9 Questions with Egyptian Cartoonist Sherif Adel

February 17, 2020

9 Questions with Egyptian Cartoonist Sherif Adel

 Image above: Sherif Adel, Tokyo based Egyptian Cartoonist

Hailing from Cairo, Egypt and currently residing in Tokyo, Japan, Sherif creates cultural mashups from his home country and other places around the world. Using humor and good-natured satire, Sherif's work shows that we might not be so different after all.

Check out Sherif's Tokyo 2 Cairo collection in our Blue With Envy shop.


Blue With Envy: What is your preferred medium and how long have you been doing this style of art?

Sherif Adel: Wacom Cintiq - iPad Pro, illustration and sequential art. 7 years


BWE: What inspires you in general? Any specific inspiration for your current collection?

SA: I enjoy mashing up concepts of Egyptian and western pop culture. As a cartoonist, I find myself always connecting dots between different concepts and cultures and trying to bring humor out of it.


Above: Omda-Samurai オムダ侍 Art Print by Sherif Adel, a satirical mashup of the Egyptian Omda and the Japanese Samurai Warrior. Exclusively for Blue With Envy, $15


BWE: How has the art scene in Egypt evolved in recent times?

SA: I think Egyptians became more aware of alternative art mediums than they're typically used to. Most people are inspired to create art and express themselves through it.


BWE: How does that differ from the art scene in Japan?

SA: I would say art here is ingrained in the Japanese culture. You can notice it in things like food preparation, where the visual presentation of the food is as important as how it tastes. Not to mention in various activities that Japanese people enjoy, like flower arrangement and fireworks watching. I’d say art in Japan is an integral part of the culture rather than a hobby or a luxury. 


Sherif Adel Egyptian Cartoonist Above: Tokyo-based, Egyptian cartoonist, Sherif Adel


BWE: Any other artists that you admire or enjoy?

SA: I admire the work of many Egyptian artists: Hatem Aly (Metahatem), Mohamed Salah (Abusalah), Aly Galal (Alycature) and Hefnawy, to name a few.

BWE: What are some of the challenges Egyptian artists face today?

SA: I think the current economy does not make much room for the art and comics market. Many consider it a luxury and even more expect it to be free. Egyptian artists should be more business oriented and should learn how to market themselves, especially in the current age of social media.


BWE: What do you love about living in Japan? What do you miss about Egypt?

SA: I love Japan’s nature and the fact that you’re surrounded by greenery most of the time. Aside from that, as a cartoonist I appreciate that comics as a visual language is understood by most. It’s common to see instruction signs at a train station made as a comic with panels and speech bubbles and all. I miss the Egyptian brand of humor, most of all. I think there’s a specific type of sarcasm that we have in Egypt that doesn’t really exist in other parts of the world. And I miss طعمية  (Egyptian style falafel) of course. 


BWE: This may be unfair, but sushi or falafel?

SA: Allow me to reply with this meme: 

 Why not both meme


BWE: What advice would you give to aspiring artists in Egypt or anywhere in general?

SA: Keep creating and keep expressing yourself. It is a pleasure in of itself.

Sherif Adel


Check out Sherif Adel's instagram @barbatoze and his collection on the Blue With Envy Shop.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.