Monday, obsession sessions & inspiration are all minutes away from your grasp. Meet the ever talented Lebanese visual artist Maria Kassab. I met Maria through Facebook a couple years ago through a mutual friend of ours and was really inspired by her Art and talent, we even collaborated on a joint art series together last year. Maria graduated from the Lebanese American University with a major in graphic design and a minor in fine arts. Over the years she has participated in several collective exhibitions from Beirut to NewYork and it wasn’t long before she had her first solo show in May 2011 at the Joanna Seikaly Gallery in Beirut. Her artworks have been published in several local and international online and print magazines. Recently Maria opened an atelier/office in the heart of Beirut, Gemmayze and currently working on personal and commercial projects as a freelance Graphic Designer and collaborating with many artists on several local and international projects.

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

M: The earliest creative activity happened when I was very young during the war late 80’s in Lebanon. We use to shelter underground, and there I would find a corner and start drawing, it was a blissful escape.

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

M: I would have been an astronomer I guess, studying celestial bodies, and planets. I just love the mystery behind it, and yet I don’t find it scary but on the contrary I feel it’s a safer place. This immense blanket of flickering lights, as if sitting under a giant Christmas tree makes my imagination wonder and expand in many different dimensions. In a lot of my work I use space imagery. I sometimes feel our own body is a galaxy, it works by itself, it functions by itself, it’s a whole system of its own, if only I could get myself an enormous telescope and put it on my roof top and just gaze into space.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

M:  Who:  A lot of people inspire me, many great artists such as Man Ray, Max Ernst, Bill Brandt, Vladimir Tatlin, animators such as Jan Svankmajer, Berthold Bartosch, graphic designers such as Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Amin Hofmann, Emile Ruder and also a lot of architects are a source of inspiration such as Richard Buckminster, Rem Koolhaas, Oscar Niemeyer and many others. I’m also inspired by people I encounter everyday, from the guy who works in the barber shop next door filling me up with his stories, to friends, family, politicians and scientists.

What: Mostly music, music delivers a great deal of inspiration when I create. It’s like creating my own compositions but through images, all at once interacting together that makes a whole orchestra of objects and characters becomea symphony, a message, a state and escape. But also mainly everything is an inspiration from movies, to books, a condition, a situation, a city, a culture, a belief.

Where: Everywhere.

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

M: This piece is called Celeste. A photomontage I created in 2011. There is no personal description.

Overall my artwork is mainly a series of photomontages and hand made collages, I collect old photographs and images. I also sometimes use my own photography and illustrations to create certain compositions. My art is a collection; an amassing of mute and superimposed objects of undefined figures and shapes that give rise to a forgotten story.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Gestalten
The Guardian
Tumblr
Ffffound
Pintrest

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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.

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