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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Global Influences
Design

International Artist Feature: Iran

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Welcome back to our International Artist Series.

Today we're catching up with six incredible artists from Iran, a nation rich in history and inspiring people. I asked each artist how their country and culture influenced their work, and they delivered great responses.

Maryam Khaleqi

First up is the exceptional work of 3D and motion graphics artist, Maryam Khaleqi. Transforming architecture into pixel-based cubes, she creates fascinating illustrations with phenomenal lighting.

See more in her portfolio.

City Lights

I love my country because of its rich culture and amazing art. The civilization goes way back in the history but recently it's been getting harder everyday to live a life without worrying about what the future might hold for us due to national/international issues.
It's hard but life goes on and doing art makes me think less about everything else and encourages me to work for a better future!
City Lights
City Lights

Ekbatan

I'm inspired specifically by Iranian/Islamic architecture. I'm also inspired by their colors and patterns; they are very meaningful and full of stories behind them.
Ekbatan
Ekbatan

Azadi Tower

Azadi Tower
Azadi Tower

Abandoned Observatory

The art community is very wide, friendly, and also very active. It includes lots of passionate people who are trying their best to connect to the world and show people the true face of Iran and its people through their work.
Abandoned Observatory
Abandoned Observatory

Aryan Hasanvandi

Next, we enter the world of Aryan Hasanvandi, an illustrator and designer living in Tehran, Iran. Featuring a mixture of eccentric characters and bold techniques, his work is eclectic, outstanding, and truly unique.

See more in his portfolio.

Girl & the Fox

As an ancient historical place, Iran holds a great deal of sacred energy which presents itself through the pure, beautiful nature. It's also hidden in the eyes of the wise people I meet every day.
Besides all of the pressure and anxiety I'm dealing with nowadays because of the political and economic issues, living here is like playing a video game set on survival mode, which is making me a better gamer.
Girl and the Fox
Girl & the Fox

Cats & Creeps

Iranian people are very expressive with a wide range of characteristics I find inspiring.

This made me focus on capturing the essence of "expression" through my works, as I live in a cat-shaped country (on the map) and I meet a lot of cats every day on every corner.
Cats and Creeps
Cats & Creeps

Creeps & Cats

Creeps and Cats
Creeps & Cats

Bored

The art community in Iran has three faces, upper ground, middle ground, and underground.

The upper ground community mainly focuses on popular and conservative subjects, while the middle ground community contains artists who are trying to express themselves truly but are also very careful not to cross the line.
Now the underground community lives on the edge; these are artists who have a true desire for expressing themselves without any limits and they often face many problems because there is a long list of "taboo subjects" in Iran.
Bored
Bored

Hossein Fiuoj

If you had a dream house, would you build it? Our next artist, architectural designer Hossein Fiuoj, did just that with his exceptional designs in 3D software. Check out his extraordinary digital illustrations of houses and interior rooms.

See more in his portfolio.

Swiss Simplicity

Iran is a country with a diverse world and with a vast diversity of ethnicities and climate.
Swiss Simplicity
Swiss Simplicity

69 M²

Due to the different minerals in Iran, we see a variety of indigenous architecture and all of them are full of inspiring ideas for any architect. There are also a variety of colors in the form of tile work and so on.
69 M
69 M²

Exterior and Bathroom

Exterior and Bathroom
Exterior and Bathroom

Dream

The Iranian art community is in a good position in terms of creativity, and we have a mutual respect between the arts and the artists.
Dream
Dream

Hamideh Mohebbi

Hamideh is a traditional artist living in Tehran, Iran. Her beautiful traditional work is both familiar and comforting, and it features a dose of the abstract to match her colorful palettes.

See more in her portfolio.

The Most Beautiful God's Morning

Tehran (my city) is the place that has a variety of people with different cultures and languages all living together. That is what makes it attractive and lively. We also have many historical artworks to enjoy, which, even in our simple life, we see and experience them all.
The Most Beautiful Gods Morning
The Most Beautiful God's Morning

Tabeta Stories

For some, many find inspiration in the powerful fables and myths that come from ancient history. But even in our everyday living, we’ve got many subjects that are great for inspiration, particularly for illustration. For example, there are many inspiring love stories as well as strange stories about animals, honesty, and parallel worlds.
Tabeta Stories
Tabeta Stories

Mini Sketchbook

Mini Sketchbook
Mini Sketchbook

We

Most of the arts in Iran are set and organized by the government. So Iranian artists should adhere and take part in some of the religious and cultural programs with their work. But associations and other art groups should also work under the government’s umbrella.
Iranian artists may have less opportunity, but we try to connect with the outside world for more freedom and less limitations.
We
We

Jafar Behravan Rad

Illustrator and graphic designer Jafar Behravan Rad makes incredible illustrations featuring some of the world's favorite movie characters, villains, and superheroes. Enjoy this selection of expressive digital art with great color and visual stories. 

See more in his portfolio.

Samurai

Iran is where I was born. I’ve grown up, but I’m so dependent on my family and my hometown so I’ve never thought about leaving my country. However, working here as an artist has its own challenges and difficulties because sometimes we are so limited.
Samurai
Samurai

Monster is Here!

Iran is so rich in traditional art, architecture, and literature; and undoubtedly I’m so inspired by our Islamic and traditional art.

I always try to include some of our special art and architecture in my artwork. I try to do my best to mix these international artistic features with characteristics of my own art rich in magnificent history.
Monster is Here
Monster is Here!

African Warrior

African Warrior
African Warrior

In Wood

There are plenty of art communities in Iran. Some of them are run by the government and some are not. Unfortunately, many of these communities and facilities are located in our capital city, so many young and gifted people who live in other places are really deprived and discriminated against.

However, we try to keep ourselves updated and connected. All in all, living here and doing artistic jobs are both very hard.
In Wood
In Wood

Soraya Mokhtari

Finally, our last artist is the talented Soraya Mokhtari from Tehran, Iran. With a love of cinema and animation, she creates vivid illustrations full of wonder and the charm of everyday life.

See more in her portfolio.

My Week

I like it here in Iran because I was born and raised here, and because of all the memories I have. I also love the diversity of the people. Iran has so many different ethnicities. Therefore, we get to have a first hand experience of so many different cultures without traveling far.
My Week
My Week

Inktober 2017

I mostly get inspired by the people around me. And my everyday life.
Inktober 2017
Inktober 2017

My Week

My Week
My Week

Friends

I'm an independent artist like many here. So I'm not too familiar with the "art community" in Iran.
Friends
Friends

Many thanks to the artists who took the time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has affected their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below:

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