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Discovered on Behance: Amr Elshamy

By Katrina Lewis

Amr Elshamy had always loved art, expressing his passion with a camera. But one day, intrigued by its box art, he purchased a copy of Photoshop. He had no inkling that his talents — and his Behance profile — would eventually lead to the opportunity to create the splash screen art for the 2017 release of Adobe Photoshop CC, making the self-taught visual artist, photographer, and filmmaker a celebrity in his home country of Egypt.  

Amr Enshamy’s Adobe Photoshop CC Splash Screen Cover, 2017

Create: When did you realize you wanted to pursue an artistic career?

Amr Elshamy: All of my life, but I don't like to call it a career. It's more of a passion and lifestyle, being able to do something that I really love. Art is my life. It’s the only thing that makes me wake up every day, so it's not just part of who I am, it is who I am.

Create: What are three words you’d use to describe your art?

Elshamy: Story, mystery, and magic. 

Elshamy's "Colors of Ramadan" 

Create: How and when did you make the transition to digital photography?

Elshamy: Before digital, all my work was traditional art photography. I was still using my film camera. About 12 years ago, I bought my first copy of Photoshop. I was not sure what the program was used for — I just loved the box art. Back then, there was no Internet in Egypt, so it was hard to learn how to use the program. But once I saw someone using it, my eyes were opened. After that, I got into more programs, starting with 2D apps then moving on to 3D and editing media.

Create: Why did you showcase your work on Behance?

Elshamy: Adobe contacted me in 2013 and asked if I would share my work there. I soon got a lot of attention and Adobe then picked me to work on the Bully Project Mural, an anti-bullying campaign featuring artists from around the world. 

Elshamy's Bully Project Mural contribution is on the left; on the right, sea monsters that he encountered in a dream.

Create: What was your first reaction when you were commissioned to create artwork for the 2017 release of Adobe Photoshop CC?

Elshamy: I froze for one or two moments. Just a month before, one of my friends told me I would create the upcoming Photoshop splash screen, and it really happened. I was dreaming about it and it came true! 

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See Amr Elshamy’s tutorial on how he created the splash screen imagery.

Create: How has showcasing your work on Behance impacted your career?

Elshamy: I am the first person from Egypt to have artwork on the cover of an Adobe product, and that was big news. I’ve been asked to appear on almost every TV show in the Middle East to talk about my story, even though I’m camera-shy.

Now, I receive a lot of offers every day from companies, agencies, and music artists who want to use my work or have me be part of a project. They have all seen my work on Behance. People on the street even stop me to take selfies, and my Facebook post about getting the cover received more than 19,000 “likes” in just a few hours — it’s super crazy!

Amr was recently interviewed on BBC Arabic radio in recognition of his work. Keep up with his latest projects on his Behance profile.