAINING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE?:

Without meaning to sound cliché: in this day and age, if you’re not frequently on people’s minds, or trying to gain exposure on many platforms, you won’t really be the one they’ll remember to contact for future projects. The art world is v saturated which is beautiful and challenging.

DO YOU HAVE A DAY JOB OR HAVE YOU MADE YOUR CREATIVE PASSION PAY?:

Right now it’s 50/50 income from photography projects and the other from waitering. Last Sunday I sold shots at this park in Berlin and that was cool and rewarding. Next week I’ve got some shoots lined up. My dream is… to feed myself completely from art.

YOUR MOUNT EVEREST:

I’m gonna create a whole bunch of abstract and cinamatically beautiful movies about those visions, once I catch them…