Q&A with Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou, Author of Enchanted Earth

April 17, 2023

Earth Day is right around the corner! To get ready for this April celebration, we sat down with Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou to ask her about the inspiration for her newest coloring book—Enchanted Earth.

What initially drew you to making art?

I think what drew me initially, what captivated me in making art is this special, peaceful feeling of expressing myself, my thoughts, and my emotions by creating illustrated stories. Stories that have something to tell—many times they reach people in a unique way, by seeing our world through my eyes and giving them a different perspective.

How long have you been an illustrator and graphic designer?

I have been drawing and crafting things since a very young age, but professionally I have been working as an independent Illustrator and graphic designer for about a decade.

What inspired the illustrations you created for Enchanted Earth?

Enchanted Earth is a book that focuses on our natural world from a magical viewpoint. From the moment I open my eyes, to the moment I close them, everything I see and read is inspiration. Shapes, colors, words, or anything that exists around us can be turned into a work of art. What inspired me in working on this book is all the mysticism we sometimes feel and think is hidden within our world. I was inspired to create the illustrations in this book by interconnecting natural and everyday elements in an unusual, surrealistic way, to create something new and curious.

Which coloring page from Enchanted Earth is your favorite and why?

I don’t think I have just one. I have connected with many drawings from the book. But if I had to definitely choose, it would be the “Butterfly Tree House,” because I have always felt a very special connection to the trees, their significance to Earth, and the history they hold in their roots. There is something truly magical about them that always makes me happy to sketch or watch them in nature.

Can you describe your process for creating new designs?

There are multiple aspects to creating new designs, but I will break it down to two: brainstorming for concepts and the sketch process. Depending on the theme I am working on, I will do the appropriate research and gather any special requirements the brief has, which is an important step for brainstorming ideas. Then I will write down my thoughts, musings, like I was writing a little mini short story, and I will start pencil sketching based on that. I’ll do different versions of this until I am happy with one of them. Then I proceed with inking and painting the final illustration. 

What do you hope people will feel while coloring pages from this book?

The most important thing is for people to have fun and a good time coloring in this book. But also, I hope people connect with our beautiful Earth through the illustrations. I hope they feel calm and at peace within these pages.

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