I’m really happy to introduce you all to my first interview here on my Mindful Self Indulgence blog.
Today’s interview is with someone I have been a fan of for a while now and had the pleasure of chatting to about his work, his outlets and his view on mental health, Mr Ahmed Emad El-Din.
Ahmed’s passion and work have gone from strength to strength and have recently garnered him the acclaim of creating the cover art for, my personal favourite band, Pink Floyd’s latest album.
Now enough from me, here’s how my conversation Ahmed went.
We began our chat by discussing how Ahmed’s career path reverted back to his original passion of art after graduating with a pharmaceutical degree.
“I started creating art when I was 9 years old, I was just a kid who loved to create”
After realising he
didn’t want the education system to dull his passion, as many times it can, he
shifted his focus back to design.
Moving back to design may have been a decision full of uncertainty, however, Ahmed got his big break with his first ever client, Pink Floyd.
“I was shocked, from the bottom to the top.”
Ahmed doesn’t take it for granted though, having his first commission being international rock legends, he’s aware of how his hard work and determination got him there.
“Work hard, never ask for anything and you will get everything! That’s what I believe.”
Our conversation moved onto art as an outlet, and how Ahmed uses his art to express himself. I was really inspired by Ahmed’s commitment to expressing himself and his feelings through his art even if it doesn’t garner the same response as his other work.
“Sometimes I create an artwork that absolutely nobody will understand and they keep asking, why, what and how, but deep inside I’m satisfied, I know I delivered what I wanted to”
With this, Ahmed went into how sometimes words just aren’t enough to convey whatever emotions you may be experiencing, I believe all of us will experience this at one time or another, but it is truly remarkable, I believe, for someone to put those feelings out there, in any type of media. It not only allows you to begin to process these emotions but allows for others too, to interpret and possibly process or look at their position differently.
Ahmed, like myself, comes from Egypt. I was curious to find out how he felt about the approach to mental health issues in the country and whether it was being addressed effectively.
“Well people are scared of that term here, if you told someone they needed to check on that or see a doctor or anything related to mental health they feel insulted!”
However, Ahmed has hope with the attitudes towards mental health, he sees improvement. Through the growth of social media and the ability for people to share their stories with their peers he believes people are learning, and learning how to deal with mental health issues, both their own and those of others.
It’s not only social media that seems to be bring people together for Ahmed, I commented on the heavy inclusion of human interaction and emotion within his work, which he states is deliberate.
“I speak with art and when I create I always have a lot of emotions that I need to get out, I describe the collection of my artworks as ‘Thoughts and Feelings’ that’s what my art really is.”
Ahmed is working to ensure people are truly experiencing their emotions, not only feeling them but he wants to encourage people to really think about what the emotions are and why they may be feeling them.
This really is one of my favourite aspects of Ahmed’s art, forcing people to face their emotions head on and really embrace them, whatever the outcome.
We rounded off our chat with Ahmed giving his view on mental health, creative art and selfcare. I usually would paraphrase his final comments, but I stand behind every sentiment and believe it to be a perfect way to sign us off.
“You should look at a lot of art and focus on how you are feeling about it. Art is like a trip and you get to choose your destination simply by choosing what you look at.
You can go from hell to heaven by just looking at a piece of art.
I was once in a depressive state, never wanting to talk to anyone but art was my way of surviving. Not only by creating it but by looking at it! But try to create, it always feels so good when you create something.”
I honestly enjoyed every moment of our interview and am just honoured to have spent the time chatting to Ahmed. We wish Ahmed success after success and we are sure that Ahmed will continue to amaze us with his outlook on life through art. For now, I’m going to leave you guys with some more of my favourite work from Ahmed. You can find all his work by following him on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/a7md3mad9