Artist and creative maverick Asmaa Yehia channels her childlike imagination using the world as her canvas.
If you have ever had the good fortune to work with artist Asmaa Yehia throughout the course of her long and successful career in Egypt's booming multimillion dollar advertising industry, then you realise the extent of her brilliance, but are also no stranger to her endearing quirkiness.Her immense talent has landed her jobs at some of the biggest agencies in the Middle East and even the world, holding her own against creative mavericks like Tameem Youness and Marwan Younis. Yet, despite being quite the valuable corporate asset, Yehia's artistic integrity has never been for sale.When she's not being showered with accolades for her mind-blowing work or wrapped up in some big scale animation project with Monkeys Studio, which she also owns with her brothers (the animators who breathed new life into Labanita cows Sawsan and Soad last Ramadan), Yehia channels her childlike imagination in her own line of illustrated products, evenif."I started 'evenif' two years ago, trying to create my own brand of illustrated products. […] I've been taking it slowly, too, very slowly, turtle-like slowly; having fun. No pressure," she says breezily. "I want to enjoy it; I don't want it to become a burden. It's not work for me; I just love to do it."As with all good artists, Yehia can look at anything and make something out of it. "I am inspired by everything! Life, bitter and sweet, inner peace and struggles, the big philosophies of existence and the small daily stupid things, stories, books, friends, patterns, foxes, boxes, everything really," she says with childlike enthusiasm.Her imagination encompasses all things; give her an old mug or a rag and she'll turn into a canvas for her mind to run wild. "I don't only make posters and glassware, I make all kinds of illustrated products – or that's the plan," she explains. "I don't know, I just like to draw and I thought I would do something with it. I work in advertising and after hours this is what I do – no briefs no comments, no limits. I do whatever I want, no one else has a say in what I make." But as we said before, Yehia's artistic integrity was never for sale, so to acquire a piece of hers, you have to earn it. Ideally, she would love to secure a loving home for every product by evenif. "I guess I want them to buy my work because they really like it, not just buy it because why not!" She romances. "Usually when my friends like something of my work a lot and want to buy it, I give it as a gift and I'm happy because they're happy with it."
Evenif products are available online. A special collection of illustrated glassware and posters will also be on sale this Saturday at Carnevale in Zamalek's Fish Garden.
Check out evenif on Facebook and Instagram!