NEW YORK – Vasili Kreatsoulas created a Greek-themed iPhone sticker pack called Kalimojis, graphics that you can send to your parea via Apple’s iMessage. Currently based in Long Island where he works for an advertising agency, he spoke with The National Herald about his creation and the connection with his Greek heritage.
Kreatsoulas, 27, studied advertising at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and performed with the Grecian Odyssey Dancers which his parents helped start in East Pittsburgh, PA. When asked what inspired him to create Kalimojis, he told TNH, “I’m a creative person by nature and always took pride in being Greek. I have always looked for some way to combine my creativity with my heritage.”
The progress from idea to reality was, like most things in the digital age we live in, relatively quick. Kreatsoulas said of the process, “The thought to make my own Greek Sticker app first came into my mind last summer when I saw a comedian on Instagram create iPhone stickers of one of their characters. Later that summer in August when I was communicating with someone and wanted to send them an emoji of a Frappé and Gyro but couldn’t find anything that looked like what I wanted to send. I asked a friend in the app development field how difficult it would be to create a sticker pack and they sent me the information. From October 2017 until the New Year I slowly made some of the graphics. My friend who was going to help me get the technical side of the app finished but was getting married in March 2018 so the first few months of the year I didn’t do anything. In April, I wrapped up the graphics I was working on and we reconvened to finish it. It officially launched in the App Store on May 2, 2018.”
When asked about his family background in Greece, Kreatsoulas told TNH, “I’m a mixture of a lot of places in Greece. My mother’s side is from Kozani, Thessaloniki, Constantinople, and the island of Marmara in present day Turkey. My father’s side is from Chios and across from Chios in Asia Minor.”
Kreatsoulas also told TNH that he is currently working on more Kalimojis. He said, “The second batch of Kalimojis will be finished before next month. In this batch, I added more greetings and some food. I’m always looking for new ideas. The response has been great and I am so thankful to the Greek community for the support.”
Kalimojis are available in App Store, and may also be available soon for other types of phones as well, if the demand for the Greek-themed emojis continues to increase.