Graphic Art News presents a very talented jewel artist from Greece, Stratis Voyiatzis. Stratis is not an ordinary jewel designer, he is an artist. His inspiration derives from the everyday life and various social issues. A very powerful social issue, that, I must say, made me to admire his work, is human’s addictions to drugs, women and everything that one can be addicted to which led Stratis to create the series “Addiction”. As Stratis explains, is not a way to promote drugs, but in the contrary to showcase it’s extend in our society.
When I first went to VOY shop I was intrigued by the way his brand name, website and interior design fitted together. One thing that we don’t see often, especially to jewelry shops. As he confessed, this is the outcome of a fantastic collaboration between himself, his designers and photographers.
– Welcome Stratis to Graphic Art news. Please, tell us about yourself and how did you come to be in the jewelry industry.
Hello Maria. Thank you very much for the invitation. My love and interest for jewelry started from my family that has been in the jewelry business for the past two generations. My grandfather owned a watch/jewelry industry back in 1955 and my father is dealing with wholesaling jewelry from 18 carats gold and diamond since 1980. Therefore I grew up, basically surrounded by jewelry and in 2011 I decided to start my own company, Voy Jewellery.
A year later I had designed and presented my first jewelry collection, and up to this moment a number of others.
– Your collections are unique not only in the Greek celebrity industry but worldwide as well.
The most significant artists in Hellas and abroad have chosen my creations for their appearances. For the past two years my goal is international business. I have recently closed a big deal with a famous name worldwide and the following days this collection will be presented.
– Tell us about your personal design style.
The basic characteristic that all my designs have is that almost all of them are sharp and edgy. In a way it’s as if they incarnate my “good” and “evil” self.
– Where do you get inspiration from?
Inspiration for me is everything. All of my everyday experience and the people around me. Feelings as sorrow, happiness, stress, loss, love, passion, hate, are more than enough to be converted into a piece of jewelry, a poem, a painting. Into everything that can remind me of that moment, that inspired me so that its gone but never forgotten.
– How many jewelry collections have you designed and what is the concept behind?
Up till now I have designed 8 jewelry collections and presented 6 of them.
My very first, Addiction by Stratis, which is inspired by all forms of addictions in life and has a rock-gothic texture.
Next came Angel by Stratis. Its main shapes are the wing, sword and monogram “G”, that is the first letter for the word Gate and symbolizes the gate for the stairway to heaven.
I continued with Crowns by Stratis, that are inspired by royalty symbols, emblems used in ceremonies and of courses crowns.
A bit later I created Retro by Stratis, that was born from my love for old objects that carry memories from other ages.
Last but not least, the Fortius by Stratis and Infinity by Stratis.
– Which is your favorite collection and why?
I haven’t presented my favorite collection yet! The technique that I used is creating the prototype handmade with wax, which I cut and sculpt on my own without the help of a computer. Unfortunately at this point I can’t reveal any more details because it’s an international collaboration with a big celebrity. Its presentation will soon take place.
– What materials and techniques do you favor?
I use different kinds of materials for my creations. Bronze, silver, gold, brilliant, sapphire, black diamonds, rubies. Each jewel has its own character and the combination of the raw materials is important for its designation. My personal favorites are platinum and black diamonds.
– What piece of advice would you give to someone that’s interested in getting into the jewelry industry?
Over the past years there has been an increase of companies at the faux bijoux industry. These are mainly e-shops that import mainstream jewelry from China resell them or copy other brands. I have personally experienced my designs being copied. These have nothing to do with the gold jewelry industry that has work force that is experienced and has knowledge and artistic approach on jewelry.
The way I see it designing jewelry is a form of art that combines imagination and craftsmanship. That’s why my advise is that one must approach jewelry with respect love and passion for unique creation.
– Although your jewelry collections are all different with contradictory designs you have managed to adjust them all under the Voy umbrella with cohesion. Did you follow a certain strategy to achieve that?
Every collection expresses a different angle of who I am, my “different selves”. Whatever I create is what I feel for myself and the people around me.
The truth is that I haven’t followed a certain strategy, I have always been myself and that is what has won the people’s responsiveness.
– How did the Branding of your company begin?
The name came from the first three letters of my last name which is short and linear. The letter “O” with a dot in the middle represent the perfect connection of the male and the elements.
– How do you define the aesthetic of jewelry and the consumer?
For me the aesthetic of jewelry has everything to do with elegance, uniqueness, the implementation of the idea into the object and with the combination of the materials. The consumers aesthetic is defined by fashion and trends that make the creation more “digestible”.
– Do you think you tell a story through your creations and what story is that?
As I already said every creation of mine has a story and that is what I try to implement on every piece of jewelry I create. Actually it depends on my mood. If I feel anxious and introverted, the “story” is dark… And if I feel nostalgic and tender, the creations integrate clarity and optimism…
– Tell us the exact steps you followed to create Voy as we know it.
My nature is very rebellious so it’s hard for me as a person to follow curtain steps. I’ve followed my beliefs and my values without any negotiation. This way I’m always a winner at least ethically.
– If you could choose to wear one of your creation which one would it be?
All of my jewelry designs are a dimension of who I am. Every day I wake up differently and love the one that “talks”to the way I feel. I’ve come to realize that maybe they all have equal amount of my love.
– Your plans for the future?
Two collections with Hellene amazing designers who happen to be good friends of mine. A huge business deal is also on its way with a worldwide known artist which I can’t give anymore details, yet! One thing’s for sure. Voy Jewelry and myself are on our way to the top worldwide.