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Nancy Kouta

Nancy Kouta

Meet graphic artist and illustrator from Beirut, Nancy Kouta.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Nancy Kouta is an illustrator/graphic artist currently based in the beautiful crazy Beirut.

I am interested in the magical perfect imperfection of nature and space patterns; my style is a blend of abstract forms and organic geometric shapes with bold vibrant colors.

My visual explorations designs are a mixture of real yet surreal little stories, paradoxes and allusions stuck together to form a whole.

My work is mostly digital but any idea always starts with a pencil. Expressing my ideas comes more easily when touching the paper, and I am making time now in exploring printmaking.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

Beirut is beautiful and crazy at the same time. Living in Beirut is like having a relationship with a bipolar person. You can never be bored in Beirut with all the paradoxes that you see every single day. There is always something to explore from the stories of the taxi drivers to the small shops and cafes that hold little treasures.

 

My visual explorations designs are a mixture of real yet surreal little stories, paradoxes and allusions stuck together to form a whole.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

Best thing: the artistic scene is so rich with a variety with more than a culture so you never feel bored in Beirut because there is always an untold story you want to explore.

Worst thing: Traffic and the noises are somehow overwhelming and the lack of green spaces.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Paradox

Adventure

Beautiful Chaos

 

How did you start your career in art?

Since a young age, I was interested in art, geology and abstract things. I have been obsessed with colors my whole life and that has influenced me for taking a creative path. I was curious to play with everything especially the materials related to earth (stones, pebbles). All that exploring let me see everything in a different way now and it helped me see the beautiful imperfection details.

So, I believe my career starts there between all those explorations and not in university where I studied graphic design.

 

My career turning point was after my brain trauma because of an accident so turning and visualizing my anxiety into just shapes, lines and color through this stage helped me a lot to heal and finding new ways of expressing and finding myself within the fine line that separates illustration and graphic art. I believe my character just evolves with my work and my work even commercial ones come around my character to just become one.

 

I believe my character just evolves with my work and my work even commercial ones come around my character to just become one.

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Totally, that makes me so happy especially when my friends see things in my work I personally didn’t see so as if their comments help me in exploring my visuals with a new twist.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

Experimenting with augmented reality is my focus now, I believe augmented reality can combine print effect with digital twists and I like this paradox.

Publishing a risograph mini-book that consists of my exploration in the past two years.

 

Experimenting with augmented reality is my focus now, I believe augmented reality can combine print effect with digital twists and I like this paradox.

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

Peter Max‘s work is a huge inspiration to me. His work is so vibrant, abstract but so real at the same time. I like his paradoxes and I hope to meet him someday.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Badass, fearless and powerful. I believe Lebanese moms or Arab women, in general, are just fearless and just magical that they are rising every day through all the gaps.

 

Badass, fearless and powerful.

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

My inspiration always comes from stories and not a specific person or the type of work he/she do. I get inspired by the conversations I have with strangers or taxi drivers’ stories. Kids’ curiosity or strangers’ involuntary patterns to a certain space. Analyzing all those coincidences throughout my years of surviving in this chaos is the only thing I still look to experience every day.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

Being female within this system is a challenge by itself. Unequal pay and pricing issues are a real challenge and I hope things will move for the better.

 

It’s a long process where there’s no endpoint but I believe you will just evolve with every milestone.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

I am not in a place to give advice to anybody but I hope they just enjoy the process and to love its flaws because those little imperfections will become their style and identity. It’s a long process where there’s no endpoint but I believe you will just evolve with every milestone.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Nancy Kouta.

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