Viewing Archive ~ October, 2012

Monday morning (in this part of the world at least) and another day ripe for inspiration to be plucked. Meet French graphical gamer Grégoire Guillemin. Sometimes he uses the pen name Léon. People tend to describe him as an artist, but he prefers to be acknowledged as a creative with no style and no tools of preference. Grégoire likes creating and doing it fast. For his graphic work, he comes across as an Eclectic Graphical Gamer. In 45 years, he has always seen himself a gamer before anything else and playing is something that he plans to do forever.

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

G: Difficult to say, as soon as I knew how to hold a pencil in hands, I began drawing I never stopped… I remember big paper sheets which I recovered of battles of tiny characters.

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

G: Certainly of the music, it is moreover the hesitation that I had when I finished my studies the bass or the pencil? I chose the pencil.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

G:  The inspiration? Many things inspire me to create is only to be inspired, the more we have of reference, the more one created if I began to enumerate the list of those who inspired me, one in finished step …You, Rembrandt, Keith Harring, Lichenstein, Hugo Pratt, Noma Bar, Guillermo del Toro, Tapiès, Loisel, A.M. Cassandre, Banksy, Bilal, Tolkien, The Pink Floyd, Tom Waits, Michael Connelly, Herman Hesse, Franck Miller, Philippe Stark, Franquin, The Monty Phyton, Hooper, Jérome Bosch, Gorillaz, ThreeA (art toys), Tarentino, Delacroix, the life… Everywhere, Everytime… I continue or I stop there?

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

G: My famous Capsules… Why? Because I think that it is a very complete work … The creativity: try to represent faces known with a minimum of signs. The minimalism. The culture: because all that we find been a part of my own culture, my memories … And especially the game … Which pleasure to know that people are above going to spend time, not necessarily for its graphic aspects, but rather to try to identify each of these faces… ;o)-

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Design you Trust
My Modern Met

Monday. Today I’d like to introduce you all to one of Egypt’s young youtube sensations, Sarrah Abdelrahman. I first came across Sarrah’s videos commeing on daily Egyptian life quirks in a very original and satirical way, through my dad. From the way Sarrah describes herself, you can really get a sense of her contageous personality: “she acts for a living and makes videos for fun, insisting on staying completely independent.  She invented her own world because the earth is full of contradictories that annoy her. She also wrote this description of herself and spoke in the third person. Isnt that trolled up?”.

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

S: I used to dress up and recruit my little cousins to put on a show for the family, it was usually an extravagant sketch with dance numbers.

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

S: I would really really like to be a super hero, or something like robin hood and have a pussy wagon and just take revenge all day. But in reality, I would be traveling in the world, there is this ticket that you can buy from any airline agency that expires after a year, and you can take as many flights as you can except you cant go backwards, you just gotta keep traveling forward.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

S:  The biggest inspiration I can get is from watching a live performance, if its really good, I am overwhelmed by hard work and focus. if its bad, I get so angry that I want to do something better. it makes me very angry to see someone doing something that I thought of doing before, that gets me going too.

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

S: I got this flip cam in 2011 and was using it ALL the time. And so i made a video about my life, four minutes,each frame taking two seconds. It took me a year to record the material (not intending to do that video) and weeks to edit it. I am really proud of that video in particular.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Museum of conceptual art
Recycle Art
The Pirate Bay

October 19th, 2012

The effect of colour.

We meet again monday. Welcome everyone, this week I’m back to re-interview an artist that I interviewed way back in 2010 when I started this blog, multi-disciplinary graphic designer Muiz Anwar. Muiz is a multi-disciplinary graphic designer based in England, whose work incorporates typography, calligraphy, photography, illustration, fashion and product design to name a few. I first came across his work through browsing the ever inspiring site dedicated to the Arabic language The thing that I find really inspiring is that he really finds a way to showcase his talent whichever field he tends to pour his creative energy in. It’s been nice to witness his creative growth since the last time we chatted.

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

M: I’ve tried to hard to think as far back as possible, but I always come back to drawing animals and dinosaurs on the back of my mother’s expired time-sheets. She’d collect the time-sheets from colleagues too because she knew how much I enjoyed spending my time creatively. I’m forever indebted to her for giving me the space to nurture and mature this skill in my own time, and for never limiting my potential by enforcing pseudo-cultural stereotypes and community expectations on me.

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

M: At high school I was studying both fine art and design and technology till the age of 18. Visual communication, though a combination of the artistic with the technical, weighs more toward fine art than the engineering finesse required to master design and technology aka product design, so I’d quite like to pursue that as an engineer or a designer. I wasn’t too bad either, my final year work in high school was shortlisted in the regional finals of Audi Young Designer of the Year.

I was also very interested and successful in languages, history and sciences because they explained so much about the world we live in. If I had the opportunity to live a few lifetimes, or have a few clones of myself, I’d be a linguist, archeologist, doctor and a scientist-come-engineer developing new technologies and materials on the side too.

Though saying that, the beauty of the field I work in now is that I can still incorporate elements of all the aforementioned disciplines into my work – which ultimately deals with shaping communities through the communication of ideas.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

M:  Who: Philosopher & scholar, Marshall McLuhan – whose academic background in linguistics helped forecast the evolution of communication into a ‘global village’ aka world wide web, including his succinctly seminal work, ‘the Medium is the Message’ – on the power of visual communication through a mastering and understanding of Semiotics.

Master calligrapher, Hassan Massoudy – the only creative of the 20th & thus far into the 21st Century, to have achieved seamless unity between Eastern and Western aesthetics, by understanding and respecting the philosophy and history of both. In doing so, he continues the inherited legacy of innovation and cultural experimentation from our forefathers, whose harmonising of the arts and sciences centuries ago, have become treasured icons today.

What: Historic sites of religious veneration – for their capacity to project and reflect messages, not necessarily through visual or literary media, but rather their manipulation [and somewhat ironic definition] of space to represent eternity and the everlasting.

It’s also the permanence of it. The idea of a place or object, however preserved or ruined, that has quietly bore witness to the rise and fall of generations and civilisations of humanity over the centuries – and communicated different ideas and concepts to those that were opportune enough to have shared a fraction of a moment with it during its own lifetime.

These ancient residual echoes of humanity’s past, will outlive and out-communicate the tinny cacophony of the self-righteous Digital Age once the power runs out and the world succumbs the primal darkness of nature – an inevitable acknowledgement of our humble beginnings and existential fragility. Look at the Rosetta Stone – an ancient object so complex and sophisticated it remains an enigma in our technologically advanced era today.

We have to ask ourselves, how much of what we create and communicate today will outlast what has been said & done centuries before us?

Where: Home. The East of the Middle. The cradle of civilisation. The nucleus of monotheism. There is no other region on Earth that hosted such an exotic range of topography, race, language and cultural diversity as a once unified, cohesive network of humanity.

What other region can claim to host synagogues, churches and mosques of such diversity and flair, with some [Egypt] exhibiting an unparalleled aesthetic unity modified only to suit respective motifs and icons?

It’s one of the closest embodiments of my ‘Origin of Order’ principle.

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

M: Salaam Salute [2009]

My dedication to a dream many generations had hoped to witness in their life-time, but that too few had actually fought to realize, until now.

Visually it represents a formula – the symbiotic relationship between an idea and an action in order to establish a legible result. Note the Arabic despite its contemporary look is actually based upon Kufi, the oldest known calligraphic style, attributed to and named after Kufa, a town south of Baghdad, Iraq.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

New Scientist
Wired: DangerRoom

obsession sessions had a brief hiccup and we’re broadcasting on a Tuesday, blasphemy yes … but the show must go on. This week, meet the “Egyptian Banksy” as I like to call him, mysterious and anonymous, graffiti street artist El Teneen. In his own words “I started doing street art as El Teneen (Arabic for “Dragon”) anonymously in the first days of the Egyptian Revolution in 25 January 2011. Tear gas and protest chants inspired my first piece which was the face of Egypt’s ex-tyrant Hosni Mubarak with the word “Leave” underneath it. After Mubarak stepped down, I have tried to expose the lies and conspiracy theories of Egyptian state media, to condemn the brutality of the military junta that ruled Egypt more than a year and half, and now to mock political Islamists and their extremist take on freedoms.

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

T: I had a case of fever when I was 9 and had to stay in bed for about a week. I had with me an empty notebook and two colors Turquoise and Aquamarine, and by the time I got better I filled the entire notebook with illustrations with these two colors. I don’t remember the drawings I made in this notebook well but I remember the experience of exploring the infinite possibilities of mixing just two colors.

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

T: I would be finishing my PhD.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

T:  Jokes. Puns. Taxi drivers. Ahwa (Cafes). Protest chants. Politician slip-ups. Street ads. Sheikhs. Youtube clips.

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

T: The word “Backwards” in Arabic is written under the face of angry sheikh Abdel-Monem El-Shaat. I made it as a poster a couple of weeks ago and pasted it in Cairo streets commenting on the reverse direction political Islamists are trying to steer Egypt to. Since Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi won the presidential elections earlier this year, voices of sheikhs are on the rise calling for backwards/retarded demands regarding issues such as the freedom of speech, human rights, and women rights.

Such anti-freedom voices use the name of revolution but they are trying to build an oppressive system not so different from Mubarak’s regime. They are, however, worse in the sense that instead of focusing on solving the problems for which the Egyptian revolution happened (for example social justice), they link religion with their power and their politics. Unfortunately, many Egyptians have easily fallen into the trap of believing this propaganda. I hope the “Backwards” campaign I am starting with this poster will be a counter movement.

I wrote about this piece but I didn’t translate it yet.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Juxtapoz Street Art
Suzee in the city

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

Welcome to my blog.

Art Direction / Alignment / Colours
Cooking / Design / Folding
Illustration / Paper / Printing
Ping Pong / Type / Walking

are some of the things I tend
to obsess over constantly.
Find out more about me here,
or check out some shots from my
travels around the world here.

To share something with me, please send an email to:

Also, you can join my newsletter to receive updates & special Goodies.