Adnan is a multi-disciplinary artist, who creates calm, fictional landscapes, where the water and the skies seem to stretch forever, suspended in stillness, while humans are just a tiny speck. The images make you pause and reflect. The viewer is left questioning whether these are real places or dreamed up by imagination? The answer lies somewhere in between.
Adnan started creating art a few years ago as a form of self-therapy, and an escape from the chaos of life. His work plays around negative and positive spaces, which can be perceived by the colours he chooses. A firm believer in telling more by using less, his work is full of narrative and feeling.
When did you first start practicing as an artist?
About 11 years ago I got started into digital art and photography and it has become more or less second nature to me now.
Through your work you create calm fictional landscapes, what was the inspiration behind this idea?
My work tries to rekindle the stillness and calmness of taking a pause amid the chaos to visualize the inner peace that embodies in every individual. It helps in connecting through emotions; it need not be translated or explained. I try to look for what I can’t see.
Your works are serene and give space for the viewer to stop and reflect. Was this intentional?
This was certainly not intentional but rather the use of gradients have given me the ability to touch the soul before it reaches the eye, they tend to have an innate beauty in them that with the right usage can bring a sense of tranquility that need no translation.
Can you tell us more about the negative and positive spaces in your work and what you hope this evokes in the viewer?
I have been exploring the medium by creating both minimal and maximal pieces for a while and felt I could tell a lot more by using less in a controlled manner. I try to have limits around my work which help in creating a frame; this in turn creates the story and the logic of the piece. If you observe in some of my recent pieces this has been showcased using objects and colors so it becomes more easy to see the negative and positive space of the work.
How did you train to become a digital artist and photographer?
Being a technologist and an artist a good portion of my credit goes to my inner ignition of doing things myself from the very early days. I have also been lucky enough to be an early adopter of the Internet.
What is your creative process like and what tools do you use?
The creative process for each piece differs and is related to the artist and not the tool. So, I generally tend to avoid the tool question because the value is generated by the artist and answering tool related question take the spotlight away from the creator. Tools are definitely important because they give us the ability to expand our vision, they are useless until used. Nonetheless, I use industry standard tools.
Your work has a bold contemporary aesthetic, how did you create this style?
This style has taken a while to develop; it was after drawing inspirations from my surroundings and trying to turn the mundane into something intriguing and interesting using geometric games and optical illusions. The images are a play of lights and shadows creating a powerful composition with a certain solitude that is halfway between minimalism and surrealism.
The sky is an ongoing theme in your work – what draws you to the sky?
As an artist you want a canvas, and I have chosen the sky to be mine. The vastness of the sky helps me in gaining more control over the scaling of my pieces depending on the narrative I want to give.
Can you share your favorite work of art you have created so far with us and why is it your favorite?
I think I share only my favorite work of art, each one tends to have a special story and a connection to it.
Growing up, which artists inspired you?
I have mostly drawn inspirations from my surroundings and always wanted to create from a perspective one could not see viewing it from their lens. I also draw inspirations from the works of painters and motion graphic directors.
What are your aspirations as an artist?
I believe art is something that speaks to anyone and you feel connected when you get the meaning behind it. My aim is to create pieces that deliver more of a message along with the story in the universal dimension so that anybody around the world can get connected to it, change perspectives or even just open dialogues through it.
What do you think the future of Islamic art looks like and how do you think we can continue to keep the tradition alive?
I think this is an interesting question to put forth, due to the ongoing cultural shift of promoting unconscious minimalism, we are slowly pushing away the sense of identity through design and art. The broader part of Islamic art has a sense of character and taste that needs to be cherished not just being reserved to calligraphy.
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