Tarek Sabbouh, a Creative Lead at Estee Lauder in Dubai, started out his career as an editorial designer and ended up leaving to Barcelona in pursuit of a master’s degree in Advanced Post-production. It is there where he learned how to free himself of all academic restraints and started exploring digital art in all its forms.
Inspired by surrealism and a hint of cynicism, his work is an expression of his daily observations on life as a millennial and fragments of pop culture.
Which artists inspire you and why?
Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, and Magritte. I remember once spending five hours at a Salvador Dali exhibition in Pompidou, finding new details and sub-context every time I’d look at the same painting. The subconscious mind just fascinates me! I used to keep a dream journal, waking up in the middle of the night to write what I dreamt about and then recreating it on Photoshop in the morning. It inspired me to pursue a career in digital art and it still gives me so much joy.
What’s the most important thing to know about you?
1. I am extremely inappropriate and love making people feel awkward, opening outrageous subjects just to see their reactions – which feeds into my creativity. 2. I love masking! 3. I can be a pop victim one day and a hardcore electronic fanatic the next.
What qualities and skills should a designer have?
After 10 years in the field, I believe that the ability to accept criticism is a designer’s most rewarding quality. And maintaining an Alice in Wonderland sense of curiosity – it’ll take you far.
What are you most proud of?
My ability to let go of everything familiar and comforting – be it changing careers, moving to new countries, or blocking someone on Instagram.
What advice would you give for a young designer?
Rome wasn’t built in a day; same thing applies to your career. Just be meticulous and take your time to truly grow. Don’t be too hard on yourself to be ‘original’ – everything has already been done so just recycle with a fresh eye.
Special thanks to BOBOLINK.