EKIEM, Graphic Design, Illustration and Stickers!
by Shaz Hassan·
How did it all start and when did you developed an interest in the Visual Arts?
Magazines, record covers, toys, TV, movies, posters in the street. I started drawing naturally around 4-5 years old, copying TV cartoons or comics. As I grew up, I chose to study graphic design, and then I went on to a freelance. Everything followed quite naturally and I developed my artistic work in parallel.
How was the art scene in Lyon when you started?
Quite honestly, I don't know! I was pretty much in my bubble and not really focused on local art news. I was traveling quite a bit with friends to skateboard and paint or paste up some stickers :)
You mix bold colours and patterns - where's your inspiration from?
My inspiration is rather pop/cartooning/abstract. It comes from my taste for colours and the confrontation of colours that I try to push to the maximum in some of my work.
How did the pandemic affect you?
The context and the confinement have changed my way of working with a very short-term vision that makes me go to the essentials.
Travel was also complicated. Events and live performances were cancelled. Openings were postponed and budgets divided. I had a painting festival planned last spring in Serbia which was cancelled.
And what are you working on right now?
My next solo exhibition and i'm planning new silkscreens, new t-shirts and some collaborations around objects (watches, skateboards) and clothes. I also spend a lot of time researching new media and techniques that I want to explore.
What is your favourite piece of work you've done and why?
Certainly a studio or wall piece because it's a moment that allows you to do a lot of research and graphic, colorimetric studies, which I appreciate a lot in the creative process.
What kinds of commissions do you find yourself currently doing?
I work with creative agencies who commission me to paint murals or dressings for events such as trade shows / product promotion for brands but also graphic design for brand identities, illustration etc etc.
What is the most difficult part of being an independent artist and anything you would like to share?
Manage your time, stay creative and wear your masks! :)
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