Art Talk: The Bittersweet Illustrative Animals of Kareena Zerefos


Would you mind to tell me a bit about yourself and why you decide
to pursue art?

My name is Kareena. I’m a petite artist, designer and flâneuse, originally from Sydney but based in London. I pursued art, not so much as a decision, rather more because I’ve found it is something I’ve always been compelled to do.

What’s the early influences for your works? Do you remember the
first thing you would consider as your first artwork?

The early influenced for my work was the yearning for tangibility, to go back to creating by hand. Nostalgia and simplicity. I consider ‘Rose Tinted Glasses’ to be my first artwork, but really there were many more before, but I think this was the first piece that lead me to where I am now.

How you would describe your art?

A fragile, slightly nostalgic and bittersweet illustrative style.

 What’s the best advice you ever get from someone?

Do what you love and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work out.


I read on your bio, you like the word “elephant”,
is it the animal or the word that intrigue you?

Yes! I love the word Elephant, mostly the way it looks written. Obviously the animal is truly amazing too.


You just held exhibition on Curious Duke Gallery, how was it? From
all exhibitions you’re participated, which one is the most memorable
and why?

I didn’t get to attend the show at Curious Duke (I’ve been travelling a lot recently), but as I’m still fairly new to London, it’s just really exciting to be involved in a show with so many wonderful artists.
My most memorable show will always be my first solo show in Sydney in 2008, it was such a terrifying and thrilling experience!

From Pitchfork to cover album, seems you already done many
interesting projects, what’s your dream project/collaboration?

There is always a lot of variety with the work I do, and I am very lucky to be able to work across many exciting industries – music, fashion/textiles and media… a lot of what I’ve already had the privilege of working on has been a dream! There are a couple of collaborative projects that I would love to do like a range of cute underwear and sleep wear (this one might already be in the pipeline – I’ll keep you posted!), and one day I would love to collaborate on some fine porcelain tea and coffee sets.

You draw animals a lot, do you have some kind of spirit animal?

It’s impossible for me to favour one animal over another! At the moment I’m very much drawn to fennec foxes.

What kind of music you’re listening nowadays?

When I draw I tend to listen to The Decemberists, Iron & Wine or Kings of Convenience, all very bittersweet. I’ve also been listening to Melbourne band, Alpine’s new album recently.

What’s next for you?

I’m spending a couple of months in Sydney (escaping the London winter!), working on some new pieces based on Greek mythology and Aesop’s Fables. Hopefully, I’ll be able to put on a show here later in the year.

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