Every few weeks, Flixel hosts an Instagram challenge, called #TheFlixelProject, which is open to any and all who wish to partake. Upon announcing the theme, we give contestants one, full week to submit their cinemagraphs using a particular hashtag. The goal: to fuel creativity, and inspire one another to make beautiful visual stories using cinemagraphs. Interested in getting involved? Head over to Flixel’s Instagram page and keep an eye out for announcements.
Yes, it’s now September, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting out there and enjoying what’s left of summer. Whether you’re going back to school, continuing work, or embarking on an epic trip, everyone knows that this amazing weather carries on through September. So there’s plenty of time to, quite literally, soak up the sun. But let’s be honest: what is the summer for, if not ice cream, slurpies, freezies, and cold beer, when you’re poolside, beachside, dockside, or otherwise? In any event, for our last #TheFlixelProject contest, we challenged you, the community, to whip up a cinemagraph around the theme Sunny Treats.
Going through all of your awesome #TFPSunnyTreats cinemagraphs was a rather sentimental and wistful experience. For what, exactly, is unclear. Perhaps the spring, when the weather started picking up and the promise of summer had yet to materialize. I suppose having something to look forward to is always nice. Well, of all the Sunny Treat-laden cinemagraphs we received, the one that evoked the keenest sense of a warm, summery afternoon, was from Athens-based visual artist, Fedon Arvanitakis!
I’ve got to come clean here, guys—I may have been a little bias when casting my ballot for this latest #TheFlixelProject contest. Because, well, I harbour a special fondness for the brand of beer featured in Fedon’s winning shot: Desperados. Yes, as a lowly 16 year old travelling through Europe, this hybrid beer/tequila was the first alcoholic beverage that I ever purchased, legally, at a bar. Again, sentimentality has overcome me.
But come on, my one vote didn’t decide the winner; Fedon’s entry truly did capture the spirit of summer, and all of us here at Flixel agreed. So, we linked up with the Greece-based visual storyteller to chew the fat over his craft, how he composed his winning entry, and what he finds so compelling about the cinemagraph medium.
Photographer. Art director. Graphic designer. Cinemagraph auteur. Fedon is a multi-hyphenate in every sense of the word. Hailing from Athens, Greece, make no mistake about it—Fedon resides in the cultural and historical epicentre of the world. Interestingly enough, though, he draws his inspiration from a variety of different sources, including science, travel, and the ways in which international organizations perform, creatively. And it’s this variance that drives his creative ambition, because, as Fedon puts it, connecting each of the dots is what allows his ideas to truly germinate.
By day, Fedon works out of his design studio, Cloudtrap, where he spearheads a myriad of projects related to corporate branding. By night, however, he likely continues working out of his studio, because Fedon’s livelihood is also his passion—and that’s something everyone can respect. Through his aptitude for video, advertising, and design, Fedon’s work is expressed from a number of different perspectives, as he weaves from one medium to the next, only bound by the depths of his imagination.
Fedon first picked up a camera when he was a mere 15 years old, while studying abroad in Italy. Although, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago when he came across the cinemagraph medium, and, in turn, Cinemagraph Pro. How, you ask? Through pure coincidence, “I first saw the application in [the] App Store, and the result attracted my interest right away.“ And, if you must know, the mystical nature of cinemagraphs was not lost on him, even from the beginning, “Cinemagraphs are just magic! It’s the best of both photographs and video, connected as one.”
Regarding the winning #TFPSunnyTreats entry, let’s just say, the production process was a lot more cumbersome that you might think, “The bottle was artificially frozen, because otherwise, it wouldn’t have lasted through the shoot. So, I put some surf wax on the bottle, to create the chill effect, before using glycerin drops to create the moisture effect on the bottle.”
But he wasn’t done there. Like any great artist, Fedon worked tirelessly to ensure that he had the best shot possible. When all of the elements didn’t come together, he kept at it, and tapped into his well of resourcefulness. How does one create a perfectly moist and effervescent bottle of beer? You’d be surprised, “Then, with a syringe, we starting putting fake glycerin drops all over, so they could be flowing down at the same time the man was jumping in the water.”
Sometimes, you gotta think on your feet and look beyond what’s right in front of you. If Fedon could do it, what’s stopping you. On that note, he also wanted to offer a piece of advice to anyone flirting with the cinemagraph medium, “Just think of how magical you want your cinemagraph to be. Then, think of the composition, the light, and the motion.
“The result will be definitely outrageous.”
That’s one way to put it!