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Shamekh Bluwi: Between fashion, architecture and illustration - Daily News Egypt

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Shamekh Bluwi: Between fashion, architecture and illustration

“As a kid I was obsessed with comic books, each hero had a distinctive outfit; for me the clothes can somehow show traces of the personality,” says artist

At an early age, Shamekh Bluwi spent his days watching comics just like all of his friends – but while all other kids were obsessed with the heroes’ superpowers and abilities, Bluwi focused on a totally different aspect.

The outstanding artist that could be recognised as the most prominent fashion illustrator in the region, has always followed a path filled with passion and art. After studying architecture, Bluwi could not resist returning to his old passion of garments.

Bluwi’s cut-out series regards the city’s architecture through fashion (Photo from Facebook)
Bluwi’s cut-out series regards the city’s architecture through fashion
(Photo from Facebook)

It was not long before he started putting his vivid wearable imaginations on paper. Today, Bluwi is an architect, visual artist and most importantly fashion illustrator, who has grabbed a lot of international attention with his out-of-this-world work.

His artwork, that is usually implemented with digital techniques for elaborate details, has been loved and shared by several international fashion designers, such as Roberto Cavalli, Mary Katrantzou, Stefano Gabbana, Gigi Hadid, Valentino, Nicole Richie and many others.

Bluwi has collaborated with several brands and designers to push visual creativity and create a healthy fashion environment. While much of his work focuses on real-life garments made by designers, many others are the result of his imagination as a fashion frantic.

An artwork inspired by Elie Saab’s dress (Photo from Facebook)
An artwork inspired by Elie Saab’s dress
(Photo from Facebook)

His latest cut-out series has captured a lot of attention and gratitude. For this exquisite series, Bluwi mixed his talents as an architect and an illustrator as he applied cut-out illustrations in front of several ordinary landscapes from the city to create different unexpected pictures.

Daily News Egypt talked with the Jordan-based illustrator about his misunderstood job, in order to correct a few misconceptions and get a glimpse of his magic.

How did you venture into the fashion industry?
Through friends and family in the beginning, I started illustrating for the people I know for free, but bit-by-bit I got recognised for my artwork. The next thing I thought was why not make it my job, since it was taking most of my time.

How can you define your job as a fashion illustrator?
Story telling through an artwork that regards garments as the main focus.

Bluwi celebrated international day of Arabic language through his outstanding artwork (Photo from Facebook)

Why did you specialise in fashion?
As a kid I was obsessed with comic books, each hero had a distinctive outfit. For me, the clothes can somehow show traces of the personality, and this always fascinated me and even led me to fashion illustration, it is a way of showing the individuality of a person through style.

Who is your idol illustrator?
James Jean and David Downton.

Which of your illustrations got recognised by the designer him/herself first?

It was an illustration for the Dolce and Gabbana alta moda show, I remember I was really happy seeing my artwork appreciated by the designer himself, getting recognition is always rewarding. When I think of the next artwork, I only do it for the joy of creating art, thinking only of what people want to see might limit you as an artist. So it is great to get recognised by these amazing designers, but that shouldn’t be the reason why you do it.

One of Bluwi’s illustrations celebrates Vogue and the iconic Anna Wintour (Photo from Facebook)

Which of your illustrations is the most famous?

The recent cut-out series are the most famous on social media, in regards of number of shares and comments.

Is fashion illustration your full-time job?
Yes it is, but honestly it doesn’t feel like a job. I am always doodling, sketching and illustrating. I still cannot get my head around thinking that what I love to do is my job.

How can fashion illustration become a bread winner?
By practicing everyday and sharing your creative process on social media – almost all of my clients approach me through Instagram.

Dolce and Gabbana are repeatedly captured in Bluwi’s art as they constantly inspire him (Photo from Facebook)

What is the biggest misconception related to your job?
That it is not a job, it is a hobby.

Bluwi drew his favorite look from Chanel’s latest Paris fashion week show (Photo from Facebook)

What kind of effect does illustration has on the fashion industry, especially a developing one like ours?

We see designers collaborating with illustrators on their collections and also illustrators drawing inspiration from the fashion shows for their artwork, it is always exciting and fascinating to see how one idea can influence the artist and be interpreted by an outfit or an illustration. For me, personally, when I am inspired by a fashion show or a clothing item I try to tell the story behind the inspiration in the artwork, we are blessed with so many talents in the region, and I am really happy to witness these individuals collaborating together as illustrators and fashion designers.

What does fashion illustration need in order to blossom in the region?
I think it is blossoming already – there are so many good fashion illustrators in the region.

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