Ira Florou Member Since September 2013 Artist Statement My name’s Ira and I’ve been painting ever since I can remember myself. My mum loves to narrate the “tortures” I’ve caused to her; papers flying around our place, colored pencils spread behind the couch cushions, colorful spots on the furniture and my sheets. But the one incident that most impressed her happened when I was just nine months old and I asked her to give me her pen, in a way only babies are able to ask. My mother handed it to me along with a piece of paper, guessing that I might have inherited her own artistic flair. Well, the test was positive. Painting for me is, above all else, an escape from my everyday life. It gives me the chance to mentally enter a different world, dream-like and unusual, far away from a predictable and melancholic reality. I love this way out and it’s my only means to portray thoughts and feelings that seems really hard for me to express using words. My aim is to communicate tranquility, love, hope, all these feelings that fill my heart each time I create a piece of art and to offer a similar to mine getaway to anyone who is able to share these with me, a getaway beyond the cruelty and numbness of today’s world. That is not an easy goal, and never has been. There have been years during which I suffered the intense disapproval of my environment, I was forced to abstain from my passion and feel insecure about its absence. I have tried considering various career paths and multiple job choices. All these years of abstention offered me nothing but anxiety and fear, fed by the fears of others, which resulted in denying my own nature. But I am 26 years old now and I decided to put an end to it. Life seems worthless unless you’re doing what you love, what makes you peaceful and offers you a sense of fulfillment. My aim is to share my art with anyone who is willing to accompany me to my journeys and to convey, if possible, even small segments of the happiness and the zest that I’m feeling right now. Apart from that, I would love to think that my choice could serve as an example for someone touched by my art, in order to chase their own dream.