Our friend, Ehsan (@ehscapist), is a fascinating individual and artist based in Sydney, Australia. His collage work caught our eye some time ago and we’ve yet to look away. He consistently creates inventive and intriguing pieces that are entirely emotive and beautifully colored. Ehsan utilizes Mextures in nearly all of his artwork and generally does so to adjust and perfect tones as well as to brighten and sharpen each individual piece. We discovered a great deal about Ehsan and the things that drive his passion for art and we’re excited to share it with the Mextures community!
My name is Ehsan, and I'm based in Sydney, Australia. I work in inventory control for a charity but I've studied psychology. Yep, I don't know how I ended up where I am - but I'm still on my way.
Creativity is my true passion however, and I use three formats to express it - collages, ambient music and writing. I suppose the biggest theme I incorporate into these is the cosmos, its vast mystery and wonder, followed by love.
I guess my biggest form of expression right now is making collages, and I got into this a couple of years ago during a time where I had just started using Instagram more and was getting bored of photography. Upon discovering brilliant artists like Eugenia Loli, Trash Riot, Kerry Fin and Naropinosa - I decided to give mobile photo editing a shot as a way of passing time during my commute, work breaks and sleepless nights. That's how this began, it has now become a big form of expression for me.
HOW DID COLLAGE WORK BECOME SUCH A PASSION FOR YOU?
I think it became a passion and a more important medium for me when I learned more as I used editing apps more and more and found it easier to channel my deeper emotions and views into it - as a result, I have more direction with and meaning behind my work, compared to some of my earliest pieces. At least I think so.
What keeps me creating it? I'm not sure, but I suppose partly because it's become so ingrained in me and my routine that I can't not create - provided I'm not suffering from a creative block - and partly because it's the only form of expression I've become very confident in. Furthermore, although I never had any agenda or motive before, I do feel like I have ideas or at least food for thought that I try to push through my art in conjunction with my writing, perhaps subconsciously... I'll let viewers try to figure it out themselves if they want to.
HOW HAS SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR WORK?
Social media has definitely played a huge role in my work, it was kind of like the beginning platform for it - as opposed to music and writing which I had been doing for a while before Instagram. I learnt from, was inspired by and encouraged by artists on Instagram and it's opened up some opportunities for me.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
It's really hard for me to describe, I think other people might know how to answer that better. I'm always trying to use different methods and styles but generally, perhaps I would describe it as expansive, chaotic, distorted...
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR WORK?
I'd like my viewers to take away something, anything, more than just momentary eye-candy - but that's not really up to me.
I guess there are a few things that I try to communicate with my work such as being open and honest to yourself, acknowledging those flaws, negative emotions and using that self awareness to better yourself.
Also, how we're tiny specks of dust in this vast cosmos, however, we are the cosmos itself and inside us is vast beauty, potential and ideas yet to be explored - and to add to this, I'll paraphrase Carl Sagan: love is the only thing that'll hold us together in all this vastness.
Lastly, I like to challenge notions of masculinity set by cultures around the world. I hope I communicate all this subtly though.
WHAT DOES YOUR EDITING PROCESS GENERALLY LOOK LIKE?
Right now, I'm doing it all on my iPhone. Using Union to create the edits, then into Mextures, and occasionally Glitché, before or after mextures, to distort the final image.
HOW SPECIFICALLY DO YOU USE MEXTURES IN THAT PROCESS?
I use Mextures to add filters and adjustment; to touch up the image and add character. I like to use the app in a subtle manner, but sometimes I like to go all out and create specific tones (it's great for this!). I love using Grit and Grain to achieve a lo-fi look, and sometimes I'll use Radiance to bring brightness, vividness and different colours into my cosmic pieces.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE MEXTURES OFFERS ANYTHING UNIQUE TO YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
Definitely, there's a reason why I deleted all other similar editing apps when I started using Mextures many months ago. It adds character and tones that I can't get from any other app. Especially because of how easily in depth I can go and change bits and pieces.
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN DEVELOPING YOUR TRADE?
I think the biggest challenge would be trying to create a signature mark or unique appearance. I'll never claim complete originality, but I do like to think achieving a distinguished style/look is possible and that I may have.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES A PIECE MEMORABLE?
For me, a piece that is equally aesthetically pleasing and provocative or emotive will most likely be memorable. Something that catches all three eyes.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PIECE TO CREATE SO FAR?
My favourite would have to be one of my cosmic girls. My theme behind these is the cosmic, or endless beauty beyond the skin, and I think I nailed it with this one by achieving what I mentioned above. I think.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?
It's hard to pinpoint specific things since the act of creating has become such an ingrained process that not creating something, regardless of how bad or minuscule it may be, feels very foreign. But a lot of music, strangers on my commute, words spoken by people at work or when I'm out and about can spark something. And this happens almost daily.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MOST INSPIRED YOUR WORK OR PEOPLE YOU FEEL HAVE MENTORED YOU IN YOUR PROCESS?
There are many, I'm bound to forget a few. But I owe a lot to artists such as @naropinosa, @eugenia_loli, Kerry Lambert, @trashriot and @mrtaylordani. I guess they've mentored me by way of inspiring me.
Explore more of Ehsan’s work here!