I have been fascinated with Yacoub's work for a few months now because (as a chemist) I was thrilled to find another scientist in the arts. Yacoub's artwork is inspired by the patterns and shapes found in histological samples - they're intricate and hypnotizing! Read on to find out all about him and his shop.
Being a small business owner myself, I love to hear the origin stories of other makers. When and how did youdecide to start your own business? What is your creative background?
The inspiration to my art pieces comes from my scientific background as a MSc in nanoscience. The magical, strange and scientific world, which I often observed through technically advanced microscopes, is a consistent theme in my art.
Examples hereupon could be the fascinating patterns found in cell cultures, histological cross sections or bacterial colonies, the beautiful facets on crystals, gem stones and rocks, the simple mathematical geometric shapes or the unique colour combination among exotic insects, plants, sea creatures etc.
How did you decide to focus on your medium & style?
My style was not something I specifically chose. It was rather something that just came to me as a consequence of my background and education. It initially started while I still was doing my bachelor at Aarhus University. Throughout my education I had a lot of interdisciplinary courses (e.g. material physics, molecular cell biology, inorganic material chemistry etc.), which had great illustrative study books that we used during our boring daily lectures. I slowly started appreciating the beauty in scientific phenomenons and mother nature, and one thing led to another. I suddenly started making graphical and pattern works, experimenting with different kind of materials and mediums. My choice of material and medium spans from pen, acrylic, water colour, collage, metal leafs etc. Some inspirational histology pictures from my study book, Histology:
Have you set any exciting goals for yourself or your business for 2015? What can we look forward to seeing from you!
I recently had a vernissage with my largest solo exhibition at Minimum Gallery in Aarhus, Denmark. It was a major accomplishment for me and I worked really hard on making more than 20 pieces inspired by histological samples. They are very detailed work pieces, in different sizes (varying from 30x40 to 70x100 cm) and materials. My goal for this year is experimenting more with water colours in order to achieve a better technical skill. I absolutely love the way water colour can interact randomly. Additionally, I want to do more scary and bizarre collage pieces. The amount of creepiness you can achieve using collage is just great!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their own self-made business?
My answer sounds like such a cliché, however, there is something about it. It's all about being yourself and finding your small niche area. In my case it is the scientific approach and showing, interpreting and enlightening the beauty in science that drives me. Another very important advice is not to be a one-trick pony. Experiment, and get out of your comfort zone! Don't be afraid of trying new techniques, colours, material, medium etc., and most importantly, don't be afraid of failing. Finally, I highly recommend people getting an account and following other artist on the social media, like for instance Instagram or Pinterest. Seeing other talented people, using different techniques and materials, inspires me VERY MUCH!!! Being on the social media also helps you promote yourself and your art work. This is how I got the opportunity to do my solo exhibition at Minimum Gallery and obtain several customers.
When you're not creating, what do you love to do?
I am ALWAYS looking for new inspiration. This can be found in my old study books, Pinterest, Instagram, google, outside my apartment, basically anywhere! I also have a huge passion for taking photographies with my dear Canon 600D and 50 mm “nifty fifty” lens. I love taking pictures of architecture and people doing something random without noticing me (street photography). The latter is however very intimidating. It's all about not being spotted taking the picture. Once discovered, it's so damn embarrassing.
Lastly, can you share three of your favorite artists?
I have several. It's difficult to just mention 3 artist. But some of my major favourite ones are Mondrian, Joan Miró, Yago Hortal and Richard Mortensen. They all trigger my core of happiness and calmness when I admire their choice and play on colours and simple shapes. However, I have a wide range of favourite artists/upcoming artists on instagram, who constantly inspire me.