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 Khtt.net. 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.

Khtt
Dezeen
CouteQueCoute
New Scientist
Wired: DangerRoom

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

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