We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Naseer Behbehani ("NB").
Naseer was passionate about art from a young age. He was a caricature artist for a long period of his life. Win mani prizes in that field, and worked for a newspaper as a caricature artist for 2 years. 2006 he discovered his interest in photography. Since then, Naseer didn’t stop developing himself. He win many awards in photography, nationally and internationally. He sees photography as a way to discover humanity, the reason he specialized in portrait photography. As art is all about emotions according to Naseer, he thinks that art should unite us, since it speaks the language that makes us humans.
Naseer Behbehani Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Naseer Behbehani.
Designer Interview of Naseer Behbehani:
DI: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
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.
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
NB : I am a free lancer photographer. As a portraiture, my focus is set on human, emotions and memories. Which I aim to deliver to my clients.
DI: What is "design" for you?
NB : Design as a form of art is a language of emotions. A good design is one that moves your emotions.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
NB : I like to take two kind of photography, Editorial and concept photography. Editorial photographs let me get in touch with the subject and take photos that speaks the truth, in a way, about the person. As for the concept photography, turning an idea into an object that others can see and feel fascinates me.
DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
NB : “Mother Earth” is the most favorite photograph I take. It shows planet earth as a sick woman as a result of pollution.
DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
NB : It was a yearbook for a high school. I remember that the agency took most of the paycheck to buy equipments and gave me the rest. It was my first lesson.
DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
NB : Photography.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
NB : When I’m happy, calm and relaxed. And mostly when I’m not trying to be creative. In other words, when I’m not trying to lead my thoughts, just let them flow.
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
NB : Researching is the most important part of my work flow. It helps a lot in the thoughts flowing part.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
NB : During the designing process I’m like a robot actually, I’m just focused. I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing, that is just the way it is. Emotions take place at early stage of my photography process.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
NB : Pride. It is like having new baby. I download it on my phone and keep watching it all day.
DI: What makes a design successful?
NB : If it does its purpose, looks good and touches the user emotionally.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
NB : The purpose. Does the design serve it? If it does not serve the reason of its existence it is definitely a bad design.
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
NB : Design is a form of speech. Designer responsibility is to choose what to say and how to say it.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
NB : It was in Venice, Italy on Sep 2019. My next exhibition was supposed to be in Dubai this April. unfortunately it was canceled due to Corona virus Status. So it will be held in Kuwait instead, but no dates are set yet.
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
NB : From everything around me. A movie, Tv interview or anything I hear or see. Then I relax or take a shower it just clicks and new idea is born.
DI: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
NB : It is moody, Painterly and tend to be emotional sometimes. I like this style because it is calm and romantic. And I’m trying to have a combination between Avedon, Platon and Annie Leibovitz styles. And Rembrandt is my choice of light.
DI: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
NB : I live in Kuwait. Actually I was more moved by the western culture through the TV shows and movies rather than Arabian culture. That was the only form of art I was exposed to and effected by. As for the pros of living in Kuwait, I think it gave me a financial advantage since it is a rich country. But the down side is that there are not much talented craftsman if a designer need outsourcing.
DI: How do you work with companies?
NB : Contract contract contract. Can’t say it enough. I learned many lessons for not signing a contract with the clients. Although having a contract doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible.
DI: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
NB : Don’t search for the name, search for the style . A common mistake clients do is selecting a designer, wither because of the name or price or even they like his/her work. And ending up by asking the designer to copy other designers style. It just won't work.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
NB : It starts with a concept. I think of the concept for some time before I decide to start working on it. Once I decide to work and my feeling is strong about it, I start the researching, using google and Pinterest, I collect photos that shows the style I want to convey. Then I do sketches to show the color scheme, the pose of the model and the final photograph I want to produce. Now I’m ready to start shooting. Then I edit the photos in Lightroom before I do the final touches in Photoshop.
DI: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
NB : 1- Camera (Of corse) 2- 50 mm Lens 3- Profoto flash with softbox 4- Adobe Lightroom 5- Adobe Photoshop That is all I need!
DI: Can you describe a day in your life?
NB : I wake up at 5.45 am, drop the kids to school on my way to work. In the car I usually listen to talkshows or youtubers, I pick those who exchange thoughts as a source of inspiration. I finish work at 2.30 pm. I eat and take a nap at home then I check thing off my list, home or photography related. At night I have a family diner and go to sleep. That is how usually I spend my day.
DI: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
NB : Train your eyes by looking at good designs, keep learning and practice. You can have a lot of information from lectures, but practicing is what really boosts the learning curve.
DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
NB : Being a designer force you to ask big questions in order to make a meaningful design, and that reflects on the designer’s way of thinking in general. It helps you live meaningful life. The negative side is that designers are exposed to rejection all the time. When designers show their works to the public, acceptance is not guaranteed.
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
NB : Observation. You have two ears, two eyes and one mouth, so you can look and listen more than you talk. Designers gets inspiration by observing their surroundings.
DI: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
NB : Canon 5d ii. Lenses: 50mm/1.4, 16-35mm/2.8, 85mm/1.2, Profoto flashes Mac Pro Wacom tablet Adobe Lightroom Adobe Photoshop
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
NB : I manage my time week by week. At the beginning of every week I set the tasks
DI: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
NB : A after I finish the research and decide how the final photograph would be, the production doesn’t take much time. 6 to 7 hours shooting and retouching.
DI: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
NB : What camera do you use?
DI: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
NB : Editorial portrait photography. People tend to open up when photographed in a strange way, that they don't in other ways. It is like taking a journey into different world every time I photograph some one.
DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
NB : I want to have my first solo exhibition.
DI: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
NB : Usually I work alone.
DI: How can people contact you?
NB : Via E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org