“Learn the basics, get the skills and think critically“
Interview | Majid Alyousef | Calligraphy artist, typographer and designer
I am …
Majid Alyousef, A calligraphy artist, typographer and designer
What inspired you to start creating art?
I started at a very young age that I don’t remember a specific reason.. it was very natural for me to do art. Started with drawing, then moved to calligraphy after one of my teachers made a notice about my random handwriting …
How would you describe your style?
Abstract, flowing, and energetic.
Favorite tools to create your work?
Reed and bamboo pens, recycled paper, mulberry paper, linen and many types of inks and acrylic paints.
What is your working environment / studio like?
A small space with two main desks, one for the painting and handwork and the other is for my laptop and sketchbooks. Sunlit most of the day as it is facing a large window. Surrounded by bookshelves and boxes of brushes, pens and paints.
A few of your works are inspired by Dutch artist Mondrian. Could you tell us the backstory on that?
Mondrian is one of the major names in abstract ism, so after studying his art I was very keen to experiment with his style, using primary colors to achieve variety of compositions and merging that with the curves and vector forms of Arabic calligraphy. It was extremely interesting to do.
What is your cultural background?
I’m half Iraqi half Saudi, born and raised in Iraq and left after the war. I studied in the USA and currently based in Dubai, so it is a mixture of different cultures and experiences.
In terms of identity / ethnicity / culture how would you describe yourself?
I don’t have a strong attachment to a specific culture or identity. I embrace my background (Arabic), appreciate it and look at it with a critical eye in the same time. I’m blending well with some aspects of the American culture especially in NYC and I feel also very inspired by the Italian renaissance and that spirit of change and development they had. I believe I would do well if I lived back then..
What aspects of your culture are most important to you?
The Arabic language, maybe part of that is due to the fact that I work a lot with words and letters.
Has your cultural background influenced your life/ and or work – hobbies? And if it did could you give some examples?
Sure, the environment is very influential. I lived through two wars and a very difficult transition period. I think living in the middle east affects everyone involved tremendously. Despite that I don’t reflect a direct suffering or sad experience in my art, I have chosen the other way around, creating my own experience, fantasia and experimentation.
What inspires you?
Science and nature, always been interested in the human brain and how it works and the whole concept of perception. Nature, movement, sounds and harmony or the illusion of them is my main inspiration.
Currently working on?
A set of artwork for an upcoming exhibition.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Learn the basics, get the skills and think critically.
What are you listening (music) to at the moment?
It sounds like some sort of house music, in the coffee shop I’m at right now
Message to the world.
Enjoy life while you can, and keep learning.
Thank you for your time & energy
The Blend Within | Connected by Similarities