David Habchy

David Habchy, born in 1985 in Beirut, belongs to a new generation of Arabic artists working in the fields of illustration, graphics and animation. Even as a child, he already started experimenting with projects involving the conceptual combination of photography, graphic elements, theatre and music. He completed his studies of Computer Graphics and Animation at the Notre-Dame University in Lebanon, and soon afterward taught courses there himself. Today he works as a freelancer in the field of visual arts and is involved in design and comic projects, making the work of young Lebanese artists accessible to a wider audience. In addition, he develops concepts for music videos and animated short films. When he is not traveling through his country giving workshops for children and youths in which he discusses his work and projects, he lives in the attic of an old Lebanese house.

»›Klekeesh‹—or in other words bits and pieces of junk—was the way my father described my projects and tools that were constantly scattered around the house. In time, I realized that “Klekeesh” was a good description of my work since I experiment a lot through different techniques and mediums. I believe that the choice of media can differ with respect to the idea I want to show«, said David Habchy in describing his work process in an interview with »lebrecord«. The term also became the name of his blog, in which he reports to an international audience about his work and experiences.

With his illustrations for the two books in the children’s book series »Haltabees Haltabees« (2010; tr: The Little Tailor Haltabies) and »Haltabees Haltabees. Ashaar men semsem wa khyar« (2010; tr: The Little Tailor Haltabies. Poems from Sesame and Cucumber), about the wonderfully eccentric character of Haltabies, the tailor and his unrequited love, Habchy created an illustrated world which, in its aesthetic position between fairy tale and fantasy, has reached an exceptional position in the Arabic children’s book market. Its techniques of montage and digital image processing combines elements of photography and animation, puppet shows, traditional calligraphy and ornamentation, classic illustration and comic art. This project was the artist’s first step into the Arabic children’s book market, which has for some time now been in a state of upheaval. With this project, he succeeded in realising his idea of providing associative and artistic impulses for children’s imaginary worlds by means of a challenging, literary-aesthetic concept for children’s books. David Habchy lives in Jounieh, near Beirut.