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Young sketch artist finds muse in Jordan’s landscape

By Maria Weldali - Apr 21,2021 - Last updated at Apr 21,2021

Sketches by Ayham Shammas (Photos courtesy of Ayham Shammas)

AMMAN — Capturing Jordan with an artistic eye, a young Jordanian architect to be, delves deeply into the interactions between architecture, people and urban sketching.

“Sketching to me is like taking pictures, but with my own way, perspective and lines,” 23-year-old sketch artist Ayham Shammas told The Jordan Times during an interview on Tuesday. 

“My muse is my beloved Jordan,” Shammas said, noting that Jordan possess wide-ranging landforms and worldwide famous sites worth sketching about.

Shammas has had an interest in art since he was a child. A little over two years ago he started sharing his urban sketches via Instagram. The sketch subjects reflect the busyness of the city, the frenetic streets and narrow allies, the iconic buildings and landmarks.

Furthermore, Shammas who is a fourth year architecture student at the University of Jordan, said that his Instagram presence has helped him connect with people and tell them “the interesting yet hidden stories” of various locations in the Kingdom.

Regarding Shammas’ initial steps in sketching, he utilises his practical knowledge and understanding together with his creativity. He starts by creating a reference line, portrays the essential parts of the sketch and then he emphasizes certain parts of his artwork, in order to have stronger impact.

  “Most of the time my sketchbook and pen are in my backpack, unless I am wearing something formal,” he said. Adding that due to being a day person he usually sketches during daytime.  

Unlike many other artists, Shammas’ sketches also explore the essence of simple things people got used to seeing and impart more value to places that may not convey any message or beauty for many.

“I have always been into architectural history and that is what inspired me as a content creator to tell the stories of the city and by that I mean the people, the nature, streets and buildings, in order to bring to light the importance of the Kingdom’s cultural heritage and identity,” according to Shammas.

What really makes urban sketching different is that it captures the mood, the rare moments and essentials of a certain subject, he said.

“Art is a form of therapy that helps people to isolate themselves from the bustling world,” he added.

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