Viewing Archive ~ November, 2011

Another monday, another inspiring soul. I’d like to introduce you to Yahya Esmaele. I met Yahya back in 2002 in the college of fine arts in Zamalek, Cairo. Ever since then, he has always been inspiring me with his projects and adventures. After working in Bahrain for a while, Yahya is back in Cairo currently as Associate Creative Director for Leo Burnett Cairo, he is also the co-founder of the amazing startup project Bey2ollak, a mobile and internet community where users empower eachother to navigate the chaotic and busy streets of Cairo, smoothly. I was fortunate enough to secure some of his time.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

Y: First creative activity would be actually very difficult to remember cause this could be any thing I had done when i was a kid (my mom has a bunch of really surrealistic drawings I did when I was 6) but I remember the first commercial creative activity I did. I was in high school and I used to get a bunch of black t shirts and some whit paint, then I draw on the t a black n white portrait of Kurt Cobain, Bon Jovi, Yangvi Malmsteen (I believe it was the first i did) then I sell that to the kids at school. Made some good money out of that.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

Y: I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, I’m actually a certified architect. I love architecture but the career here in Egypt wouldn’t allow me to express my creativity the way I do in advertising. You feel that creativity is much more valued in advertising (though the advertising industry has its flaws as well). Another thing I wish I could do, carpentry. I hope one day I could set up my own workshop. Wood is just an amazing material that you could do anything out of it. The smell of wood makes feel I’m very close to nature.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

Y: The cliches answer of any thing, any where, any time is practically true. However what really matters is the ability to produce and I ve noticed that when I’m in cairo, it sucks a lot of my energy that every day I just wanna site doing nothing but watching TV but when I’m away I ve much energy to do things. So its healthy to retreat every now and then and produce some of stuff you had in mind. What’s in mind right now was actually inspired my two and a half years old daughter Alia, she was showing me this drawing she did, which is basically two corrugated circles a big one around a smaller one. Then she told me the big one is the road and the smaller one is a cat, another time she used her lego to make a cube like shap and she told me its a duck. I was amazed with the way she sees things. I decided to scan these drawings or take a photo of leog stuff then do some typography/ graphic design on top of them explaining each item, naming it “According to Alia”

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

Y: Other than the self portrait, here is another piece “where is ma money”. It came to me when I was really wondering where is my money, I’m sure it happens to every one of us when you ask yourself how the hell I spent those five hundred dollars for example. I decided to shoot every single item I bought in the periode of six months and make a poster out of that, hang it on my wall and I never ask my self “where is my money” It is going to be a series of posters ideally one each six month.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Y: It really differs according to what I’m interested in in that period of time, some times I could be totally into packaging, some other times I’m totally into product design. Since now I’m into photography and fashion so here are the open taps on my chrome

It’s my pleasure this week to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Leeay Aikawa. I met Leeay at the Ontario College of Art & Design in 2005 and she has been inspiring me ever since. The great thing about knowing her for quite a while is seeing how she actively pursues challenging herself and evolving her work. She has the qualities that make any creative person exceptional, she’s extremely curious and motivated to constantly explore new areas. Born in Toyama, and having lived in Japan for a good chunk of her life so far, she has been in Canada for a couple years now and already doing work for the NewYorker, Globe and mail and others.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

L: Play with my friend Ayako at the park in Tokyo.  I played as a wife, she played as my husband….something like that.  We made every part of the park and wooden outdoor play equipment(how do i call in English?) as part of our house and furnitures.  We imitated our own parents quite well. Funny memory.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

L: Fashion Designer or Psychologist, or working for film!

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

L: Tough question…..But Travelling inspires me.  And then the people I meet, story I hear and moments I go through in life.  Many places inspire me but when it comes to digital collage, I really like to be somewhere I can sit, ideally with tablet.  A lot of fashion designers inspire me too.  I believe collage/illustration has a trend as well somewhat and I can learn a lot about it from fashion industry.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

Attached image: Lady Cosmogony. There are many thoughts involved but mainly I thought it would be so cool to see a fashion show in space one day.  They would tickle my heart.  My coworker Mayuko named this piece.

5. Name 5 websites that you check often.



weather network

ffffound you haven’t seen Tommy Ton looks yet, check now, they tickle my heart!)

Better late than never right? I’m currently on a bit of a creative retreat in the ever eternal captial of Egypt, Cairo. It’s always a pleasure to spend time here, but one forgets (gladly in a way) to frequently access the interwebs. This week, I’d like to introduce you to another fellow Quebecois Soul, Jean-François Dumais. Jean is great example of a hard working creative that really is capable of applying his talent wherever his mind fancies. From working on adidas to indie street music labels, jean is an inspiration to me and I’m quite sure to many other creative souls. Not only did I get some face to face time with him when I was in Montréal earlier this spring, but he was gracious enough to spare some time to answer my questions.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

J: Im not sure…but i remember we had a little beige apple computer for the summer when i was around 10 and my big thing was to design newspaper grids. In macpaint. So nerdy…I guess i was always into drawing and building stuff…At one point i wanted to be an inventor.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

J: I always liked race cars, but recently i became obsessed with them. So i think i’d like to be a race car driver. In the 90s. In europe. Probably DTM or rallye. If not maybe i’d be a handyman.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

J: Im inspired by lots of things…Almost any design from the 60s-70s. I think graphic design was so cool back then. Im not so much inspired by the stuff happenning right now. Its a little too intellectual sometimes and it really gets on my nerves.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

J: Here’s my latest personal piece of work, called 1992 Exotic Overdrive. Its an animated .gif i made for an expo in Montreal about well, animated .gifs. Since i’m obsessed with cars and racing and games to a certain extent, i decided to create this fake videogame about awesome racing cars that are on fire. For some reason i’m also obsessed with cars on fire. Here’s the link to other amazing pieces from the same expo :

I: Name 5 websites that you check often. — Obvioulsy…how would i keep track of all these people i care about (im not even being sarcastic) — The music blog i started with a few of my friends. Its very good to keep up with the awesome music and other cool shit. — Just cause theres a lot of good stuff about every subject swag related. — Fader is the best music magazine ever created by mankind. Theyre always on point and get what good music is all about in any genre. — I couldnt live with that image porn…wether its cars, graphics, LOLz or any awesome stuff in general.

Hi, I'm Ibraheem Youssef
I'm a Creative,
currently based in Toronto.

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