About Ihab and his Art
What is your Name, where are you from and when and where were you born?
My name is Ihab Ahmad, I am from Lebanon and I was born in 1983 in Beirut – Lebanon.
Tell us something about yourself that you would like our audience to know.
I am a young Lebanese artist whose passion for Art is clearly visible through my magical and often whimsical paintings. With my selection of colours, lines and shapes, I take the viewers on a journey into the mystical world of my paintings! I am also the founder of Beirut Art Studio, a creative space to teach art and design.
What is the type/ form/ style of artwork you focus on?
The type of my Artworks are Paintings – I work using Acrylic on canvas and the style is Abstract expressionism.
Describe your creative process?
It all starts with an extraction method where I recall, in an unconscious and organic mechanism, the forms and the colours that I hold from my childhood memory – it is my most precious keepsakes. I start with a sketch on a paper, so I can prepare the composition and create the scene, then I begin by developing the work on the canvas – first with the background which stands as a platform, then I place in harmony the different shapes, colours and lines as if they are communicating with each other or creating a kind of relationship. It is all imaginary, I don’t think about it I just feel it!
How did you commence your journey into Art and what was the first piece of Art that you had crafted?
I started my journey at an early age, I was only 10 years old when I won the first prize in Fabriano art competition for schools. The first piece of Art that I had drawn was a vase.
How has your style changed over the years?
A LOT! it has changed a lot. In the beginning, I used to draw still life painting – portraying inanimate objects with the use of a pencil – then I started to doodle a lot, and this phase helped me to gain good skills in drawing shapes and forms and it boosted my creativity. After that, I worked a bit on stencils where I started to use the canvas as a medium and spray paint as a tool. Now I’m in a continuous experimenting phase, but I can say that my latest artworks are focused on the abstract expressionism style, using acrylic on canvas.
How do you differentiate your work from the rest?
It is a bit hard for me to talk about this part specifically, I always think that what differentiates my artwork is the feeling that people experience when they see my paintings. I haven’t compared my work to any other artist, many local and international artists from the modern and contemporary art world have inspired me…I really believe that every artist who puts some of his soul into his work, with an objective to inspire, has something different and special.
Do you ever experience creative blocks? How do you deal with them?
Yes, it happens sometimes. What I do in these cases is that I listen to music – it has a positive impact on my mood. Also by experimenting new techniques and materials, I can easily come up with creative ideas.
If you had the chance to dine with an artist, who would it be and why?
Ohhh i will definitely choose Juan Miro – he is my favourite artist, if I had the chance to dine with him I would have learned more about his personality, talk about art, maybe I would show him my work and ask him his thoughts on it 🙂
Image copyright baterbys.com
What drives you to create art and where do you get your inspiration from?
It is the desire to make a change in order to live in a better world. In my paintings, I draw the happiest memories from my childhood, which I regard as an escape from the materialistic and artificial world, towards a better future!
Who inspires you as a person, and as an artist?
As a person, I’m inspired by Ziad Al Rahbani and as an artist, I’m inspired by Juan Miro and Jackson Pollock.
What is your own favourite artwork and why? what’s the story behind it?
My own favourite Artwork is titled “All For Love”, it is one of my recent paintings, where I’ve used several metaphors from God’s creatures – animals, insects and everything that is alive and beautiful. I’ve connected spontaneously the forms in order to create a connection between the different elements in an imaginary and lively world.
What role do you think artists have in society?
The artist has a big influence on society – he helps raise awareness about certain causes or human values by communicating them with the audience through his Artworks. He inspires others and brings happiness to our souls!
How do you see the future of art?
The more the access to quality education increases, the more the appreciation of diversity, arts and culture increase. Also with the continuous development of the digital world, image/Art has become more and more of a universal language that has no borders. I think people start to believe that Art is essential for the development of the future generation and for our society.
What is the name of the book that you are currently reading and who is the author?
Histoire de Byzance- By Jean-Claude Cheynet
Who or what influenced you to choose to read this book?
I love to read about the history of different civilisations and to explore the culture of other ancestors.
Can you name a book that impacted you as a person or that has left a mark on you?
The name of the book is “المال والتحليل النفسي” for Dr Abdel Halim Semaan. I like how, in a scientific way, it shows that money has a big impact on people.
Our brand name is ‘Osheq’ which means Extreme Love or Extreme Passion – what does the word Osheq mean to you as an artist? or what is your own Extreme Love or Osheq story?*
As an artist, I cannot draw if I don’t feel the extreme passion in my paintings. When I am working on my artworks, the music and atmosphere that I immerse myself into enable me to work with passion. In addition to that, I’ve called my first Art exhibition “Shaghaf– Passion” (or extreme love). I also have it as a tattoo in Arabic شغف. I can talk a lot about that, Passion in Art is my formula!