Illustrator and Art Director, Amin Faramarzeyan shares a selection of his unique artwork and chats about his journey into the industry in this flashback to issue 111!
2001- Saba animation Co. I started as a junior layout-man.
2003- Ghoore. A little 2D animation that received a small award!
2003- Saba. Became storyboard man and part of the visual development
2007- Clockwork. I started as a compositor and motion graphic artist.
2009- Optix. I started as an art-director here until now.
2011- Emirates Airline. Art director for their award winning commercial.
2013- Cartoon network Arabia, art-director and character designer.
2014- Lego TV series. Art director and visual development for preproduction.
2014- Motiga games. Illustrator and designer for their promotional artworks.
Amin Faramarzian is an Illustrator born in Iran but now living in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. He has a very personal interesting style, using geometric and polygonal shapes to create vibrant illustrations which often contain a dose of humor! We caught up with Amin to chat about his signature style and inspirations as he shares a selection of his brilliant work.
Hi Amin, thanks for chatting with us today. First, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your background in digital art? Where did it all begin?
Thank you. I have loved drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. Instead of going to normal schools I went to graphic design technical school after my secondary school. I had a chance to live my dream life when I was 14 or 15 years old, I met so many young and ambitious artists in that school and I still think that place was magical somehow!
Regarding digital art, I was 16 when my older brother bought a computer. I was so into traditional art like painting with quiche or watercolor and when my brother showed me Photoshop I immediately fell in love with it and started to paint digitally using a mouse! I still draw in sketch books and love traditional medium, but really enjoy the flexibility of digital medium. I’m also a big fan of technology!
What was it about the digital tools that made you want to pursue a career in the industry?
More or less it’s flexibility, basically you have a freedom to correct things pretty quick which can be a bad thing sometimes! But in general, working with the latest technology is always fun if you can afford it obviously, it’s like hey man do you like to draw? Here is a pen that can draw in millions of colors! It’s very tempting. On the other hand it was quite clear that this new world is becoming bigger and stronger. Simply put I enjoy working digitally. I could also see my friends and colleagues using the digital tools more and more back then.
What is your biggest source of inspiration? Is there a particular style, mood or scene you are drawn to?
Like so many other artists I get my inspirations from various sources, to mention a few: people, nature, other amazing artists (any field of art), sport, politics and society, traveling and the list continues. Maybe the biggest source is people, they are fascinating, we are very complicated creatures and therefore interesting to observe and get inspiration from. Sometimes I go out and a nice breeze hits me, all of a sudden I’m inspired! This subject is still very unclear for me.
I love anything in animation or cartoony style! It’s my favorite because it captures the essence of things. I’m drawn to anything that makes me think, that’s why I love stories.
You have a distinct style which is very recognizable, how did you develop this signature style?
Thanks a lot that means a lot to me. Basically you always have your style and you are simply not aware of it! The reason could be all the noise around you or lack of knowledge so you spend a good chunk of your life learning and growing while achieving that sense of self trust to do the things you always loved, then you let go of your fear and start doing what you believe in.
It was the same for me, learning the basics like form, anatomy, light, etc, then realizing that I don’t know enough and I have to fasten my seatbelt for a long journey of learning and growing. One other thing maybe is because I always wanted to be different in what I do by finding my voice. It’s funny how hard we try to slowly learn some simple concepts of life! Maybe that’s how it works!
Could you choose one of your favorite past images (that you’ve created) and explain how you created it, and why it’s your favorite?
Usually when I finish something I start to see issues and problems and I go crazy! But if I have to choose one, I will go with the Little hedgehog in the barber shop.
I started with a little sketch in my sketch book then in Photoshop I made all the shape layers and then tried to add light and shadow to those shapes. I then added colors and from this stage onwards I finalized things and made the light and color work together to help tell the story of an illustration. I like the sense of humor in that piece; also I could see myself sitting in there and enjoy the show!
Are there any areas in the digital art world that you’d like to branch into (and why)?
This one sounds simple, but is difficult to answer so I’ll try my best! One thing I feel about the digital world is its growth with the speed of light almost! So imagine 5 years from now what sort of digital art platform we will see and have! I don’t know.
I can say absolutely I love to tell stories, so a digital graphic novel or a printed one would be my ultimate goal now! Also I have never stopped loving the animation art form. My dream right now is to make a great high quality book, something valuable and I hope I can prepare the necessary factors to make this happen. So to answer your question, I’m thinking branching into the animation world and also graphic novels specifically in the form of app or something.
How do you spend your free time away from the demands and deadlines of the creative industry?
I try to care more about valuable things like the people around me and family or friends. I go to nature whenever I get a chance that really refreshes me; also traveling to my home country is great. Sometimes I draw fun stuff and watch as many movies as I possibly can! I’m planning to become an independent artist, so I can work with my own deadlines and schedule just because no one can plan your life better than you (imagine if I mess up planning mine, then I have to come back to you and beg you to remove that line!).
What has been your favorite commission/project to work on so far and why?
A couple of months ago I had the chance to work on certain posters and promotional artworks for the game Gigantic and honestly this was my best commissioned project so far. They gave me freedom to come up with my own things; they wanted my style and didn’t push the work into strange territories like the changes that unfortunately some clients do which ends up with broken artworks! It is rare that people ask for my style and they told me it’s mainly because it is very different, although that’s not good news for me commercially, but I take it as a compliment! It’s my responsibility to do something with it.
If you could give future digital artists one piece of advice on working in the industry, what would it be?
First of all, I love you all because you are trying and working hard! I tell you this as a friend, work hard and have fun, work for the industry and don’t, learn the foundations and break them, be strong and flexible, learn digital tools and appreciate traditional skills.
Learn light and understand the darks! These two, sometimes opposite things, can hopefully give you a sense of balance in your life. It’s extremely easy to fall off of one side of the cliff, the challenge is to stay in balance and stay sane! I wish you all a hefty amount of luck and health.
Finally, what can we expect to see form you in the future?
Actually when you live in the Middle East probably the most difficult thing you can do is plan your future!
But I know that so many other artists all around the world are struggling with countless other problems and issues as well. I have wishes that I hope will come true one day with my hard work and hopefully consistency.
First of all a graphic novel and after that maybe some short animation demos, I also do my best to make some cool looking characters and stories.
Thanks a lot again to you and your readers. I hope we all sketch together somewhere in a dreamy land with unicorns and free ice-creams that don’t make you fat!
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