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Babak Ganjei – Artist

Babak is a multi talented artist and musician.

We worked together many years ago in London at the Curzon Soho.

He has played in many bands including Absentee and Wet paint, released comics , Hilarious Consequences, Twit, Early Learnings and Babak Ganjeis Roadhouse.

This year his film poster ideas have been released as a book on Rough Trade Books.

Here are the questions I sent to him.

What’s your background

Studied Fine Art at Central Saint martins, went on to play in bands for years, wrote some comics and came back to Art, but really it’s all part of the same thing.

What or who is inspiring you right now

The other day I went to see Stephen Malkmus (Pavement) play. He’s 52 now looks as if the last 30 years haven’t happened and played a whole song with the guitar behind his head in the most casual way that could be done. Basically, anyone who can blot out the scary amount of content and information we are bombarded with and concentrate on the thing they love and follow that.

What was your first job?

My first job was being in charge of Habitat’s flagship stores stockroom on the weekends. Loading furniture in the boots of people’s cars. I was 18 and it’s still probably the best paid job I had.

How have you developed your career?

By not defining it as a career and not needing anybody’s permission to carry on

What do you aim to say with your work?

I think the work is basically trying to figure out what it is you’re trying to say. It will all make sense in the end. But in the present it’s just to make connections with other people.

Describe your creative process

I walk a lot. I can’t pin point when an idea comes, but I’m pretty sure I can put walking down as a conduit for most my ideas.

How would you define your style?

No fuss

What are the qualities that define an artist.

Probably not defining anything and carrying on without needing permission

Paint a picture of where you live/describe it

I’ve hilariously ended up living in a corner of East London that has now become ridiculously expensive. It’s a proper mix of the old east end and gentrified London. You have council estates, mad people off their medication Celebrities and £4 donuts.

What is your favorite era of design?

I was a child of the 80’s so it’s awful but I can’t help finding all of that appealing.

Who has been the most inspirational person for you?

My child, he’s 11 and already done things I’m still building up to.

What’s the project you are working on right now that you feel most passionately about?

I’m trying to write a sitcom, It requires a lot more discipline than any of the other things I ever do.

Describe your “typical” daily routine?

It starts with a bath because I’m lazy then I walk and get a coffee and go to the studio. I might depress myself and read the news and procrastinate for an hour. In the afternoon I pick up my kid from school and drop him off at his mum’s. Then in the late evening I walk back to the studio and make sense of whatever I have understood.

What project of yours has inspired you the most?

I’m not sure if I’ve ever experienced that sensation from my own work.

What are your beauty secrets?

I’ve been drinking an avocado every day in an attempt to keep the hair on my head. I’m not sure where I got that from and I don’t think it’s working.

How do you try to stay healthy, mentally and physically?

I try and do some running and play badminton a couple of times a week, sometimes go to the gym, often there to use the sauna to try and remove the toxins that I’ll inevitably put back in.

What’s your favourite film?

As a kid Back To The Future made such a massive impact. These days I dunno if I have a favourite. I recently watched Brigsby Bear which I found incredibly enjoyable. It’s kind of odd but has an underplayed sweetness.

Do you have a favourite quote that you try to live by?

I’ll be back…Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator

Is there anything in your career that you regret not doing?/regret doing?

I don’t try and think about it

What makes you nervous?

I have to do a talk in a few days, and that terrifies me, because I want to be good at it, Once on a stage I can deal with being a disaster but the anticipation has been killing me for months.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

I’ve never thought about it. But in the last 20 years I seemed to have moved about two miles north, so let’s go Two miles down the road.

Do you dream?

Oh yes, and they are simultaneously mundane and psychologically exhausting

If you were a perfume what would you smell like?


What’s on your playlist right now?

Mainly Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffin album.

See more of Babak’s work on his website & Instagram @babakganjei

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