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‘I appreciate the craft. I loathe the culture.’ Explains illustrator Achraf Amiri

In an interview with Artist Achraf Amiri, we delve into his ‘quirky’ world.

Achraf Amiri

There are two types of creatives; those who feed off the limelight and those who prefer to shine in the background, committing their efforts to perfect their craft.

It’s gone past 9 am, and Achraf Amiri arrives at the office, “fashionably late” in a bright neon pink jacket bringing a new aura into the room. It was the first time I had met Achraf, and I fell in love with his charm and character even before I had conversed with him. His tall stature and wavy hair concealed his inner desires; he looked like an Artist and worked as an Artist, yet which kind was yet to be explored.

Born in Brussels and settling in the fashion capital of England with his partner and fluffy cat, Achraf made his debut as an independent Artist/Illustrator after publishing his artworks in well-established publications. Having built and developed his career over time, his network of people now involves industry-respected creatives who admire Achraf’s alluring charisma; not being afraid to challenge the status quo as well as his unusual artwork.

The illustrator is not afraid to speak his mind yet does it in a tasteful way. It is through his artwork his thoughts and actions are dramatized, yet respected by those he may mock. Achraf, in a sense, is both types of creatives as mentioned before. He is a symbol of his artwork that feeds into the limelight with the Artist shining behind the pen and paper.

In an exclusive interview with Achraf Amiri, we find out what inspires his dystopian artwork, and the iconic figures and brands who have jumped in line to partner with him.

Q: How did you get into art? When did you start and how did you know you had this hidden talent?

AA: Like most of us, I started drawing at a very young age while watching my favourite cartoons (Manga anime), which I would try to recreate as accurately as possible. My parents were very encouraging too. I still remember when my mother bought my first block of paper – I was very excited!

Q: When did the transition from hand drawings, go to digital art?

AA: Believe it or not, all my illustrations are hand drawn. I’m extremely proud of that, especially when everything around us is digital. (Don’t let me start on NFTs…)

Achraf Amiri

Q: How has social media helped you as an Artist? Do you think social media is a gateway for Artists to excel and promote their work?

AA: I’ve always enjoyed sharing my work online for the world to see. Although, in the beginning, it was never with a business goal but purely out of vanity. It’s my way of exhibiting my intellect as my work can sometimes be mischievous and provocative. This is perhaps why my work must resonate with the audience.

Q: Who is the biggest client you have created a piece for?

AA: I’ve illustrated for many clients in the last decade – from couture, brands to sports brands such as; Manish Arora, Salvatore Ferragamo, to Nike. I’ve also recently created numerous set designs and props for fashion runways and social media too. Drawing is genuinely and truly versatile when there’s a vision!

Q: Which artwork are you most proud of or would you say is your “signature” piece?

AA: Each project is unique in its own way. I always aspire to make something special and quirky. There’s truly no limit when it comes to drawing.

Besides releasing illustrations for brands, companies, and other publications, I’m most proud of having founded my own title ILLUSTRASHION Magazine.

Q: What was the reaction online when you created your own filter?

AA: People got very excited to be ‘ILLUSTRASHIONed’! It was more of a thank-you gesture for my followers, as I receive plenty of portrait requests from strangers on a daily basis!

Q: The way that you portray fashion through your art is unique with blood, bones, and even the long fingers and white eyes. What is your inspiration behind your art? Are you trying to provoke a certain thought or feeling? Do you love or hate fashion?

AA: I appreciate the craft. I loathe the culture. My fashion illustrations are meant to be satirical caricatures, mocking the sensation around fame, glamour, and all things ephemeral.

Q: What was your goal for 2022 and have you achieved it?

AA: A lot has changed since the arrival of TikTok (no, I’m not on TikTok!). Social media is no longer as genuine as it used to be and the competition is over(rated) saturated with paid content. The thing that differentiates art and business, is that regardless of whether you have people’s support or not, an artist will still and always create their art. This has always been my goal.

Q: What goal have you set for 2023?

AA: To become a better human.

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