Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Naseer Behbehani ("NB") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.
NB : My first dream was to become character designer for animations. As I used to draw from a young age and was fascinated about anime and video games characters design. I worked as a caricature artist in a local newspaper for a while, But with time and experiencing different art forms, I moved to graphic design then to photography.
NB : It was not something I choose on purpose. It just happened. All kinds draw and paint, but once they grow up most of them stop drawing, I was of those who chose not. One thing led to another and I became a photographer. And naw, whenever I see a good photograph it motivates me to become a better photographer. So what really motivates me is a good executed photograph.
NB : I choose it myself.
NB : I photograph people. Editorial, commercial and family portraits. And once I tried travel photography in Venice. Which was a rich experience for me as a photographer and a person. It made me look at people in a different way. So I want to take more photos about people and their lives.
NB : Other than Learning, practicing and accept criticism, one must evolve as human being to evolve as a designer. Shallow designers will only produce shallow designs.
NB : I think booth good and great designers can produce equally good looking designs. Yet what really distinguish between them is the thought behind the design. Great designer can produce more meaningful designs.
NB : Good design starts with a meaningful idea, and ends with a good understanding of design rules. Combine these two together and you will have a really good design.
NB : Good designs grabs attention. And attention is what you need to spread idea. That is why it is important for education, business, communication between different cultures .. etc. Every idea can benefit from a good design.
NB : I would choose a village, not yet corrupted by civilization. Take portraits of their elders and print the photos for them.
NB : My dream project is to take portrait of people around the world, mostly villagers. Collect their stories and put them in a book.
NB : Design from your heart. Even if you are designing for a client, find that connection between your heart and the design and let that connection lead you.
NB : Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon and Platon
NB : My favorite is Annie Leibovitz style for the painterly quality she delivers in her photographs and how romantic they are.
NB : I think my greatest photograph is “Mother Earth”. Because of the emotion it delivers.
NB : Think a lot and question every thing. The more questions you ask, the more deep your thoughts will bee. And that will reflect on your designs.
NB : Writer I think.
NB : Design is a physical form of thought and emotions.
NB : My mother. She bought me my first computer, and that really helped me evolve.
NB : I Photograph for myself not for someone else. Design for yourself, love what you do and that will show in your work.
NB : Can't say there were any obstacles.
NB : I like to print my photographs in large sizes, which I should do more often. I think physical presentation of the design is important. While the digital era is helping designers to reach large number of audience, a physical presentation in exhibitions is how a design should be presented.
NB : I was working on a project highlighting the past of my country Kuwait, specifically “pearl fishing” practice. It was postponed for the lockdown. Hopefully I will continue working on it once things back to normal.
NB : I want to be known for my work of art, and to leave some things to be remembered off when I'm long gone.
NB : People expect from designers to be honest and to produce genuine art work. And that is what I’m trying to give to my audience.
NB : A good design grabs attention, and that is what you need to spread ideas. The more good ideas spread in society the better it will be.
NB : A travel photography I did in Venice, Italy. It is the first and only travel photography I do. I wondered in the city trying to absorb every emotion I can get out of it. The processes and the results ware so satisfying to me.
NB : It depends on the elements I need for the photograph. Some could take months of searching to find them and some are around the corner. Once I find all the elements, the photoshoot and retouching take no more than two or three days.
NB : First thing I do, is to put myself in the mood of photography. To get in that mood, I look at other photographers work that I admire. It gives me that extra push I need to work harder.
NB : Be a good person as much as you can
NB : I think people set trends and designs. And both trends and designs influence each other. They have a parallel relationship.
NB : Technology is everything in my workflow. I am a digital artist after all.
NB : Adobe Lightroom Adobe Photoshop Canon 5d ii Profoto lights Wacom tablet
NB : I try to use color theories in my photographs as much as possible. And I like to embrace texture in my work.
NB : I want to grab my camera and take some good photographs of my own. I’m super motivated.
NB : I think it is interesting. But it is importer to find the right partner that suits your style and equally passionate about the project.
NB : I can’t be specific in that matter. Every conversation I hear or be part of, influence my thoughts which influence my photography.
NB : I look at masters work and try to learn from them. And by learning I don’t mean the technical stuff only, I watch their interviews and try to learn their way of thinking, the thought behind their work. The idea is what makes the art works. The technical stuff is just a tool.
NB : Prophet Muhammad. Who would have the deepest thoughts than the man who meet God?
NB : Orange, Europe, Fish, Winter, Electronics (Speakers to be specific), Bose.
NB : It was in Austria when I was a beginner photographer. I was walking between the fields in the country side, I saw a family of farmers, man and wife with their kids riding their tractor. I wasn't speaking their language and they didn't speak English, So I gestured with my camera, trying to ask if I can enter the field to take some photo. Back then I wasn't interesting in photographing people, I considered myself as landscape photographer. Anyway, they nodded OK and I moved on searching for a good spot to take some photos.
NB : A good photoshoot Makes a good day. It is like having a new baby added to the family. Looking at other photographers work always motivates me. It never failed me.
NB : I was drawing well from a young age. So all my family new I was going to be an artist.
NB : I think people will learn to coexist with nature and use technology that is not harmful to it.
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