1.What inspires you when you design jewelry?
Symbols and their meanings, topical social issues of our times, poetry, travel, an interesting film, museums of the world, a trip close to nature, a favourite song from the past, all these things can be a spark, a source of inspiration.
2.What is your favorite material to work with?
I feel I have no restrictions regarding the material which will represent the design I desire to embody. Metal, natural - organic materials and precious stones, textile and other times vintage pieces which I have found in flea markets around the world, make up the vital elements of my jewelry.
3.What is your creative process like when you design jewelry?
The creative process when a piece of jewelry is born in my hands, is in essence a blending of the Holy Trinity; the Spirit, the Body and the Soul. Without the engagement of one of these Three, it is impossible for an artwork to evolve.
4.What challenges do you face when designing jewelry?
When I first begin to design a piece, I always face the same question ‘for which reason?’ When this has been answered, I then start to search for the pivotal form, together with the material, in combination with the research required ensuring what I have visualized can be accomplished.
5.How has your personal style influenced your jewelry designs?
I think that my personality, the values in which I believe, in a dialogue with the aesthetics defining me, are the basic elements reflected in my creations.
On looking at my artwork as an observer, I often discern that it belongs to two very different worlds. It is as though these two different worlds are expressed on some occasions through the minimalism of the MYSTiS brand, and on others, through an assemblage world completely covered in diverse materials and senses in my one-of-a-kind creations.
6. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in designing jewelry?
To be original. I would say to look beyond those influences experienced each day and try to ensure that your work remains intact and faithful to your personal imprint. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
7. What do you think is the most important skill for a jewelry designer to have?
Without any shadow of a doubt, to work without considering what others like. To have the ability of rebirth spiritually, to evolve. To be in the present, not forgetting the past which is the very foundation, and to face the future without fear.
Above all is instinct, a vital element in the personality of the designer. To look beyond the now…
8. What is your greatest fear?
Loss of memory.
9. Are you the type of character who would swim against the stream or would you rather be on the safe side?
Up until the present, the path I have traversed in my life, indeed my choices, do not belong to the safe side. More often than not, I follow a road alone, my own distinct road, offering me the chance to feel free, to truly be myself, and not play a role preferred by others.
10.If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?
To offer my energy, to be focused on what truly satisfies my soul. To be more specific, to creatively rub shoulders with other artists found on the same frequency and who share the same values. Through my work to give to others and to make this world a better place.
Sofia Zarari initially studied Political Science at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens to better understand the world. She then continued with studies in Jewelry Design at Mokume Silversmithing and Jewelry Design School in Athens followed by wax modeling at Accademia delle Arti Orafe in Rome.
In 1997, she began working as a Fine Jewelry Designer in leading jewelry companies and systematically participated in the most significant European exhibitions.
Armed with collage and assemblage techniques, she manages to transcend the boundaries of small-scale art and the rules of the wearable art of jewelry to express herself through visual art.
In latter years, she has focused her perspective on the social face of art.
She occasionally uses performance art—movement and speech—as a means to approach cultures, revive primitive practices, decode symbols and understand their meanings.
She has gained invaluable experience teaching jewelry during her career.
The written word has also become an important channel for expression. Ηer texts have complemented art exhibitions and have been published in the digital press.
2018 saw the opening of a new window of communication with the public by launching the label MYSTiS by SOFIA ZARARI.
Three landmarks in her career are her collaborations with the Benaki Museum, the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum and the NEON Organisation for Culture and Development in Athens.
She systematically participates in solo and group exhibitions.
Her works are included in private collections and museums around the world.