Tamara Fakhoury's Extraterrestrial Species

Casually strolling through AUB's West Hall, I spotted a booth embellished with some sixty postcard-shaped drawings. A friendly smile interrupted my gaze and handed me an empty sheet, encouraging me to join Red Bull's doodling competition. I'd have to doodle away on the space provided in order to compete. Naturally, I found no interest in the instructions as much as the myriad of samples hung. 

I fixated on one, zoomed into the signature and spotted it as the winner. I was right:

Tamara Fakhoury did end up winning AUB's vote in the Middle Eastern competition. A fellow AUB student and a philosophy major, Tamara doodles away absurd faces with even more absurd body parts. 

The limbs are a boggling aspect of the images. You look at her figures, and it's either all bone or no bone; at both extremes, a certain animalistic feel is undeniably dominant. 


In fact, visual references appear of little interest to her. Her figures are 100% imagined, fresh off a fiendish, surrealist noodle. 

Shading using color injects a spirit into her work. It's her primary weapon and is genius in mystifying gluttonous organisms to life. 

I chatted with Tamara on the topic of her works.

Bananapook: Does it bother you that you’re not specializing in an art-related field?
Tamara Fakhoury:  I'm majoring in philosophy, which is not a non-art related field, and I absolutely love it. It also takes a lot of creativity. I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I never really wanted to go to art school or major in anything like graphic design. I just make art impulsively, for myself. It's a very selfish thing. 

B: Do you plan on pursuing your art?
TF:  I don't 'plan' on pursuing my art- I'm always pursuing my art- my art is always pursuing me. 

B: You participated in the Red Bull competition and was the winner for Lebanon. Was that a confidence boost?
TF: Sure, the Red Bull thing was a brief ego boost, but in the end they made me wish I never entered the competition, I withdrew from the regional contest, it was getting too much about Red Bull and too little about art. So, like the boost you get from drinking Red Bull- it was a pretty cheap and artificial, and gave me a headache. 

B: Do you plan your designs or organically doodle away?
TF: I let my subconscious take over, mostly. My work is basically just an overgrown impulsive mutant ninja doodle. 

B: Do you use computer programs for your works?
TF: I've experimented with using a tablet, and some paint software, but I don't enjoy it as much, its much harder to convey my emotions through a computer. So, using computers for art isn't very important to me.

B: Are you a big Picasso fanatic? I can see a little of him in your works.
TF: I am a massive Picasso fan! It's a huge compliment when people compare my work to his, although I think I'm nowhere near as amazing! Other artists I love are Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse, Miro, oh I could go on and on. 

B: On your Facebook page, you sell prints of your works. Do you plan on expanding your designs beyond that?
TF:  I also make greeting cards, I can be very crafty. I've always wanted to make T-shirts, just never got around to doing it. 

It is difficult to imagine what drive runs her pen. A need to break down her works won't take the viewer anywhere and is quite obviously beside the point. The figures rightfully belong to her. After all, they're not termed doodles for nothing. On the other hand, we're absolutely privy to the aesthetics.  

Like Tamara's Facebook page to stay up-to-date with her works and to purchase her extraterrestrial, 15x21 prints. She also takes commissions

Create, appreciate,



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