Inspiration and respect
The calligraffitist says he was inspired by several role models. “French graffiti artist Hest is my first mentor, and an artist I highly respect,” says eL Seed.
“He has a unique style and although he doesn’t use the Arabic script in his works, his letters are Arabesque.’’
eL Seed got to work with Hest while in North America exploring the world of graffiti and art. “It was only natural that his years of experience rubbed off on my less-mature style.
“I am also influenced by some of my friends and fellow artists such as [Iraqi artist] Sundus Abdul Hadi. I have a lot of respect for the honesty in her work,’’ he says.
eL Seed also participated in a project organised by the French Institute Alliance Française, a not-for-profit organisation based in New York, where he and Tunisian graffiti artist Jaye created works of art as part ofWorld Nomads Tunisia project in May this year. They wrote messages of tolerance and peace on walls in Manhattan.
His work is gaining him plenty of attention, which isn’t usual for graffiti artists, but eL Seed says he’s happy his art is being noticed.
“Organisations and schools invite me to do workshops or paint murals. Other times, when I do my own independent projects, I get funding from foundations such as The Kindle Project or the Barjeel Art Foundation,’’ he says.
“My dream is to take my art to the highest levels – both literally and metaphorically.’’