Abdullah Bogis, dreamer, illustrator, creator. Jedawi, born and bred, Abdullah is quite adamant about being original…and, thank goodness for that. Drawing inspiration from Arabic folklore and mythology during his childhood, Abdullah renders these heroes and villains anew with his own personal artistic twist. Design Magazine sits with Abdullah to learn a bit more about what his dreams are made of.
“Live the beauty of your surroundings by visualizing, and create the impossible by dreaming.”
What do you hope to accomplish with your illustrations? What future do you see for yourself as an artist?
I want to deliver something new to the country. I want to be an inspiration to others and to please the public with my work. I want my work to inﬂuence the young generation and perhaps be part of someone else’s childhood like how Basem & Majed magazines were part of mine.
Who and what inspires your work?
What doesn’t? Everything around me inspires me, literally everything. Even unpleasant things and hideous objects, can be inspiring. It’s just the way you reform it to make it a new idea and create a new artwork. Just like a piece of clay, it’s shapeless and once you start playing with it you sculpt it into something according to your desire. I truly believe if a person, especially an artist just produces copies without any original creations, then he is no more than a machine.
Are your illustrations from real or imagined subjects?
There are many things that I like to illustrate, but more than anything I enjoy character designing based on actual human ﬁgures. I really enjoy drawing human faces and creating expression through bodily movement. However, the majority of my illustrations come from my imagination, rather than copying.
Even when I draw human portraits I try to give it something different artistically and not copy the reference picture exactly. Arabic mythology is also very rich, I sometimes try to revive the Arabic heroes that I grew up on by visualizing them the way I used to, or the tales that the elders used to tell us to scare us into doing something. ‘ ‘Part of my appreciation for beauty is to portray it. Living in the real world all the time would bore me.
Who are some of the artists that you admire in your ﬁeld?
There are many artists I admire whose artworks are just incredible. Such as the Chinese artist Benjamin, Iman Maleki, Andrew Atroshenko, Hayao Miyazaki, Yuji Shinkawa, and of course my teacher Kin Sun Loh; each one of them is so unique and amazing. “Simply put, a philosophy I live by is summed up by John Mason…
Don’t copy, but think and create. Everything is beautiful; you just have to see it from other dimensions and different perspectives. Find your inspiration and allow yourself to be uniquely amazing. And don’t forget to thank you Mother for all her support.
I believe that an artist should not stop self-teaching him or herself. Because once the artist stops learning, he won’t have anything new to deliver.”you were born an original. Don’t die a copy.