Amir Abou-Roumié is a Viennese illustrator with a focus on children’s and humorous illustrations. He has illustrated and animated for a number of exhibitions, including at the Viennese Museum of Technology, as well as for major advertising campaigns (the Austrian Energy Agency), mobile educational applications and educational projects for kids.
Abou-Roumié has been drawing for as long as he can remember, doodling in his school books and doing cartoons for his school’s newspaper. He counts among his influences Klimt, Picasso and Schiele, as well as Tommi Ungerer and Sempe. And, during a visit to San Diego at age 16, he discovered such American talents as Gary Larson and Petter Bagge. For his animated projects, he was inspired by Richard Williams, Chuck Jones and Tex Avery.
He lives just north of Vienna, Austria, with his wife and their three young children.
What are you trying to convey and what does your piece represent?
My piece “Homestead” (which is a reference to a Voyager episode) shows something you don’t get to see often during the TV shows and movies: a typical morning in San Francisco before the real adventure begins. You see familiar characters waiting at the bus stop, greeting neighbors and sitting together as friends. The scenery lets you experience both the peaceful and open society Star Trek represents, with different races like the Borg, Romulans, Vulcans and Humans living together at the headquarters of Starfleet, as well as the adventures the different Star Trek characters experience. All around the setting are references to the rich history of Star Trek: from the first contact with the Vulcans to the Xindi Attack and the returned whales from Star Trek IV. I tried to show my personal roundup of fifty years of Star Trek.
Why do you create art? How would you describe your style in general?
Creating art is something like an urge which comes naturally - I love to create things, whether it’s drawing, making music or animating something. I love being able to express myself through these means, which is a very personal act. With my art I want to make people smile. I try to tell a story within every illustration, which gives it more depth and lets the viewer “explore” it. This piece follows the tradition of modern cartoons and illustrations from the 50s and 60s, which are very flat and more abstract than the cartoons most people are familiar with.
You’ve used many iconic Star Trek images. Did you choose them because you are a fan of those moments or because they worked as part of the larger piece?
Both. I used a lot of Star Trek references because that’s what the whole piece is about - 50 years of Star Trek are 50 years of many great moments in the Star Trek history, which fans can connect to. But on the other hand I chose moments I like a lot… e.g., the bonfire, where Kirk, Bones and Spock sing together or the whales from my favorite Star Trek movie, Star Trek IV.
See Abou-Roumié's artwork at amirabouroumie.com.