Amira Kamel

When Digital Art Speaks

Amira Kamel, a young upcoming digital artist, impressed everyone with her renditions of two very popular eniGma covers, one with Passant Shawky & Mohamed Farrag, and the other with Arwa Gouda, at eniGma’s Covers Reimagined event in June 2021. To find out more about the young artist, eniGma’s Salma El Nahas caught up with her and asked her about how she got into digital art, what she is passionate about, and who her inspirations are. Here are some extracts of the interview with the young artist.

Where did you study art? And how did you start your career as an artist?
After finishing school at the Global Academy International School in Qatar, I travelled to Malaysia and London to study Digital Filming and TV. I studied Directing and Photography as well as Cinematography and Filmmaking with a major in Directing and a minor in Graphic Design. This was also integrated with Media of Arts and PR.
As for my career, I’ve worked as a creative designer in many agencies like JWT and Leo Burnett in Qatar. My job was to come up with concepts for digital design and artwork related to commercials promoting different brands and companies. However, my ultimate career goal is to become a film director. The reason I decided to come to Egypt was to get into the film industry, and to try to build a good portfolio related to film-making. Happily, I got a job as a lighting trainee in the Egyptian hit drama, Faten Amal Harby.

How did you start your career as a digital artist?
I was always into drawing, colouring, and anything related to art. In 2020, I came up with an idea–inspired by Nelly Karim and Asser Yassine–to design a poster of Asser Yassine for the Be Meet Wesh (Multifaceted) series. I posted it on my Instagram and tagged the stars. Surprisingly, I received a voice note from Asser telling me that he really liked the poster and he asked me to make one for Nelly Karim. At that point I decided to start my brand, Chicartic, creating customised artwork to be framed on walls. I am happy that making the poster of Be Meet Wesh helped me to be the person I am today.

What are your other passions?
My other passions are photography and filmmaking, and especially cinematography. To be honest, I find that the art of storytelling is one of the best art mediums in the world. I am passionate about photography techniques, like photo composition, lighting rules, and framing techniques.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
What inspires me most is the love that I have for art. There are also many people who inspire me to get better and bigger in my field. For example, I love Nadine Labaki; I believe she is one of the greatest directors out there. Other directors who inspire me are Kamla Abo Zekry, Tamer Mohsen, David Fincher, and Wes Anderson.

How do you go about creating an art piece?
I look at the character first; then I consider the elements I can use to match the character. Then I create a theme and a concept that will generate an idea that can be understood. If the characters are present, I ask questions about their taste in colours, the things that match their personalities, and how they want their work to be portrayed. Playing with colours and elements is my field of interest, as I love the art of collage. Cutting and sticking things together; making a new picture from many pictures, is an art. To me, thinking creatively to develop a concept out of other elements is the core of creativity.

Who is your favourite artist?
The closest artist to my heart is director Nadine Labaki. I love the components, images, and cinematography in her movies; as well as how she empowers and inspires women in her movies. She is one of the strongest female characters out there that inspire others to be better and stronger in their fields.

Were you excited to participate in eniGma’s Covers Reimagined Event last year?
it was such a huge step for me to get recognition from such a huge magazine like eniGma. eniGma’s event was the perfect place to put myself and my work out there. It is important for me to be known for my hard work as an artist.

Are there any types of art that you have not tried yet?
I haven’t had the chance to try oil painting since all of my artwork is digital. I have also never tried sculpting or making things with pottery, so I’m really interested in trying such things. Additionally, I want to try filming with a professional film camera used in filming movies and series.

What does art mean to you?
Art is all of life to me. It is passion, love, nature, family… emotions. When I walk in the street, I see art in everything around me. For me, God is the greatest artist with all the beautiful things he created around us. I love art and I love communicating with people who love art like me. I love watching people in the streets. I love walking in old streets. To me, art is all of that.

Looking ahead, what are you looking forward to?
I look forward to boosting my career as a digital artist. I also want to grow my business, Chicartic, the brand that I’ve created for digital artworks, and I want to make movie posters soon. However, my forever biggest dream is to become a successful female director and to be nominated to the Oscars!