Date: Monday, 20 May 2019
We talk today to Vikram Khali, an all-rounded artist whose brand, Vikcy Designs, is noticeable in the market. Vikcy Designs, a brand that includes photography, graphic design and fine art photography is the representation of what the spirit of the Eritrean youth is really about as it is a brand locally loved by the youth. Newlyweds and young entrepreneurs trust the brand. Here is the young man behind it all.
I am Vikram and I am an artist. ‘Vicky Designs’ is the logo of my work. I mainly do photography and graphic design but I came a long way to get to where I am now. So I prefer to think of myself as an artist.
I have always loved observing my surrounding and capture special instances in my head. I am a painter. I painted when I was much younger. So, I enjoyed painting what I admired most and express it through my own point of view. I found literal expression of what I’d admired in moments that don’t last through my drawings and paintings. Camera came in here, at this stage. I started using an old family camera when I was in fourth grade. I captured as many moments as I could and because I couldn’t afford to develop the film and print the photos, I would just collect the film and wait for my family to print them out. Back in the days I didn’t quite understand the concept of photography but I never stopped taking photos.
So, for me it all started with painting. From there bit by bit I got to photography and from now onwards I am devoting myself to fine art photography. In my early childhood I enrolled at an art school and learned fine arts. I was in seventh grade then. My friends and I were enthusiastic about fine arts and we learned with so much passion. Much later, I met Eritrea’s famous cartoonist, Habtom Abahagoy, and I admired him a lot while learning from him in his class at first, and then even working with him later on. Furthermore, I got into graphic designing as a teenager. I tried my best to master Adobe Photoshop. I wanted to fix characters and the fact that I had studied cartoon helped a lot when combined with Photoshop.
I did. I design logos for businesses or individuals. I like to immerse myself in the creation of logos and brands. Like I told you before I have that natural tendency of observing special traits in my surrounding. I like to challenge myself and reach the pick of my creativity. Honestly, I enjoy graphic designs and please my clients with designs that can best represent them and their profession.
I focused on photography. I didn’t want to do all of the professions separately. I didn’t want to be a ‘master of none’. And now I am embarking on fine art photography and I would like to continue to grow on this path.
I started working on wedding photography in 2008. My family runs a video production house. So besides everything else related to video production they do, there they also do wedding videos. So since 2008 I took part in the family business for a while.
No I don’t. The idea of it didn’t really thrill me that much. It is easier and more pragmatic to capture genuine moments with a still camera. When it comes to videography, for me, most of it is pure acting. Photography is the best way to seize moments and make them last long.
One special moment made me realize the importance of wedding photography. I was working at a wedding once and that wedding was expected to be the most special day in the lives of the bride’s and groom’s families. The bride’s father was kind of the main character in the couple’s love story. He was a great father to his daughter and a good friend to the groom’s family. Unfortunately, the man passed away in the morning hours, right before the begging of the ceremony. My friend and I were there ready waiting for the bride to make her grand first appearance and the remaining grand rites typical of Eritrean weddings. Instead, the elders were discussing how to break the news. There was this tension that couldn’t be described easily, the fear of breaking devastating news. I got my camera and silently captured the moment. The ceremony was to be changed into a funeral and the elders discussed best ways to handle the situation.
They all found out and were naturally heartbroken. The dead man’s wife asked for the wedding ceremony to be carried out as she was certain it was what her husband would want. I was spellbound clicking to capture these several and diverse feelings that dominated the atmosphere. From then onwards I felt the significance of wedding photography. It means so much to the people of the day. After some time I stopped taking photos. I couldn’t process the emotions I felt that day. I sold my camera and focused on studying, reading and developing myself. Finally, when I felt I was ready I fully committed myself to wedding photography.
It is very rewarding. The marrying couple and their family entrust me to store the best memories of one of the most special days of their lives. If they are happy I am, too.
I would have liked to hear these from them, but what I do differently is the fact that I capture special moments in the photos and I do my best to document the couple’s best memories within their photos. So maybe that’s why.
I want to thank my mentor and friend artist Aforki Haile. Kind regards to my family and friends. And a message to my fans and clients would be ‘thank you for trusting Vicky Designs’. I will work harder and present the audience with better work and better techniques in the future.