“I’m a wide eyed child of the world. A rooted, thoughtful and deeply concerned artist from the Arab region yet with an international outlook. Life has thrown too many questions along my path and I am looking to find answers through my art. I try to visually narrate my passion for freedom, beauty and my inner melancholy. I also for the same reasons write imaginative verses in Arabic and English.”
Lama, briefly introduce you to the readers. Where are you based? What about your artistic background?
I’m an artist with multiple interests, I’ve tried my curiosity in advertising by working in advertising for a long chunk of my artistic career as an illustrator and an art director… before that when I was younger I’ve worked in a special effects studio as a 2D animator.. and now I’m truly happy to focus more on my art and illustrations both personally and commercially.
I’m Jordanian, I’ve been living and working in Dubai since 1998 till date.
Can you remember your first artistic influences?
I was born in the 70s therefore my primarily influences came from my childhood between the 70s and early 80s, like Russian animated cartoons and ladybird children book covers among many others…
Your style, has it changed over time? How do you define it today?
My drawings were more cartoony in the past, slowly I started to find my own voice in terms of the subject matter and the juxtaposition of the element in the drawing.
My work is mostly symbolic portraiture ( no one in particular) in scenarios or themes that provoke the viewer into dreaming or thinking about what’s going on, I like to use organic objects like roses and birds because I love and long to nature as well as my art tells a melancholic story in a way.
3 things that inspire you right now.
My inner monologue, whatever I’m feeling at the moment shows on the drawing giving it unplanned flare of mystery.
Songs, as I listen to lots of music while I’m working, I have an eclectic taste when it comes to music.
Iimages from instagram, photography images especially, because I don’t use models and although I don’t really copy the face realistically yet seeing something of interest would light a spark in my head.
What are your main sources of inspiration? The place where you live is it exciting for your work?
Giving my subject matter my inspirations are usually everything that I feel internally rather than outerly. I live in Dubai, which is a very modern, dynamic city, with friendly people and many distractions (activities).
I usually prefer spending time alone in my studio as much as I can to be able to give my work uninterrupted energy flow and time, be it commissioned work or personal. I live in my bubble most of the time.
So I guess no matter where I am in the world, my routine and inspirations would be more or less the same.
Briefly describe your artistic process and the techniques and mediums you use.
I sketch my ideas on small cuts of papers which are usually scattered in my studio, floor, drawers, note books etc, or in my sketchbook.
I feel that I have a blank paper-fobia when I want to start a drawing I turn to the sketches that I’ve done before and see which one attracts me at the time then I develop it further, it might change completely at the end, at least I don’t start empty.
I feel it’s meditative in the moment when I lose my grounds drawing gets me centered again.
I love graphite it’s my favorite medium for smaller drawings, and for large drawing I use pastel and charcoal.. I’ve started to introduce some watercolor recently.
Digital vector drawings are also something that I like to use mostly for specific commissioned work when needed. It’s best easier to tweak and make changes.
You mix art and words, your art is poetry. What are the writers you most admire?
I admire works by Gibran mostly I grew up reading his books, also, I write my own prose or poetry it’s hard to determine which path I take when I write. I kind of let the river flow as needed.
What are you working on?
Right now I’m archiving my sketchbooks digitally by scanning them, and saving a highly resolution files on my computer to have the drawings in handy when I need to print or share on social media.
What will be your next projects?
I’m contemplating the idea of truly combining few of my poem with drawings in large scale. Or a book. Not sure yet.
Also, I have a pile of small pieces of paper cuts that I’ve collected through out the years, I’ve promised myself to draw on them all by end of 2017…
Lama, what is your definition of ART?
Art is anything that a person does out of pure joy or expression or both. It can be anything really, cooking, decorating even accounting .. anything that a person does with joy and pure love is art.
Where can we follow Lama Khatib Daniel Art?
As well as on my website www.lamakhatibdaniel.com !