What is a futuristic version of an art gallery show? How to present it and promote it? How to make people walking museums and galleries? How to express cultural beauty? How to make sure that Eritrea’s uniqueness is made accessible for everyone to enjoy? And many more ‘hows’ on how this young man’s schemes of utilizing visionary graphics for an easy and user-friendly deliverance of cultural and indigenous distinctiveness. In his more than 7 years experience, graphic designer, illustrator and web developer Wael made his technologically advanced artistic vision feasible; he is our guest.
- -Wael is…
I am Wael. I was born in Syria in 1987. I studied in Egypt until I came to Eritrea in 2001. I started off as a graphic designer and then went into illustrations and developing websites. I am currently focused on printing my illustrations in different formats; t-shirts being one of the cases. My overall objective is to use technological advancement to produce eye-catching graphics and illustrations.
- -Graphic Designs
Some seven years ago I dived in the field of graphic design; I focused my main designs on idiosyncratic features we find in Eritreans’ livelihoods and Eritrea. I think I was 20 years old when I boomed into a website called Deviant Arts. I realized that there were indeed platforms on social networks in which beginners like myself could display their talents and be recognized by the international community. I found many inspirational works from which I picked some tips which helped me strengthen my own capability of handling graphic designs.
Surrealism and expressive arts found a way in dominating most of my graphic designs with, of course, hidden genuineness overshadowed by the technique. Nonetheless, simultaneously, endowed with gradients leading to revelation of the hidden realistic meanings.
People don’t normally understand photo-manipulation; but it is a beautiful technic, very common in graphic designs. It is a way of creating a new world by combining small and outshined pieces of an artistic work, be it a drawing, photo or an illustration. You make sure that the main item of a new graphic design is what previously was a surpassed item which then gets to be the principal one. So, technically you get to illustrate a new artistic realm basically with scrub. Only that this time the lines and colors you amalgamate set sights on bringing to light and emphasize previously overshadowed items. We normally tend to gather many dwarfed items from different artistic works and come up with a humbling novelty.
- -The beginning
Pinning back to how my interest on this specific field of modern art began would mean tracing it back to when I was a kid immersed in the world of PlayStation and videogames. As a kid the technology amused me copiously; I constantly pondered upon ways of how the virtual world is created; a technology that not only kids enjoy but also one that leaves even grownups with mouth wide open. I grew up thinking and rethinking about the uniqueness of visual effects and animations to afterwards gradually involve myself in this particle of technology.
The many lines and angels you focus on while making any illustrations are intriguing. Illustration is all about recreating a reality with pertinent technologies. It is possible to venture in 2Ds and 3Ds and animate!
Personally speaking, illustration was the second closest step I took after I thought I had finally accomplished graphic designing. How is a video composed? It is sequence of photos. And because I had mastered photography in earlier experiences it was easy for me to understand layers. Be it graphic designs, illustrations, or video footages for that matter, they are all about layers and sequences. Henceforth, plunging my interest in illustrations prolonged my erstwhile sequel of diversified experiences I gathered throughout time.
For a while I wondered what to do with my illustrations but then I figured it could have been my medium of advertising and promoting our cultural, indigenous and architectural richness. The plan was, and well still is, to print 2D format illustrations on t-shirts, phone covers and accessories. A mission accomplished sentiment! I have never looked for monetary gain but eagerness to put a spotlight on Eritrean wonders by coming up with digital iconic figures. How to make people a walking museum or gallery? Check. I found my answer right there.
- -Web development
- EriMart EriTees
A melting pot for all of the things I ventured in since I was 20 years old. In the distance learning I took at the London University I learned website development. And I had to put what I learned to practice. I had already gathered basic ingredients so it was okay to launch my own website. So I did. I have a website, I advertise the t-shirts and the accessories with my illustrations and also I post my graphic design. A near future plan would be to include captions for digital iconic figures. Say if it is the illustration of FIAT Tagliero building then I would want explanations of its historic backgrounds and architectural explanation; sort of deepening ts technical aspect. Therefore, promote small but beautiful ads about a certain thing and pave a link connecting to further and diverse images and explanations. EriTees for example stands for Eritrean t-shirts; it feaures a lot more than illustrations printed on t-shirts. It is an all rounded platform in which graphic designs and illustrations of symbolic places and events are exhibited.
This is how the website became a congregation of my graphic designs, illustrations and experiences of many years. I am not involved in UI/UX (user interface and user experience), the plan is to make the website more user-friendly. Which should be positioned where, which colors should be emphasized more than the others, what fonts would be suitable and so on and on.
I have met with local graphic designers and we keep in touch as far as exchanging ideas and materials. We have a good network and we discuss our ways forward. I also keep in touch with painters and other traditional artists and we talk cooperation, of course. I hope we’ll come to some sort of interconnection.
- -Social Network
Why I never thought of launching an exhibition? It is not that I haven’t thought about it, it is that I haven’t seized the right moment for an art gallery exhibition launch. But I believe it is because I am into affable methods of exhibiting works. Not that I find a problem with renting a gallery and put up my works. However, I don’t think I have reached that level yet. I might have a portfolio but I don’t see a gallery exhibition for the time being.
My definition of gallery is futuristic; I want people to be walking museums. I want illustrations which portray influential and historical figures, beautiful antiquities of Asmara, special days of our calendar and much more to be printed on as many accessories as possible. Getting a painting from a gallery might be elegant but it might be cliché and expensive sort of not for everyone. But the projects I talked about grants efficacy and popularity amongst people. Also, nowadays, the people who don’t use SNS are way fewer than those who do. So we have an easier and quicker way of staying connected in millions.
- -Next Step
I would like to debut in 360 videos; the types that when viewed with headset or germane gadgets one can experience a semi direct vision of a certain thing or place. Say if we take thousands of pictures of Cattedrale from every possible corner and work on visual effects making it viable for a 360 video format, then people before even coming to Eritrea and visit the Cathedral would be able to experience a virtual adventure. Accordingly, I plan on applying this method on Eritrea’s touristic attractions and launch them in YouTube or certain websites to promote Eritrea’s myriad fascinations. Won’t it be expensive? No, not at all. Fortunately we live in a time where even a mobile phone is suitable enough for multifaceted usages. It is easy and definitely doable.