09 Jan 2023Mont Marte

“Although the environment I lived in, wasn't an art-understanding one, art always lived in me.”
Whether it’s drawing or painting, Realistic artist, Ahmad Akrum (@ahmad_akrum_artist) has always loved creating. Using his saved up pocket money, he’d rush out to buy creative tools to try out and when the internet arrived in Syria, he surfed the web to discover new artists.


Based in Latakia, Western Syria, Ahmad Akrum is now an architect, using his creativity to design buildings for others to enjoy. We chatted with Ahmad about his journey to creativity and how being an architect has also influenced his art.

Grey scale photograph of artist Ahmad Akrum holding a paint brush and wooden palette.

How did your creative journey begin?

When I was a child, I was fascinated by art supplies. It was "kind of" my obsession, everything relating to art supplies attracted me back then. I always wanted to mix some colours together to see the outcome afterwards, because those outcomes then were an ambiguous thing to me that I loved to discover.

Although the environment I lived in, wasn't an art-understanding one, art always lived in me. I collected the pocket money my family gave me in my childhood to purchase art supplies. Internet had just entered Syria back then, so I took advantage of this to get to know painters who I might like. I discovered an artist called Salvador Dali and I fell in love with his way of painting. At that time, I was trying to discover my own ways of painting to apply my artistic personality on my paintings, and I did.

You paint a range of subjects from cassette tapes to portraits, how do you decide what you’ll create?

Since I am an architect, I’ m always attracted by shapes and objects in different perspectives and views. This pushed me to draw the sharp objects, while my romantic personality interferes with my career every now and then, to make me draw more and go deeper into portraits and emotional paintings.

Realistic oil painting of artist Ahmad Akrum holding an umbrella walking in the rain.

You’re also an architect, how has this influenced your art?

I believe in gifted artists as well as academic professional ones. So, as I mentioned earlier, I have a romantic side that makes me want to paint everything beautiful or interesting, but architecture helped me focus more on the details to make the best paintings and drawings in an academic and romantic way.

What’s your favourite medium and what’s one that’s more of a challenge?

Oil paint is my favourite medium, it never limits me. It itself is a challenge because it needs more space than what I’m using right now (which is my room).

Realistic artwork of biscuits with Ahmad's hand holding a pain brush.

Where do you create? What does it look like, is it organised or bustling?

I’m still creating art in my room because I lack the space that I had as a student and I had other expenses to be responsible for. But I'm willing to change that soon. My room is well organised.

How does social media influence what you create?

Social media is a means of introducing you to the best artists, whether they’re painters, sculptors, dancers, bloggers or singers. They all inspire me to improve my skills every day. Some blogs and Instagram pages have helped me refine my techniques using the best supplies in my career. One of these blogs is the Mont Marte blog which introduced me to their supplies that I've been using for almost a year and a half, and I'm really happy using them.

Ahmad's hand holding a graphite pencil to draw a realistic alarm clock.

Aw we love that! Who do you turn to for bouncing off ideas?

I always speak to my family in the process of discussing the concept of a new painting. The colours, their combination, the idea they can extract when looking at it. My mum has always helped me the most through these discussions. She's the best critic I’ve ever had in my life, she's genuinely criticising the aspects that I'm not giving much attention to. I'm glad that my family got to know art by my experience and journey.

When do you find that you’re most creative?

When my art gives inspiration to others, this is when I feel creative the most.

Ahmad Akrum and child using an apple to create coloured stamps with paint on paper.

What time period or decade would you go back to for inspo? 

I would have loved to live in the Pharaonic era, because art back then was a means of writing history and architecture is the best witness of the strength of that era.

What’s next? What are you looking forward to in the future?

For the near future, I would love to have my own studio that reduces the obstacles I may have had in my journey. Hopefully I’ll get one soon. For the further future, I would love to combine my experience with art and architecture, and venture into fashion to create maybe my own brand that introduces art through fashion.

Artwork by Ahmad Akrum painted in grey scale of three friends looking in a clothes store window.

We hope that you feel inspired by Ahmad Akrum to pick up the paints and get creative. Shop our oil paints here or check out more of our featured artists.

We’d love to see what you come up with, show us what you create and #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook.