Viewing Archive ~ January, 2012

It’s always a treat to be able to peek into the brain of those that I truly admire. Yuko Shimizu, a one of a kind Japanese illustrator that is based in New York. Yuko has quite an epic style, that’s the only way I can really describe it. I came across her work 4 years ago and have been following her progress ever since. Not only is she extremely inspiring, but she is constantly pumping out new work, while maintaining impeccable standards in quality. Her evolution as an illustrator is quite an interesting one, as she been drawing ever since she was young, however it took her roughly 10 years in an office job to realize that she needed pursue her passion. Newsweek Japan chose her as one of “100 Japanese People The World Respects” in 2009.


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

Y: This is actually not a memory, but something I was told later. It is the record of my first creative activity. When I was around 2 years old, I took a crayon and drew a circle and a line sticking out of the circle. And apparently told my mother that I drew a balloon.

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

Y: I got a marketing/advertising degree from a university in Japan and worked in corporate PR in Tokyo for eleven years and three months before quitting the position to move to NY to attend art school. I have been working as an illustrator for 9 years and six months now. It is hard to believe I still have worked longer in corporate than in art. So, the long story short, it is pretty obvious what I would have been doing if I didn’t choose art.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

Y: Inspiration is everywhere. Any every day experience, conversation with friends or strangers, trips I take and streets I walk around. I have had so much visual influences accumulated over long enough years of living and in touch with art since 2 years old (according to my mom. See answer 1) , I am less and less influenced and inspired by visual art. And more and more inspired by life.

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

Y: I just finished this piece last week. I have been working as a cover artist for this DC Comics Vertigo series for more than three years. This is the latest cover.
I love that I get to do a lot of different ideas, compositions and colors for them. Not your typical main-stream comic book cover. I had a lot of fun drawing storm clouds and waves in the ocean.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

The Twenty third of January, another fine Monday, fit to introduce a perfectly fine creative and great friend of mine, Michael Donaghey. I’ve known Mike for a good 7 years so far, we first met as aspiring Art Directors at the Ontario College of Art & Design. I remember way from the get go, he was always so motivated, even when the lot of us at such an early stage in our visual communication careers were not. Before he even graduated, he was plucked by Draft FCB, where he put in some good time, then moved on to BBDO where he really proved his worth. A couple international awards later (Clios, OneShow, Cannes Gold Lion) to name a few, Mike is simply the most passionate Art Director about Advertising that I personally know. I’m sure we’re all just beginning to see a fraction of his true worth shine.

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

M: My memory is probably my worst quality (which means it’s really, really bad) but I actually have evidence of some early Donaghey in the form of a Ninja Turtles illustrated book – credit Cheryl Donaghey (a.k.a. “Mom”) for spelling. The erratic lines and uncertain colour palette point to a distinct lack of artistic ability, possibly surpassed only by the artist’s apparent hate for Krang.

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

M: Honestly, I’d be trying to start my own cemetery. I love the personality and design of them. I’ve been to some of the best in the world, and each one shows an evolving sense of material, aesthetic, typography, and respect for the dead as it pertains to its city and culture. I’d want to treat it like a gallery, and funerals would be like exhibit openings. Good thing I’m in advertising, I guess.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

M: That’s tough, and I think the answer is always changing. But I guess the constant would be the people I interact with. Of course two heads are better than one, but if those heads are working well together, and people are making each other better, than two heads should actually be better than two.

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

M: This is a piece we recently did with our FedEx clients and director Jeff Low. It’s an example of the shift away from interruptive advertising and towards something that people actually want. If you don’t like it, stop watching. But if you do like it, you’ll enjoy the experience and be more receptive to the brand’s message. Or, you’ll say “what kind of puppy is that???” like about 50 people on YouTube.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Third week into Twenty Twelve, welcome. This exciting monday morning I’m pleased to introduce you to Mohamed Nabil. I’ve known Mohamed since early 2000′s way back in Fine Arts College in Zamalek, Cairo. But, I didn’t really get to know him better and appreciate his unique talent till a couple years ago. His eye for developing unique materials in such an original way is un-rivalled in his field, I managed to get a brief glimpse into his mind over the holidays.

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

M: My earliest memory of a creative activity I remember is that I redesigned the school books cover and over illustrated the drawing that I found in my school books. By adding decorative patterns and made distortion to become look like the metal bands that I listened to at this time.

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

M: All my childhood I thought that I would be a diplomat, until I grew up and I found my self entering the field that I worked in by accident. But now, I don’t think that I will find my self in any other place

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

M: Traveling any where inside or outside my country and listening to the native people who think that the world ends at their door.

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

M: I’m sharing with you some of my favorite work in 2011. Arabic typography is my biggest passion. trying to represent the main local character of Egypt and the middle east culture by creating a contemporary designs typography that reflect our global insights.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Google
Facebook
ffffound
youtube
vimeo

Second week into Twenty Twelve, welcome. This exciting Monday morning I’m pleased to introduce you to Hicham Rahmah, graduated from high cinema institute in Cairo- Animation department, currently working as an art director in Nahdet Misr publishing house and a cartoonist in al Masry Al Youm newspaper. I met Hicham for the first time two years ago on the Beaches of Sinai, we spent a couple days together with a whole bunch of friends, he struck me as a curious and reflective individual. It was not until after I returned to Toronto, that I slowly began to discover the far reaches of his talent. I’m glad that I had some time to share his thoughts with everyone.

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

H: When i was young I created a comics magazine, made of 22 pages. I was talking to my father about a lot of mistakes in the comics magazine in middle east, so my father told me to create my own magazine. I brought a lot of papers and started to do the cover and the stories. I then finished it and showed it to my dad, I dont know where is it now and i cant even remember the name of this magazine, but what i remember that its looks like toktok magazine. (A Magazine started by Hicham and others)

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

H: I cant do anything else than art, but when I was younger I dreamed to be a lot of things like : pilot (as of most of all children), football player but the most strange thing I dreamed to be is a taxi driver, because I love to be in the streets, also i will carry a lot of girls with me in my car and play my music and ask them what they think about my music … but when i grow up .. i found that the taxi driver is soo boring and smells so bad and they keep talking in nonsense things … I love a lot what i’m doing now.. and always thank god what he gave me … I cant do anything else!

I: Inspiration, who? what? where

H: Who? mmmmm… they are all arabs like : Labbad, Nabeel Tag, Hegazy. Because I saw their illustrations when I was young in Majid magazine, and they constituent me by there works, especially Labbad, who let me join the high cinema institute.

Around the world: Miro, Picasso, Egon Schiele, I love them like that because I feel their works in my soul like classic music.

What? music: Tchikovesky always touching my soul and makes me always want to do a big huge artwork.

Where? Barcelona because I love coastal cities also because of miro and Picasso, I like the gothic design of this city. I also love paris because the comics or .. le bande dessinee !

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

H: I made this picture in 2008. I like it because it reflects the image of the egyptian character. The cartoon character is saying “Only God knows how much I love you!” and I am looking to God!? I hope you understand the meaning is sometimes people say things that maybe are not realistic and we believe them. Like saying God only knows what is in my heart!! So i dont want to know, just say it like that and I will translate in my mind or in my feeling. Maybe it’s philosophic what i’m thinking about, pardon me.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Happy new year all! Starting off twenty twelve, I’d like to introduce everyone to a super talented lady, whom I met summer 2010, and she’s been inspiring me ever since, Rachelle Letain is a self-proclaimed “designustrator” (see: a graphic designer/illustrator hybrid). A current intern at Toronto-based studio Sovereign State, Rachelle enjoys hand drawn typography, cohesive colour palettes, nostalgia, and visual puns. This spring, she will complete her second degree (her first was accomplished after a 4-year stint completed at Sheridan College’s Illustration BAA program) via OCAD University’s Bachelor of Design program. She looks forward to greeting the “real world” with honesty and creative eagerness, and plans to continue uniting her two passions and bridging the gap between illustration and design as best she can.

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

R: My earliest memory of being involved in a creative activity was probably in junior kindergarten. We had a “drawing center” that I spent a lot of time in. From what I can remember, it was kind of this sectioned off area in the middle of our classroom that had a few long tables with plastic containers of crayons grouped in the center. I recall drawing what I thought was exactly a humpback whale, and I remember it being the first time I was ever really proud of anything I’d made. I thought it looked spot-on, and in my memory of that day… it does. I’m sure if I still had that drawing I would realize it was barely reminiscent of an animal, let alone a humpback whale! Junior kindergarten was also the year that my teacher told my parents that she thought I might be a bit of an artist because I did something that none of the other kids in my class did: I apparently decoratively ‘framed’ every piece of paper I was given with an illustrated border.

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

R: I’m not sure, to be honest! Probably something to do with animals. Or maybe a therapist… or a teacher? (Clearly, I’d be undecided.) Actually, those were all career paths I considered delving into during my last year of high school. However, illustration and design clearly won the race luckily! (I guess my kindergarten teacher was onto something all those years ago!)

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

R: I’d say I am inspired generally by life; just plain’ old living and being alive, and I guess too by the experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have, and no less by the conversations that sometimes accompany those experiences. I also probably spend way too much time on the internet and while it can kind of be a bit of a time suck, I feel grateful to have stumbled across beautiful work there to admire. Although my list of favorite illustrators and designers seems to change often, I have been consistently inspired recently by the works of Jessica Hische, Jillian Tamaki and Doublenaut. Additionally, I am lucky to have many incredibly talented friends in my life who continue to be a constant source of inspiration to me on the home front.

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

R: This piece was created during a printmaking course I took over the summer. The project outline  (which involved producing a screen print edition of at least 15 with multiple layers) was largely free of any type of real constraints and so I chose a favorite quote of mine to visually represent. I found the lack of limitations in the project brief to be incredibly freeing as well as the tactile nature of the creation process overall to be captivating. The outcome of the print itself – while experimental ­and exploratory – was something that I still feel resulted in more of a gain than a loss.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.



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

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