As an artist, it is easy to question your work and seek perfection. Sometimes you’re too scared to bare your artwork to the world or perhaps you’re afraid of creating something that won’t appeal to a greater audience. Peter knew he wanted to be an artist since he was a child but didn’t start to pursue his own creative career until adulthood.
“It took me a long time to get here and I love that I took the scenic route.”
Today his neo-abstract art is being featured in world-renown art exhibitions, permanent spaces, and private residences all over North America and Europe. We spoke to Peter Triantos about his positive, vibrant, and energy-infused artwork as well as his journey in the art world.
For all creators out there, here are some insights and tips on staying authentic, not limiting yourself, and following your dreams.
1. Recognize Your Passion, Learn Slowly
Peter is a Greek-born painter who taught himself a lot of what he knows. A passionate art lover and collector, Peter’s work with art began by restoring old master paintings and absorbing everything he relearned. What he didn’t learn through art history classes he learned through a deep passion for the subject. Most of his art was the product of a slow, conscious, and experiential learning. He says he is a realist painter who wasn’t born with the talent but who just happened to have good hand-eye coordination. Art for him was also a means of transferring energy. And despite admitting that his road to an art career was a long and not easy, the art world is for him what it is for many of us art lovers: a “magical place.”
2. It’s Never Too Late to Follow Your Dreams
Despite starting out relatively late in his life, Peter has filled his life with projects he is passionate about. Peter was a carpenter for many years and built homes before dedicating himself to painting. As a carpenter, received a great amount of respect for his creativity. From these experiences, he learned that every form of art inspires and creates a community of people that support and admire what you do.
“You’ve got to follow your dreams. I think even at the age of 57 my works are still in the early stages.“
If these are the early stages, we can’t wait to see what he’s painting 10 years from now! While Peter is humble, we agree that when you are passionate about something you can make it happen.
3. Find Freedom in Chaos and Exploration
Peter’s work is magical. They invite us to explore childish happiness and free ourselves from limits, whether they be self-imposed or due to beliefs of what society expects us to be. Peter’s vivid canvases convey joy with every stroke, evoking carefree happiness reminiscent of youth. In fact, Peter admits that he is ‘a bit immature’ but he believes his childishness gives him the freedom to not think that he is older and should behave a certain way. Peter loves the freedom of stripe painting and his abstract contemporary artwork instills a sense of freedom itself:
“I think they teach in design school that patterns make people happy. People love familiarity. Patterns might not have the freedom of chaos.”
This mindset that reminds us of the importance of nurturing that ‘inner child’ within all of us which not only inspires but also sees the world as a limitless realm of opportunity (it reminds us of a piece you’d see in “The Aesthetics of Joy” too!). Peter’s artwork doesn’t hide this childlike freedom and joy from the world, but rather channels and magnifies it.
4. Don’t Limit Yourself with Repetition
While Peter Triantos brings signature positivity to his pieces, he warns about tying yourself down to a particular style. Indeed, there is a comfort to knowing that what we are creating is pleasing a certain audience. Along with that comes the fear of losing this audience if we endeavor to try something else. And while every creator has a unique style, styles change as creators themselves undergo new life experiences.
“I see a lot of artists that are doing the same thing over and over— which you have to do a bit so people recognize you. But you can get caught up in the monotony if it’s successful. People like to do the same thing.”
We are all human and we are always evolving, changing. And while sometimes we might find comfort in what we know and what is admired, it never hurts to explore sides of yourself and your art.
“You shouldn’t be afraid to explore. Exploration is what frees you from everyday monotony.”
5. Stop Seeking Perfection and Just Create
As an artist, it is normal to never truly be satisfied with your work. Peter himself was a perfectionist who was always “waiting for that masterpiece.” But now he exhorts the importance of creating even with the knowledge that not everything will be perfect. Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about doing amazing things that our time is spent thinking rather than actually doing:
“Now that I’m older and wiser I play around. I try to just work and know nothing is just going to be perfect. Every piece will feel unfinished because that’s life and our journey. You have to get your work out there because, if you don’t, your work doesn’t influence anyone or help society.”
6. Don’t Take Criticism Personally
Of course, putting yourself out there means opening yourself up to the world. There’s a certain vulnerability in the criticism that comes with baring your art to others. Peter shows us that criticism might not be so personal as we might assume.
“People look at art and they’re fearful. They’re not really looking at it. They’re not looking at the art. Sometimes people look at a painting and feel anger or hate, but how can a painting instill that? The emotion is usually coming from the person, not the artwork.”
We are so glad to have beautiful insight from such a great artist and we hope that Peter Triantos can inspire you to deal more easily with the obstacles and questions that come with being a creator. Use these tips to be your most authentic you, free yourself from limits, and explore all the creative sides to yourself as you possibly can.
There are 37 unique pieces on Peter’s map! See how diverse his paintings and styles are to get inspired!
Also published on Medium.