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Burn the witch !
We love to follow the different projects and books of Spiridon. We already told you about Obliskura by Alex Konstad, Aphos by Andrew Mar and we had the chance to interview Abigail Larson during the financing of her book Crimson.
So, when we learned that he was going to launch a new collection called CODEX and that the first one would be dedicated to witches, we had to know more! Spiridon agreed to answer some of our questions about this project. And don’t forget, the funding starts tomorrow on this Kickstarter.
1/ Hello Spiridon, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey, my name is Spiridon and I am a freelance designer, a freelance editor, a person you can hire to edit your artbook. I work with Editions Caurette, a French publishing house, with whom I have been working for a few years now to edit all my books.
Before that, I worked in the tourism industry for about 8 years as a graphic designer. During this period, I mainly worked on the creation and layout of hiking books. Looking back, I think I did over a hundred of them. In the end, I realized that I was creating books that I didn’t like, that didn’t give me any emotions. So I decided to change careers, and now I design books that I love.
I think I chose this path because I didn’t want to have a boss. I’ve always preferred to do things on my own, make mistakes and learn from them. It’s really the best thing I’ve ever done, and I think I can really say that I love my job.
I recently launched a Patreon account on which I am discussing and reviewing artbooks, from a collector’s perspective but also talk about the creation of my own books and try to teach about designing them and crowdfunding. I included the Kéfi Podcast in this, which is about mental health and work-life balance. (patreon.com/spiridon)
2/ How was the Codex Obscurus project born?
I had already discussed a collection project with a few friends, but never really managed to find a theme for the collection. I wanted to create something new and that’s how #hardcover was born, my first collection, and it was a success!
But I wanted to create a different kind of collection, with artists who still are compensated for their contribution, without robbing them of their copyrights but still have the works to be unseen before the publication. But on what theme? I didn’t want to launch artbooks on a specific genre, I wanted something different. So in June 2019 the idea for CODEX Obscurus became reality. I want this book to be different from the others. I want to create a collector’s item that you will be proud to have in your library.
The subject of witches gradually came to my mind. I’m Greek, but born and raised in Germany, and I always heard stories in my family about modern witches, evil, curses and all those kinds of stories. I personally don’t believe in magic, but rather in the power of suggestion, of religion and spirituality. But these themes have always spoken to me more or less.
I am a bit nervous as this is a book I have worked on for so long, and of course you would want the result to match the expectation after such a long time. But I am positive that no matter how many we will get to print, the book will be my best so far.
3 / How did you choose the jury and how did the participants submit their works?
The jury is diverse because of the topic that is so universal and yet different in every culture. Of course in some of them the occult has a more important stance than in others but that is the beauty of this diversity. Such things have a different meaning in the Philippines than in the USA and then again different than in South America or Southern Europe. But all of them have stories to tell, and so did the professionals that are the CODEX jury.
4/ Why did you choose to do crowdfunding?
It’s what I’ve always done and I’m proud to say it has always worked. It’s a no-brainer for me. I prefer to manage things a certain way that has proven to lead to success, that’s one of the reasons why I work as a freelancer and it also gives more freedom to the artists.
5/ Can you tell us a little more about the tarot that will be part of the project?
Of course. The tarot is the work of one artist, who also worked on the cover of the Codex: Viktor Pushkarev. The idea with him was not to falsify an old book, but rather to create a modern design while respecting a somewhat medieval visual style. Viktor was the right man for the job with his way of using calligraphy, mixing traditional and modern forms.
For the Codex Obscurus, he created a script and alphabet that he mixed with runes, numbers and Hebrew alphabets. All this new writing is integrated directly into the tarot. We find elements of all religions in it: Hinduism, chakra…
And the fact is that I had never created a Tarot before, so why not now?
6/ How long has this project been in progress?
I’ve been working on it since June 2019, and I’ve been in contact with Viktor since then to make progress on the cover and the tarot.
7/ What are the projects you are working on?
My lineup for 2022 is already complete and I’m slowly working on 2023 as well. We will start in February with the new book by Bjorn Huri which will be called “Duality”. Then in April, the first book by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme, a long-time friend of mine, will finally be out. We’ll continue in July on an artbook with the artist Matej Petkovic who calls himself milkformycoconut, the Codex Draconis in August, and Alex Konstad’s new book in October, “Hell of a Story”.
And somewhere in between those dates, I’ll be able to produce an official H.R. Giger tribute artbook which will come out in 2023. I will be working on this project with his former assistant and good friend Erik Staub, as well as Ronald Brandt, Giger’s longtime assistant, and my partners at Editions Caurette.