Dissecting Ahmad El Abi’s Colorful Portfolio
When you follow Ahmad El Abi on Instagram, you see the impact almost immediately. Your news feed is suddenly splattered with cheerful colors, coordinated cleverly – that, and a whole bunch of rubber ducks. Abi’s work has attracted lots of attention recently. His Instagram following grew very quickly to a staggering 46 thousand followers! We sat down with him to talk about how his life was turned around.
How and when did you start being interested in photography?
I bought a camera and took a basic photography course back in 2011. At first I took normal pictures. Then I decided to try out the first portrait. It was then that I realized I can execute the ideas I have. Then I moved on to Instagram. I didn’t have a smartphone, but I loved the application. So I made an account from a friend’s phone, and I would use this account to browse from my computer. Then I got a smartphone and started doing my own work.
Why conceptual photography?
I always found myself attracted to conceptual photography and creative portraits. Just like medicine, you first go to school then choose a section. The same thing happened to me with conceptual photography.
Why did you go to Medical School then, if those are your interests?
I wanted to study media, but I come from a family of doctors. So even bringing up studying media resulted in huge arguments. So I decided to study medicine. Still, I knew I didn’t want to be a doctor. I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but it definitely wasn’t a doctor.
Did your family have an issue when you decided to quit being a doctor and be a photographer?
My brother and sister didn’t really care, as long as I was doing something. My mother is completely supportive of it, which encouraged me a lot. And one of my sisters wanted me to do both at the same time. My father, however, thinks I don’t know how the world works, and that this is pointless.
Have you ever imagined that you would do this drastic career shift?
Yes! (laughs). I only studied for my diploma so that I wouldn’t end up regretting not doing it. Still, I always knew that I would take this jump.
Was it all worth it?
Yes. My friends can tell you that now I’m able to laugh. Being at peace mentally is totally worth it.
How do you plan on taking this career? Are you looking for a steady job?
Yes, at least at first so I can learn. I may have the talent, but not the experience. I’m heading more towards art direction. Right now I’m in the Tedex Cairo creative team. So I want to join the creative team in an advertising agency.
You basically recycled your career. Do you think this kind of shift and recycling can be done in other aspects of your life?
Definitely. We’re actually supposed to do that every now and then. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.
Can anyone do this?
Anyone can do it if they have the will. If this really is their target in life, they’ll do it, but if they put one foot through the door and leave the other out, it won’t work.
Check out more of Ahmad El Abi’s work