Charlie Nanopoulos: A Heart of Gold

Charlie Nanopoulos has a heart of gold. Unassuming, affable, and quintessentially Australian. He defies the pretension of the art world with his attitude towards his creative process and wholesome artworks.

Charlie’s now popularised style of painting

Never originally a painter, Nanopoulos was a professional pressure sprayer, working with his brothers.

The Mornington local is used to working hard. He used to work 45-hour weeks, 5 am wake-ups, and working on industrial chicken farms. One day, the fit and healthy 34-year-old knew something was wrong; he knew something wasn’t right with his health. He checked himself into the hospital.

Medical staff were able to identify a congenital heart issue. He had to undergo open heart surgery to repair heart valves.

“I got an infection in my heart. I spent 23 days in hospital and a week in ICU and I had to have open heart surgery to correct a birth defect, which had eaten away two of my heart valves. Being on medication now, I had to quit my trade and started the art to keep my mind occupied” he said in an interview with the Bluethumb team.

Charlie and his mother Jenny

Charlie lost 20 kilograms during his recovery in the hospital. He would never be able to work in his trade again.

Art was essential to his recovery. Always a casual illustrator, he picked up the paintbrush more intently this time.

Nanopoulos is now a Bluethumb Rising Star with 100+ paintings sold with a style that is truly his own.

Inspiration comes so naturally to him and is not overly verbose about artistic influences.

A humble studio space

His work is based on a genuine interest and fascination with creating art, “I get inspiration from comic books. The colours…I used to draw Spiderman. I used to draw pictures in school when I should have been learning” he laughs.

Even creating art in such a formative way interestingly has preceded what would become his full-time job.

The absence of pretense in Charlie’s work allows for undeniably stunning artworks. A lot of is based on symmetry and rich colour. It’s likely the reason that Charlie has exploded in popularity. His work is objectively nice to look at.

This can be seen in pieces like Hidden Laneways and From the ground up.

He also loves quintessentially Australian themes, “I love sport and I love Melbourne”. This can be seen in his piece A Lifetime of Barracking.

Charlie with his painting ‘A Lifetime Of Barracking’

Charlie works from a humble studio space in an outhouse at his parent’s home in Cranbourne South on the Mornington Peninsula. He and his fiance are living there as they look to buy a place of their own.

When asked about pursuing art full time, Charlie said “I’m gonna try my best to make it my career”.

Artists have the ability to define their own future. They can overcome personal struggles and find opportunities through their craft. They don’t always need official training. Charlie Nanopoulos is a man whose story defines that all and does so with a great sense of humility.

He is another Bluethumb success story.

See more of Charlie’s artwork here.

Follow Charlie on Instagram for more.

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