The Ocean inspires so many of us, even when it's not within easy reach. That's exactly how it is for artist Nanou Socrat. In our latest interview we learn and discover more about Nanou's creative work and process, surfing in Egypt and the her unwavering connection to the ocean. Nanou's beautiful collages and art depict her favorite theme: the ocean and surfing lifestyle. Learn more about her creative journey and what the future holds in our latest Her Waves Artist Interview
MEET CAIRO BASED ARTIST, NANOU
Hi, my name is Nour, but everyone calls me Nanou. I'm 28. I was born and raised in Cairo; I studied graphic design and worked as a textile designer for four years before deciding to pursue art full time.
My art is a fusion of my fascination with the surf culture, unwavering love for the sea, and constant inspiration from my middle-eastern heritage. I hope my art evokes emotions of peace and positivity and whisks the viewer off to salty shores.
LONGING FOR THE OCEAN
The sea has a hold of me, whether I'm near or far. Luckily, Egypt has accessible beaches all year round, so a good dose of vitamin sea is only a few-hour drive away. Oddly enough living in the city amplifies my connection with the sea because I'm constantly longing to bounce back, So I guess I'm inspired by what I long for, and I'm fueled by that contrast between the city life and the beach life.
CREATIVITY WITH COLLAGE
The beauty of collage art is that anything can go in there; it's layers and layers of random findings that I keep an eye out for (some are digital findings, and some are physical ones). Each piece is made up of a mix of ethnic patterns, tropical colors, stripes, sketches, calligraphy, flowers, birds, hands, geometric figures, retro surf icons, and vintage imagery. And after that, it's playtime! I turn to tools I'm quite familiar with; digital tools like (photoshop and illustrator) where I can scan, cut, paste, paint and play freely.
When making collages, I love how this mishmash of layers comes together in the end. Behind every scrap and every picture is a quirky story, so it's a bundle of fun moments virtually glued together.
SOMETIMES, ART TAKES TIME
It could take weeks before I can finally say a piece is complete. When the work is done, and for it to pass the test, I have to be absolutely and completely in love with it. This often means many reruns to the printing shop, and if any little thing in the composition, texture, color, etc., feels off, then it's not complete yet.
Marketing myself is challenging. Sharing my life and creative journey online is still quite difficult for me. I find it much easier to connect with people offline than online, which is not so easy to maintain nowadays, but I'm getting there, learning every day.
SURFING IN EGYPT
I've only surfed a few times in my life; I'm a surfer wannabe as I like to call myself, and Egypt is not really well known for its surf breaks - but the Mediterranean can surprise us with some unexpected swells during the summer. The surf community is quite small here but has grown tremendously in the past few years. I'd say it's still a pretty small community, but with one really large passion: the surf spirit because we're crazy enough to be obsessed with a sport that's not so accessible in our terrain.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Be brave and persistent in chasing your dream.
Trust your intuition; let it guide you through your creative process.
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT IN 2022
We're actually expecting our first baby this summer, my husband and I. So we're both looking forward to this new adventure!
SUPPORT NANOU'S ARTWORK & CREATIVE JOURNEY
You can find me on Instagram @thebarefootartista