Sofia Koumarianou(PC) Author of children’s books: “Art is omnipotent”
Our fellow graduate Sofia Koumarianou was born in Athens and studied French Language and Philology at the Kapodistrian University. She then completed her postgraduate studies in Literature at the University of Montpellier, France. He speaks three foreign languages: French, English and Italian. Alongside her work, she deals with theatre, poetry and literature. Ocelotos publications also publishes her book “Princess Stalachtita and the Magic Flower”.
-Sofia, what is art for you?
– I consider art a birth, just as the root of the word itself defines it. In my eyes, it is an initial idea that takes shape – words, shape, notes, colors – after the process of implementation. Art is a creation, a feeling in which the creator – painter, writer, writer, sculptor, musician or however a person who creates art can be characterized – has devoted time, effort, many times his very existence to the transfer of the original idea from conception to realization. With creation, the artist takes his idea out of his mind and exposes it to public opinion.
Art, idea, and inspiration are unique associative processes intended to sharpen the mind, awaken the senses, evoke emotion, even create trends, provoke reactions, or guide and shape characters. Art is omnipotent and its omnipotence is its main characteristic. To understand its omnipotence, it is enough to reflect on the role of music, literature, theater in difficult times for humans.
-Tell us about some special moments from your school years at Pierce.
-All my moments were special and powerful in Pierce. The inclination I have always had towards literature was especially enhanced by literature in English. I keep our graduation dance, our laughter in the corridors, his bright classrooms, his unique theater, the art rooms, our evenings, our excursions, the library, where I learned from an early age that you look for the right literature, the courts and of course our pool…
-What supplies did our School give you both for your life and for art?
– I will not refer extensively to the educational work of the College. The educational value of Pierce, I think, is non-negotiable. It is a school of multifaceted knowledge, multidimensional education, where information passes from the teacher to the student in its most documented, enriched and beautiful form. I will stick to the role of the school as a bearer of the phrase ‘Non ministrare sed ministrare: Do not accept to be served, but serve’. Our school nurtured us with this philosophy. Perhaps the immaturity of our adolescence prevented us from seeing it then, but in the years that have come I understood exactly what this phrase meant.
Pierce prepares you not to serve slavishly, but to keep humble when your personality and intellect serve the community, the world. It’s what they say in French “qu’on ne prend pas la grosse tête”, to remain humble as people when our work stands out and becomes great.
I recently read a statement by President Horner about the new opening of the primary school. I retained the phrase “educating the whole child”. I saw what the school and the people who serve it do. It cultivates the totality of personality, talents, inclinations, giving opportunities in an indescribably beautiful school environment.
The school prepares for society in the best way. It recognizes the children and their achievements, as the same is also recognized as a non-negotiable qualification in their CV.
I feel and have been incredibly homesick for school. The transition from the camp environment to the university was incredibly surprising to me I remember. I still really miss school. And with each passing day—especially now that I’m working in private education as well—I miss him even more. I have nothing but to thank my parents for choosing the school and the people who work tirelessly behind its gates and with their work made and make the school unique in its kind.
-You use different artistic means of expression: theater, poetry and literature. How do these interact in your work?
– All this for me is art. Art in its clearest and purest form. The theater I love helps me to express the thoughts of my books. Poetry is for me one of the greatest expressive achievements. The worked word, the verse that has the power to express emotions, to create a melody, without music. As for literature, how can I not admire the power of speech to have as many interpretations as its readers? All these means of expression help me to shape my heroes, to give them form so that they can express my own ideas and concerns about the world around us.
-Tell us about the book you published entitled “Princess Stalachtita and the Magic Flower”
-Stalachtita is my first book. It is a traditional tale that uses the pattern of teaching through the model of conceit, the mistake that is, the disparagement and then the climax and resolution of what you deprecated. Stalachtita has all our negative traits, arrogance and conceit that goes beyond measure and makes her an evil princess who ignores the flower she doesn't like. But then, when necessity makes her see the flower differently, with different eyes she recognizes her mistake, makes amends and thus they lived well and we lived better. Stalachite learns a lesson.
It is a small fairy tale with a big lesson and a big truth that everyone, young and old, should know. All these ideas and the character of Stalachtita as well as the humble gardener who is the protagonist, have been rendered with amazing colors and designs, which are imprinted in the eyes and minds of the children. Stalachtita was the beginning of a beautiful story, that of writing, which put me in the world of fairy tales and beautifully leads me and always accompanies me.
-Other books you have published?
I have also published two other books. My second one is called ‘Bijou and the seven calamities’, from Ocelotos publications. I have also published a French fairy tale for children who come into contact with the French language from an early age, called ‘Paul l’escargot et les couleurs’ (Paul the snail and the colors) published by Dianoia publications.
– What are you currently doing and what are your future plans?
-At the moment I work long hours in education, so my time is somewhat limited. However, I have already completed two children’s stories about the climate crisis and the phenomenon of racism. I also have some children’s poems ready, which I am thinking of publishing in the form of children’s poems or songs. Finally, I will not hide from you that lately the idea of the possible publication of a novel has entered my mind.
-What advice would you give to a new artist?
-I will refer to the part of children’s literature that I serve.
I would say keep his eyes and ears open at all times. To listen and learn from the children. The younger the children, the more truths they tell. The ideas of respect, friendship, true love, environmental danger, war are not trivial and are not self-evident values for all people. I would say that children are our mirror. And an artist who listens and learns from children, always has something new to say that can change the world for the better. How to get these concepts across to children is the hard part, the canvas on which the writer must work.