When I first met Karim Elibiary as a fellow student at University of Miami, I recall him putting his head on the table and trying to take a nap during our English Composition class. I would soon learn that I had some how planted myself in a class with a majority of architecture students who would all come to share a similar state of exhaustion as Karim. This was my only impression of Karim for a while —the tired architecture student.
Fast forward a couple of years and Karim has turned into an impressive example of how to use time well for the things you care about most. We sit down at the café tucked under the Icon Brickell building where the view of Miami's deep blue water is like HD TV clarity. There, I learn not just about Karim the architecture student, but Karim the human and artist. Among many things, we discuss his recent exhibition at the Young Artist Initiative event in Miami, his reflections on the human condition and the truth of what it means to be an "artist."
School: University of Miami/Architecture
They key to happiness is: Gratitude
My kryptonite is: Static
In three words, I would describe myself as: Empathetic, methodical, creator
I dream of: The good times
Success to me means: the journey and not the finish line
Define curiosity: "Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people." —Leo Burnett
To be brilliant is to be: A positive impact on those you are affiliated with
MN: You are an aspiring architect and an artist. Which passion came first? How would you define what it means to be an artist?
Picasso once said that every child is an artist, and that the problem is remaining an artist when we grow up. There is an Art to everything we do; creativity is a vital tool when attempting to master a certain skill. As we plunge deeper into a time when change is inevitable, I seek to eventually provide my Architecture knowledge required for positive societal growth. Where there is growth, there are Artists.
MN: You told me that architecture and design have a strong emotional impact on people. Can you further elaborate?
We now live in a world so concerned with "image" that we tend to overlook the true purpose of architecture —how it feels. We commission our architects and designers on their promise in delivering something that we judge mainly on how it looks. I believe the best architecture goes beyond the visual and manipulates the intangible emotions of its users.
MN: Your art is often a critique or reflection on current events and/or popular culture. What do you think of the current society we live in? What are the trends you observe in day-to-day life?
We live in a time where we are so distressed by time. We convince ourselves we are too busy to spend the time to read, too busy to understand, too busy to finish anything. We rely on technology to speed up the process and eventually we lose purpose.
MN: Where do you think fear comes from? How does it affect you in your personal life and career? How do you deal with it?
Most of our fear comes from society's concerns with time, a fear that if I don't progress, I'll be left out.
MN: What does "awareness" mean to you? Would you consider yourself to be spiritual? How so?
Being conscious while living in the moment. I try to experience life in the present without being wrapped up in the past or the future.
MN: Love. What do you think is the key to healthy relationships between family, friends, couples, etc?
MN: As a creative mind, it can be intimidating to express your ideas without fearing criticism. If you had one message or piece of advice to share with others pursuing a goal, what would it be?
Whatever excited you, go do it. Whatever drains you, don't do it.
MN: As someone with an Egyptian heritage and a love for traveling, you have had exposure to various cultures. After living in the U.S., how is the "American lifestyle" similar or different than what you expected?
I understand that your environment can dictate your actions, but at the end of the day, nothing will stop you from being who you want to be.
MN: Who has been an inspiration to you either in your career ambitions or artistic expressions?
MN: What do you think it means to be a Millennial Nomaad?
To grow without the fear of change.