Shahab Shamshirsaz

Shahab Shamshirsaz

Represented by Sylvie Poggio
Shahab Shamshirsaz Interview

Shahab Shamshirsaz

Children's Illustrator

How and why did you decide to pursue illustration as your career?

I started drawing when I was very young, I remember that I filled so many notebooks with different characters and strange creatures! When I was a teenager, I moved away from my usual style and started painting oil paintings. Later, I tried to do caricatures and sent them to a cartoon magazine. I was very happy when that magazine published some of my works with my
name. But I was not fundamentally convinced about continuing as a caricaturist, because I like to tell stories through drawings. I have been a professional illustrator for over 10 years now and am very happy.

Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?

Yes, I attended an illustration and comic strip course at the international school of comics in Florence. I learned so much from great teachers in that school.

Who or what have been some of your major artistic influences?

I love fairy tales from all over the world and am a fan of old TV cartoons. I am particularly interested in animation and picture
books from Eastern Europe. I also love Hayao Miyazaki’s world.

What is your favourite medium to work with and why?

I am able to work with different mediums such as acrylics, ecoline, colored pencils and digital programs, but I prefer to work with photoshop. I really like using all the different brushes and textures and also because when the client is not happy with a
part of the illustration or if they want to change the position of some of the objects, it is easy to make those changes.

How many times do you tend to draw a character until you are happy with it?

It depends a lot on the character, sometimes I find it immediately in the first sketches, but sometimes it takes me longer.

Which project has been most instrumental in developing your personal style?

I have been lucky to have the opportunity to work on so many beautiful projects, one of my favourite's was "The Greatest Viking Ever" for Oxford University Press. The story of two young Viking brothers who together with their friends set off on an
adventurous journey. I created some awesome characters and environments for this story.

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The greatest viking ever

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Viking Drakkar in Storm

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Blue Lion and Vikings

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Vikings and Blue Monster

Outline your dream project.

I have so many ideas in my head. Some of them are for little children and others are more suitable for older children. For example, a story of a fox and a bear looking for gold in the river and when they don't find it after searching for a long time, they decide to try another way and ask for gold from the king. I would love to find the time one day to realize and publish my
personal projects.

What are some of your favourite subjects to draw?

All stories have something to say and teach. I have learned a lot from all the books I have illustrated, but personally I like fantastic creatures and the fairytale world.

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Tatter Wings - Unicorn and Castle

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Beauty and the Beast

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Vikings and Blue Monster

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Cinderella-Trying the Shoe

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