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Anis Tabaraee: Illustrator of the mythical & macabre

by Now Then Sheffield
399 1554458228

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Anis Tabaraee's illustrations have a definite air of the fantastical and macabre about them. Hailing from Tehran in Iran, her passion for drawing and printmaking can be seen throughout her extensive body of work. I sat down for a chat with Anis to find out more about the surrealist sketcher.

Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Anis Tabaraee and I'm an illustrator and printmaker. I studied for a BA in Graphic Design and an MA in Illustration. How I got into art is related to an accident I had around eight years ago. I had a lot of fractures and scars on my face so I had to stay at home for a long time to recover. It motivated me to push myself forward and focus on my passion for art.

In my early works, I drew my face and my mood at the time. I looked at my surroundings and chose pencil as my first material. The characteristics of my drawing gradually became closer to printmaking techniques such as etching or mezzotint. I believe that limitation increases my creativity. The technique that I achieved through exploring different materials is an alternative printmaking technique which is unique to me.

Your work contains some interesting, one might say otherworldly characters. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I start by concentrating on the shape of the characters and I try to capture the characteristics of each one, such as their movement, color and repetition in form. My inspirations come from the forms of Persian ancestral creatures in myths like the Phoenix or Simurgh. I combine their forms with my own style. I think it is another way of creating a Sphinx. These sphinxes are my own wonderland.

Much of your illustrative work is created using a ballpoint pen. What is it about this medium that you particularly like?

I started drawing with ballpoint pen as a way of expressing my emotions through my work. Ballpoint pen provides me with delicate lines and sharp color. It also helps me to develop my inspirations more easily to be close in my style because it has the same structure as pencil drawing. It's easy to carry with me too. I can pick it up and start drawing even when I'm just sitting on the subway.

Are there other mediums that you're keen to explore?

There are some techniques which are not available to study in my country so I have to study them abroad. I'd really like to explore etching, mezzotint and lithography. There are so many exhibitions around the world that I want to take part in so it is necessary for me to learn the traditional techniques of printmaking.

What's on the horizon for you?

I am moving to the UK soon to start my education in printmaking. My article about Everyday Life Representation on Images is going to be published in an academic peer-reviewed journal in the UK, and I am currently working on some feminist collections which I hope to present to the National Museum of Women in the Arts. I also have some group exhibitions coming up around the world, and I am running a drawing workshop with The Big Draw in London.

www.instagram.com/anistabaraee

Interview by Flick Jackson

399 picture2 1554458378
by Now Then Sheffield

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