Today is the day of week that you (hopefully) synonymously associate inspiration with, Monday. This week meet Creative artist Maged Nassar. Maged has been shining in the field of advertising for quite a while. After a brief stint in a series of multinational Cairo advertising agencies, Maged moved onwards in partnership with Ali Ali to open their own “boutique agency” named “Elephant”. Almost immediately Maged and Ali found themselves surrounded from all directions by extreme success, Cannes, Clios, OneShow, Lynx, D&AD and the list goes on. If it’s an award in advertising, chances are these guys won it. Maged then moved on and is now a Creative Director at DDB Berlin. I was fortunate enough to secure some of his time to peer into his mind.

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

M: I remember my schoolteacher calling my mother about a series of drawings I did when I was seven. It was about a man with a 0% chance of living. One of the drawings was about a guy in a desert of deep holes, in each hole; there was a deadly snake. So even if falling down didn’t kill the guy, one of the snakes would’ve done it. There were also lions between the holes, and one tree with a buzzard that’d eat his dead body after. I don’t know why I did these back then, but I do remember loving the idea of giving the guy zero chance.

My mother was a bit worried, but my father loved them, he even started for the next couple of weeks suggesting more ways to kill the guy.

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

M: Comics I think. The job of Daniel Clowes is the best. He spends more than 10 months working on the idea before he brings it to life. A Comic artist is an illustrator, scriptwriter, director and editor. I mostly appreciate the ones who can illustrate what they write.

And the best part of it is that you don’t need to reach many only few “your followers” will read your books and judge your work. Which gives you an accurate judgment.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

M:  Who: I think the biggest inspiration for Joe Frazeir was Muhamed Ali. Though they punched each other’s on the ring, I guess they needed one another to be better. Maybe they were in love. And believe me in advertising competition could get fiercer than boxing. But at the end I have to say that people who inspire me the most, are the other creatives whom I believe; do better than I do, and whom they believe; I do better than they do.

What: One of the most things that inspire me is my family to my mom’s side.

I have eight aunts and one uncle, and I can’t count my cousins. When we occasionally gather in a wedding, an engagement, or even a funeral, I see truthfulness. They are true people, coming from the lower part of the middle class, live scattered all over the country, and have many different (real) jobs, unlike mine. A big reunion with them gets aggressive, loud, and real funny. I just need to spend the right time with them to get a glimpse of the real life. Mixing the insights I get from my family with the work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Charles Burns, Lars Von Trier, Lukas Moodysson, Takashi Mike, David Cerny, Edgar Allen Poe and any movie that has been done by Vincent Gallo, can be really useful.

Where: Walking, driving and washing dishes.

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

M: This idea proves that the creative process is not a democratic one. Every time Ali and I shared this idea/sketch with anyone seeking their advice or encouragement, we get disappointing reactionsI can’t blame them at all. People tend to like ideas they’d seen before or could visualize it in their own minds based on their own experiences. I would maybe react the same.I won’t claim that all my ideas are good. Most of them failed big time. But I still love taking a risk.

Thank god this campaign got lots of awards: my first Cannes lion, Grand Prix in Dubai lynx, DA&D in book and finally I just saw it in Luerzer Archive special issue “the best print ads in decade”.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Rotten tomatoes
Wikipedia
Good reads
Ffffound
Gamespot

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Hi, I'm Ibraheem Youssef
I'm a Creative,
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