Henar Sherif and Adel Essam are Art directors, Fine Art and Fashion Photographers and they are the founders of the media production house “O Art Studio”.
They started photography as a hobby over 6 years ago and became very passionate about it. They met at separate beginnings, Henar as an Interior Design graduate & teaching assistant and Adel as an Engineering graduate, but at some point realized that their vision and direction are quite similar. That’s when they decided to take it to the next level and start their own business and quit doing things that were not fulfilling for them.
This is how O Art Studio was born, and boy it was a hit! Through hard work, soon their small business became a media production house, directing and producing projects and shoots for many Egyptian celebrities, bands and major brands, like Sandbox, Kojak, Daniel Wellington, Ramy Ashour, Red.
They directed and shot many projects that went viral on social media and reached national and international media outlets and, tot this day, they still being shared after a couple of years since they were published.
WHAT WOULD MAKE YOUR SOUL SING? WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
I think the most thing that makes both of us happy is the thrill of a new idea, the excitement we feel when we are inspired and working on something new and feeling creative and productive.
A CHILDHOOD STORY THAT ANNOUNCED THE CREATIVE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY
It’s quite similar for both of us.
For Adel, it was his passion for drawing and painting, it was what made him want to know and dive more into art, he loves exploring new places and locations, it was for drawing purposes first then it drew his attention to photograph those places.
For Henar, she was always passionate about art and her life long dream was to attend the faculty of fine arts, tried to pursue art through her study there, through painting and through music and it all led her to photography, it was the perfect expression for her vision.
BEST CONTEXT EVER FOR INSPIRATION WAS
We believe that inspiration is everywhere, anything can trigger it when you are in a state of clarity to be able to perceive it, music, movies, stories, and myths.. all of that, yet we find a huge source of inspiration in Renaissance and Baroque paintings and architecture, classical art in general.
THE PROJECT YOU LOVED MOST
The Roman Tale was the project that most embodied our imagination and proved that truly, everything you can imagine is real.
We created our own characters with all of their details and personalities, and the storyline, and brought a city that disappeared thousands of years ago back to life.
It allowed us and the viewers to reimagine history and imagine what it would be like if the Romans were back to Alexandria in 2017.
We love this project because we got to direct and create all the details, we created classical paintings themed photographs, resembling how they used to draw and imagine their characters in their physical positions, facial expressions and of course color palettes we used.
THE PROJECT OTHERS LOVED MOST
We believe it was Dusk till Dawn, we shot this project over two years ago and until this moment it is still being shared and discussed over different social media platforms.
We think what made people relate to it especially is because it is very real, nothing in this shoot was staged or planned.
This is a real couple, husband and wife, and we shot real moments between them, we were standing far away and told them just live the moment and do as you feel, don’t care about the cameras, and this is exactly what happened and this is why people believed it and loved it.
THE BEST THING ABOUT EGYPTIAN CREATIVITY IS
That it’s not limited to specific criteria and doesn’t depend on a certain environment or circumstances to emerge, and that it’s a result of a blend of so much history and events that have affected and inspired everyone in a certain, different way.
BEST STATEMENT OF EGYPTIAN HUMOR
Egyptians can and will always find laughter in any tragedy or hardship, we just love life.
ADVICE FOR INTERNATIONAL HEADHUNTERS, RELATED TO EGYPTIAN CREATIVES
There is so much unseen potential here, brilliant true creatives who are looking for the right channel.
Look closely, for the young ones with unexplored energy, only lacking the right amenities.
BEST PLACE IN CAIRO
EL Korba, amazingly beautiful architecture, time hasn’t changed a thing.
BEST PLACE IN EGYPT
Alexandria, Sinai, Luxor and Asswan.
MOST DISTURBING CLICHÉ ABOUT EGYPT, IN THE MEDIA OUTLETS OF THE WORLD IS
That it’s still ancient history here, like we’re not in contact with modern civilization.
EGYPT SHOULD BE KNOWN FOR
Carrying the stories of so many different civilizations, it wasn’t only the Pharaonic history that took place here. All of which left a beautiful impact on different aspects, the architecture, the diverse culture, the beautiful mix between contrasts.
YOUR VIEWS ON SPIRITUALITY
To look within, everything you need to know is already inside you.
YOUR VIEWS ON MONEY
It’s just a means to an end, but shouldn’t be a distraction, for when it becomes a purpose of its own it can easily take your eyes off your path, and it can very easily turn a creative artist into a commercial one when it becomes his purpose, and lose his identity along the way.
AN INSPIRATION SOURCE YOU RECOMMEND FOR A YOUNG CREATIVE
Movie: Krysztof Kieslowski movies are very inspiring, as they always provide much room for the imagination, always leave you thinking, he doesn’t just give you an answer to everything, also how he uses lighting and color palettes to convey emotion is just brilliant.
Book: The Secret, any journey starts within before anywhere else, and you have to know how to master that and attract what you need.
Destination: Anywhere and everywhere by the sea with nothing blocking the view of the horizon.
AN EGYPT BASED FEMALE TALENT THAT DESERVES TO BE PROMOTED AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL, AS EXPONENT OF LOCAL CREATIVE SPIRIT
There are so many, it’s very difficult to mention only a few, but some of the people that inspire us most are Gihan El Shamashergy, Mona Mekkawi, Amna El Shandaweely, Sarah Taha, Nesma Moharam, Menna Hossam and Farah Abbas.
If you’d like to check out more info about O Art Studio and its creators, check out these links: