Farah Ben Mansour is an illustrator and a designer based in Tunis, Tunisia. She studied Design at Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Tunis and then she worked as a designer in the architecture and design company “VI”. She took part in different international projects (volunteering, architecture and design, photography and illustration), and in 2016, she resigned from her job as an interior designer to develop a career as an illustrator. Through her work, she focuses on two major themes: Tunisian heritage, by studying the changing aesthetic of architecture and urban landscape. She is an active member of the Urban Sketchers Tunisia community, and she is currently working on an on-going project about the Medina of Tunis.
Using her art as a tool of observation and analyse, Farah tries to understand the complexity of being a woman in modern day society. She works on a series of projects including a personal portrayal of her own experience as a woman, a reflection on women’s contemporary self image, and a depiction of successful and powerful arab female artists. She recently had an exhibition and a live illustration performance in Tunis.
“My story with Illustration began with a funny personal challenge: In 2014, I decided to make one artwork every day. It was an opportunity for me to explore my capacities and express myself freely, since I only knew about academic drawing that I had learned in fine arts school before. Over the years, I developed my technique and, progressively, I created my own aesthetic: It’s intimate. It’s intelligent. It’s essential. Fine thin lines, with accurate small details. Mostly black and white, with four added colors (red, blue, green and yellow) when needed. This aesthetic came as a natural reaction to our overcrowded pop culture and excessive lifestyles.
During the Xabaca residency, I will be observing, analyzing then interpreting the woman’s image and status in the contemporary society. First part of the project will be focus on research and it will take place outside, studying not only women but also their environment and their interactions. This research will then be depicted in a series of illustrations, with photos and videos to tell the story.”