“The hardest challenge in art is the desire to keep everyone happy”
Roya Ghassemi has loved colours since she was a child, so it came as no surprise when she pursued a career in art. However, her love of fashion has led to a project combining her two favourite subjects – an exciting venture for the Iranian illustrator.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Roya Ghassemi. I was born in 1991 in Iran. I am a graphic designer and illustrator.
Tell us about your education and a little of your beginnings and journey as an artist.
I began my art career at the age of 15, studying graphic design at the master’s school of Shahriar (Tabriz), which had a great influence on my interest in art. After graduating from high school, I immediately began studying at university and graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
Did you take any kind of training or did it develop over time?
Certainly education was the best practice in this field, but I am always learning and practicing. I have not gone through a special class but have been working for almost ten years in this field.
Why and when did you move to Germany?
I got married in 2015 and, since my husband lived there, I also moved to Germany.
How would you describe your illustration style?
Many of my followers ask me for the name of my art style. I have not chosen a name for that yet but I’m sure this style is linked to my spirits and interests. Flowers and plants, animals and colours – and especially women – play a significant role in my illustrations. I use these elements to try to show the natural beauty, but a little surreal; something like in dreams.
What would you say is your strongest ability as an illustrator?
Maybe it’s a bit selfish but I think my paintings are not lifeless. This is the strongest part of my work.
Digitally, what are your favourite programs to illustrate in?
My drawings are designed manually and digitally. I use Photoshop software.
Traditionally, what are your favourite papers and inks?
I love thick, textured paper. Markers, water colours, rapids and crayons are my favorite gadgets.
Can you remember some of your earliest influences?
As far as I remember, I always loved colours in my childhood.
Can you describe one of the toughest challenges you’ve faced as an illustrator/designer?
In my opinion, the hardest challenge in art is the desire to keep everyone happy or to interfere with the taste of others.
How supportive is your family with your interest in illustrations?
Very. I feel very happy that I have a family who has always kept me safe.
Which of your projects has been most important to developing your personal style?
The design of famous characters has had a great impact on my work.
How much attention do you pay to the feedback of others on your work?
With regard to comments and messages from around the world, especially in Iran, people like to see this. Sometimes they are surprised and I’m very happy about this. When I see that people are inspired by my work and are trying to learn this style and asking for education, I feel I have succeeded in creating my own style and having my own signature.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I always remind myself to follow my dreams and I think this is the best advice for me.
What are some of your future plans?
Since I am interested in fashion, I’ve decided to present a product in the future with a combination of illustration and fashion.
Your message for us at CiiN.
It is interesting to me that your magazine, relating to fashion, made it possible for me to talk about myself. I always loved fashion so it was good for me to have this conversation with you. I hope the project will be very well received.