Brian Siambi’s unique aesthetics have caught the eye of many designers, models, stylists and magazines (Vogue Italia being an example!) and we are not surprised. When you meet Brian aka @urbanskript you see all that creativity sparkling in his eyes and smile and we admire him for the warmth and supportive vibe he brings to the creative community. We have had multiple first impressions of @UrbanSkript aka Brian Siambi, seeing his diverse shots here and there and being amazed – only to then find out they are taken by the same guy. Some sensual texture odyssey. Others juicy minimalism. It’s actually hard for us to describe Brian Siambi’s style in one sentence but somehow we recognize it. His shots are pulpy and full of intention and have this particular poised verve. And they always feel new. We’re therefore extra superduperhonoured that Brian let us share some brand new unpublished work in this interview.
We have been waiting for the right moment to feature this brilliant person and creative. So happy to finally say this. Meet Brian Siambi aka @urbanskript!
How would you describe yourself to someone who is not familiar with you and your art?
BS: Sort of quiet guy, funny guy to others, boring to others, deep and smart to others. I am many things, it depends on how we connect. As of my work, it’s an extension of my thoughts on exploration of beauty.
Has art always been a path that felt natural for you to pursue?
BS: Yes, it has from a young age. I started sketching portraits of famous people with my uncle who was a really good artist. So I would see what he was doing and I would try and copy his work and then eventually did my own. Later after school I studied graphics design and animation, and now I work as a graphic designer.
What character traits, mind sets and perspectives in you are most important to you as artist?
BS: CURIOSITY, I think it’s the most important thing, wanting to know to how to express myself as an artist. Discipline and respect is also something I think as an artist we should have towards our craft.
What gives you confidence? And is personal confidence and creative confidence the same?
BS: Confidence for me, I find it growing each year as I get older and in more so my creative work has enabled me to become more self-confident.
If you could choose any physical venue anywhere in the world to exhibit your work, where would you want that to be?
BS: Home in Kenya. As much as it would be exciting to showcase my work to the world audience, I think Nairobi would be amazing to see how people would react to my work and hopefully appreciate it.
How does the creative climate of Nairobi influence you?
BS: Nairobi is one of the most vibrant cities. I live outside town so everyday coming in the city always gives me a fresh perspective on what I would like to shoot, shoot locations. Meeting people who inspire me in Nairobi, talking about our craft always inspires me and the limitations we have has made us even more creative.
Do you have a dream project?
BS: Seeing my Dark Matter Project is my dream, ha! But shooting fashion editorials for the likes of Vogue who have a huge history would be right up there in my dream project list. Last year, Vogue Italia invited me to Milan for a portfolio review and that was truly humbling. I didn’t manage to attend, but the fact that I was selected was pretty mind-blowing, and I hope I get to work with them.
What is the purpose of art?
BS: To feed the soul.
Where do you look for inspiration? What (or who) are your main sources of influence and inspiration? And when you feel uninspired, do you embrace the feeling or try to find inspiration?
BS: My inspiration comes from everywhere. A lot of magazines, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram. And other photographers like Mutua Matheka, Joshua Kissi, Sarah Waiswa and Julia Noni. I get a lot of inspiration from their work ethic and approach. When I am uninspired, like I have been this year after the loss of my mum, I decided to focus on my graphic design work and take each day at a time, but I always keep checking out other people’s work and just learn the process.
If you could go anywhere to shoot next week, where would you go and who would you take with you?
BS: Morocco. The colours, the vibrance, the heritage is just beautiful. As to who I would take, still thinking on that.
What is beautiful?
BS: Whatever makes your heart happy.
What is important for you to convey in your photography?
BS: It is important for my work to tell a story, for someone to look at my work and appreciate the thought that went into it and make them feel some type of way. I started the Dark Matter Project because I love fashion, and shooting it in a different and creative way. As I continued shooting, it also taught me a lot in the process. I started appreciating the beauty of dark skin. For the longest time my perception of beauty was that having light skin made you beautiful, and for me this project has increased my self-awareness and awareness of dark skin beauty. I try show it in good light. Also collaborating with local designers has made me appreciate their art even more and the passion that goes behind their work.
What do you wish the world knew about Kenya?
BS: That the young people here are some of the most passionate people I have ever met.
How would you spend a perfect weekend in Nairobi?
BS: Sleep haha!
Lamu has a special place in your heart. Why is that, and what are your best recommendations for a first time visitor?
BS: It was one of the first places I actually made a plan to go for vacation to, and I didn’t know what to expect. The longest 16 hour gruesome bus ride was worth it. It was a true escape from everything. It inspired me to chase my dream even more and its laid back nature is the most amazing peace of mind I have every time I go there. I wouldn’t recommend one thing, all I would say is go with an open mind because it will fill you with so much.
Why do you love doing what you do?
BS: Simple it’s fulfilling, my escape from the harsh realities of the world.
Thank you so much Brian for sharing your thoughts and work with us. We can’t wait to see your exhibition in Nai and Vogue feature!