This is artist Ali Alamady. For more about this artist visit their CTN Profile: CLICK HERE
Can you tell us about your childhood, your path to your passion, and what made you work in Diorama?
I was born in Iraq, in Kerbala city 100 KM from Baghdad. I spent my childhood with my mother who taught me how to read at the age of 5, then I was an avid reader. In a closed society there is not much of a chance to be an artist but I loved art and found in books other worlds I could live in. I imagined each scene from those books which is mostly from other countries and wanted to see them, wondering if they are as I imagined. When computers widely spread I bought my first one and looked for 3D software so I could build scenes, scenes from my imagination, and so I did but there was no possibility to touch or feel those scenes. I moved to Baghdad when I was 19 and started to work in the advertising area but building small-scale scenes didn't leave my mind. I traveled and worked as a motion graphic designer in many countries in the Mideast and always tried to find out which is the best way to start. 7 years ago while I was shopping I found some kind of Balsa wood, which easy to cut and form. I spent that night working on my first project, A farm scene, all I had was a hobby knife, Balsa wood and some coffee for weathering and aging the scene. I spent months trying to find out what they call making small-scale scenes, since there is no Arabic word for it. Finally I came across the word DIORAMA and it was the beginning.
What is it like to work with Dioramas?
Working with Dioramas needs lots of material and tools, which is hard to find in the Mideast, but I didn't give up, I used all I can find, Wood, Aluminum foil, disposable plates, plastic rods..etc, but I was in need of tools, I was going to hardware markets so I can find an alternative, and I discovered that suffering was the only way to keep working on the dioramas.As a graphic designer I always paid great attention to detail and that served me well in working on my dioramas, gradually my attention to detail grew and found myself doing a lot of rusty, aged scenes. After few years I decided to create a Facebook account to show my work and communicate with the other miniatures artists, my work started to get attention and I made wonderful friendships with artists from all over the world. They helped me to be seen and many magazines started to publish my work in multiplelanguages and then my work spread on the Internet, magazines and TVs.
How do you choose your projects?
When I choose to work on a project I do a huge amount of research for every detail in that scene, and study the time and the location of the scene carefully, that includes every detail such as the houses or stores facades, doors, windows, etc, and trying to figure out what is the best way to build each detail, when I start to build the scene I spend a lot of time trying to show the spirit of the scene which is the hardest part. It means that when someone see's the scene and knows immediately from what era or location it belongs to, after building the scene I start with aging it. I love the aged and rustic scenes. I believe that each aged object we view is a witness on all the events and actions that happened in that area and I pay a great attention to aging my scenes.
What is your inspiration for your pieces?
For my work photos of old places is the main inspiration to me, especially the detailed scenes and full of objects. I was building dirty alleyways, abandoned warehouses, vintage stores but now I'm trying to recall the forgotten carriers, like the early photography, early cinema filming and so, Charles Matton is my favorite miniatures artist his work has the spirit to show clearly what happened in each of his scenes.
What do you want people to see in your work?
To people who see my work I say, please try to check all the detail in the scene and look closely to each detail to feel the scene it may move you for seconds to different areas and eras.
Can you tell us about this recent project you are working on?
I spent 9 months working on the studio using hundreds of meters of wood and lots of other materials like plastic, copper, paper etc. I built more than 100 miniature objects all designed and built according to that era. All the objects were made from scratch except the 3 objects which is the statue, the fireplace photo frame and the fireplace centerpiece.
There were lots of challenges especially when I was doing the research. I could find only few pictures from old studios all in white and black. So I had to read about photography and a photographer at that time trying to figure out what tools, techniques, styles or colors they used in their studios. The hardest part was how to recall the spirit of such place in a small scale. After reading lots of articles, watching hundreds of photos, and doing a huge research I could build a typical studio to the old days studios in recognition of old photographer.
Interview by Heather M. Shepherd
Heather is an experienced artist, modeler, and CG designer. She has worked at Disney,Dreamworks, Jim Henson and Warner Bros. Recently shehas been writing, directing,and producing her own award winning films.