Posting Date: November 4, 2011
Meet Seyed Safavynia: A passion for illustration
By Stephen Chamblee
Seyed "Mo" Safavynia
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
Seyed “Mo’” Safavynia’s formal art education began in high school, but he has been making art for as long as he can remember. He sees art everywhere in the world around him. From his perspective, "everything I do is related to art, whether or not I am actually doing anything like drawing or printing. It’s just life. I think everywhere you go is an artistic trip."
Over time, Mo’ realized he wanted to pursue art as a career. He began taking elective art classes in high school and found himself spending more and more time working on his craft. He even hung out in the art rooms during lunch break just because he enjoyed the atmosphere. Eventually, he decided it made sense to pursue what he loved professionally.
Now Mo’ is a senior at KSU and will be graduating in December, receiving his BFA degree in art with a concentration in printmaking. In addition to his growing printmaking skills, he also has a passion for illustration. "Screen printing is what I have been trying to focus on, but I'm an illustrator when you come down to it. I am always doodling and drawing and getting stuff on paper. It's what keeps me going."
Street art has been one of Mo's chief influences, from sticker art to graffiti to t-shirt printing. “I like a lot of street artists, skateboard artists and underground people. I skated for a big part of my life and I think that culture comes into my art. I don't consider myself a street artist per se, but I adopt and take certain aspects of it."
Outside of his studies, Mo' makes and collects masks, he has done freelance work illustrating children’s books and he is currently working on setting up his own studio. He feels having a studio will not only give him the benefit of his own space, but will fuel his creativity even more. "I like having things around me that I like to look at and that make me happy to do what I am doing,” he explains.
Mo’ believes the faculty in KSU’s visual arts department have been a great help to him, and have not only taught him technical skills, but aided him in finding his own vision. "My professors really helped me understand what I wanted to be and helped me get where I am at now." His professors also speak highly of him. Valerie Dibble, professor of printmaking, says Mo' "is an exceptionally talented student with a very unique personal vision. He makes wonderful contributions in the classroom through his comments during critiques, helping his fellow students by sharing his knowledge of process."
Mo's future plans include teaching, growing his studio and graduate school, where he intends to further his study of illustration. He is considering moving to California or New York to broaden his experiences and network with other like-minded artists. Dibble believes no matter where he goes, Mo' seems likely to succeed. "I fully expect to see Mo' hit it big and have his art become the signature style for some popular product or group."