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Exclusive interview with Yousef Ikhreis

Art Liberty:
Hello, Yousef! Tell us a little about yourself, where you got education?
Yousef: My name is Yousef Ikhreis, 31 years old, live and work in Amman, Jordan. I’ve been involved in the graphic design and animation industry for 10 years; I now work as an Art Director in JAID Productions since 2004,
I am self-taught artist; I taught and educated myself by watching and reading manuals, books, tutorials, CD's, internet…. as long as I have the ability to read and understand I am totally convinced that this is enough for me to learn what I want. We are living at the information age where we can get any information that we want.
The important things are the well and talent.

Art Liberty: How and when have you started to be engaged in art?
Yousef: … I always remember myself practicing at the arts, Arabic Calligraphy, ornamentation … but I can't remember when, and this leads me to conclude that this is unconscious response to my natural desire to be artist. And I can't imagine that there is someone who pushed himself to be artist and did it without talent. Science and knowledge are acquired by reading, learning and practice, while talent and sense is a gift. And I do believe that everybody has a unique talent in one or more of life aspects such as arts, communications or sport…etc. people used to limit the talent with art which is wrong.
 My decision to engage in the CG Art started in 1995 when I watched making of the Aliens and Jurassic Park and wanted to recreate and show my own worlds, so I start by doing Graphic Design, Flash Animation, Video Editing, 3D works, compositing… starting as Trainee, Junior, Senior, Team Leader and Art Director.

Art Liberty:
What subjects do you prefer: fantastic, fantasy, horror, cyberpunk..?
Yousef: I like fantasy, fantastic, cyberpunk and cartoons because they are the widest open doors to your imagination to design and invent lots of new different thoughts like concepts, creatures, environments, ideas…etc, and it satisfy my desires and imaginations as creator or spectator in every minute. Also these subjects might push you to interact and think positively, on the contrary of the horror subject. Which based on the panic complex?

Art Liberty: Was it difficult for you to find your style?
Yousef: No it was and still easy, the style comes from the personality of the artist itself, so… to enhance your style you must develop your personality, by reading books, articles, watching TV, cinema, music, family, communicating with others…but the most important thing to take a benefit from those resources is your logic, The way you think, Connect, and conclude.
My advice is to read in the philosophy topics to inspire and enhance your logical thinking skills, and reading in the psychology topics to learn how we feel and react with our self or community. These topics will help you too much, No matter whether your style is cartoons or fantasy or anything else.    

Art Liberty: Tell, what inspire you and how you realize arisen idea?
Yousef: The human nature, one of the most things that motivate me to work hard is my past (I am Palestinian refugee like other millions), People in the Middle East became tiered and pessimistic from political issues, wars, chaos, globalization, USA politics (dominion, intervention, favoritism)… (The drawn image for the Middle East in the world is fake… it's not real)
Those things are pushing me very hard to express my opinions as artist to motivate, influence and affect positively the people around me especially children's (I love children's), locally and internationally

Art Liberty: Who are your favorite artists?
Yousef: In my childhood I was fascinated by Picasso artwork and still, H.R. Geiger works are unique and very spatial, Frank Frazetta, Moebius, Brom, Rick Baker… are greats. As CG artist I like the work of Aaron Sims, Pascal Planche, and Steven Stahlberg …     

Art Liberty: What is the most difficult and important at creation of your artworks?
Yousef: One of the most difficult things that I faced in creation my artwork or a project is the ability to contain the new updates and extra creative additions within the deadline. And the most important thing which I take care seriously is the massages and the values that I want to say, present and communicate.
The message of the artwork is the soul. Arts are a peaceful tools or language for communicating and interacting.     

Art Liberty: What is the average time for creation of one artwork?
Yousef: It depends on the art work itself whither it's a picture or article or Movie, for example; I spent the last three months (spare time) working at my latest article (A CALL FOR HUMANITY), which contains writing the script, translating, the models concept, 3D works, graphic design, editing and directing the Article image…
To evaluate the amount of work you can find my article at

Art Liberty: What tools do you prefer: natural (pencils, brushes, paper) or CG (tablet, mouse, graphic editor)?
Yousef: Actually I use them all. I use the Pencil, brushes and papers for writing my scripts and sketches in the Preproduction's stage, and use the tablet, mouse, graphic editor for sculpting, modeling, texturing, compositing … in the Production and postproduction stages.  

Art Liberty:
What software do you use?
Yousef: Mmm, there are the software selections that I am able to work with, while my choice of selection is based on the software consistency and strength features that each has, and the most important is the project nature.

- Graphic Design: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign.
- Motion Animation: Flash, After Effects, 3D Software, Photoshop, Illustrator.
- 3D works: Softimage XSI, Maya, Max.
* I have basic to intermediate knowledge using MotionBuilder, Lightwave 3D, Modo. Recently I am concentrating to enhance my knowledge and skills in Houdini.
- Digital Sculpting: ZBrush, Mudbox.
- 3D Painting: Bodypaint 3D, ZBrush, Mudbox, Photoshop.
- Rendering: Mental ray, V Ray, Render Man for Maya.
- 2.5D Tracking: Boujou, Syntheyes.
- Landscapes: Vue, Teragen, Photoshop, Source images.
- Editing: Premiere
- Compositing: After Effects, Fusion, Combustion, Nuke, Shake.
- Other: Painter, Deep paint, HDR Shop…

Art Liberty: You work freelance or in any studio? Tell about your project/work place.
Yousef: Right now, I am working fulltime in local company, also I start concentrating my effort at my own projects, still images, articles, short movies like FANCY PLANETS…    I start rejecting the freelance work.

Art Liberty: Do you have time for free creativity?
Yousef: With lots of projects, tasks, and ambitions, my answer is yes, I always have time and deal with it as master not a slave; I create my time by managing it considering my priority. Sometimes I sculpt or practice at the Arabic calligraphy, write, designing…or reading.
My friends are always asking me,
When you managed to do that? My answer starts with smile…

Art Liberty:
Tell about your hobbies, what you do at leisure?
Yousef: Reading, training at the gem, watching TV, visiting my family members…

Art Liberty: Whom do you see yourselves in 10 years?
Yousef: I see myself as a famous director and producer, executing my own projects and ideas; influencing and inspiring lots of peoples and children's, locally and internationally. I hope that.  

Art Liberty: What can you wish to beginners artists?
Yousef: Too much of reading, good listening, hard work and success.

Art Liberty: We thank for interesting conversation, Yousef!
Yousef: It's my pleasure to share my opinions and experience with Free-art community, and wish the good luck for all.

Art Liberty: Administration of Art-Liberty wishes to you inexhaustible inspiration, successes in creativity and creative ideas, and with impatience we wait your new artworks in our gallery.

Article may NOT be reproduced anywhere else without our permission.

Copyright Kyrylo Bozhok "Art-Liberty" © 2009

Category: Interviews | Views: 2051 | Added by: Admin | Rating: 4.7/3 |
Total comments: 9
19.02.2009 Spam
Thank you Folks,
This is too much for me. smile

19.02.2009 Spam
ali shishani
yahh go yousef .... nice work and cool artical
may allah bless you and keep going man
and you know you are the greatest ....
keep going and all your compnay with ya smile

19.02.2009 Spam
As a senior of yousef team, I notice the smile when we asked hem about how to find the time to do lot of works and learning :).. excellent works and concepts yousef as usual.

19.02.2009 Spam
peace upon u
good job man ... go ahead dude ...
note .. i know this person so much and he is very friendly ...
peace ...

18.02.2009 Spam
I know Yousef too, he is a hard working, creative, war hearted and lovely person. His work is always amazing me. I really enjoy watching his work all the time.
Good luck yousef, and go on.

18.02.2009 Spam
Good Work YOUSEF

18.02.2009 Spam
I Know This Person happy

12.02.2009 Spam
i think, it brings to me both smile

12.02.2009 Spam
Gerry (One)
Very intresting interview and works! Why your works and articles so strange and stylish, Yousef? It brings to you pleasure or you simply want to impress spectators?

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