quicklaunch about project 300

Project 300 is an artistic collaboration aimed at showing the forgotten face of ancient Persia and modern day Iran. Click here to find out more.

Apr 09

Artist Spotlight: Ahmad Mir

1 comments posted by legofish at 02:30 PM

I couldn't find a whole lot of info on Ahmad Mir. But this 24-year old artist from Tehran is pretty talented. I like his confident thick brush style. Check out more of his stuff on cgart.ir.

ahmad Mir ahmad Mir ahmad5.jpg

Mar 05

Artist Spotlight: Aria Saffarzadegan

2 comments posted by legofish at 03:48 PM

24 year old Aria Saffarzadegan is one of those artists who is equally great at doing characters as he is doing environments. I love the light hues he uses in his colors, and his attention to detail when it comes to incorporating actual historical elements in his characters.

Tree1.JPG Norooz.jpg G3590.jpg Final.JPG 003.jpg 002.jpg001.jpg

Mar 05

cgart heros & villains competition

posted by legofish at 02:24 PM

Recently, cgart.ir held a competition with the theme of "Heroes and Villains". It was a chance for Iranian CG artists to showcase their work. There's a lot of really good submissions. I was surprised to find all this new talent. I've selected only a few of them to show here, to see more head over to cgart.ir.

houman-rahati.jpg mehrdad-isvandi.jpg ebhraim-diba.jpg aria-saffarzadegan.jpg arash-behnoudrad.jpg amir-zand.jpg

Feb 22

Artist Spotlight: Ehsan Nosrati

posted by legofish at 04:31 PM

Ehsan is a 26-year-old illustrator and comic artist from Tehran. His disney-esque illustrators have a clear manga influence. The Rostam illustration, pictured here, is a good example of his clean lines. We'll definitely be keeping an eye for Ehsan. Check out his Deviant Art portfolio here.

Nov 06

Artist Spotlight: Golrokh Nafisi

3 comments posted by legofish at 03:05 PM

I have been meaning to feature Golrokh's artwork here for a while now. Born in Tehran, Golrokh's illustration often combine her unique style with strong social commentary. She is more productive than her blog suggests, but you can still check out some of her stuff on her blog.

Apr 22

Soheil Danesh's Blog

posted by legofish at 04:55 PM

We had featured Soheil Danesh here before, but we just found out that he also has a blog, which means more eye candy for the rest of us.

Apr 22

Artist Spotlight: Reza Riahi

1 comments posted by legofish at 04:46 PM

Here's even more illustrated goodness, this time from 21-year-old artist Reza Riahi. This Tehran-based illustrator does a lot of caricature and character design. His blog is filled with a whole lot of sketches, as well as some finished work, all of which are a pleasure to look at. He also did a whole bit of Zoorkhaaneh-themed illustrations which are absolutely hilarious.

Apr 22

Artist Spotlight: Mehdi Shiri

posted by legofish at 04:02 PM


Mehdi Shiri is a 20-year-old illustrator, character designer, and a background artist from Hamedan, Iran.
He is one of the many talented emerging artists in Iran who are all part of a great generation that is reviving the art scene there. His blog features some of his great work, so definitely check it out.

Apr 22

Artist Spotlight: Hadi Tabasi

posted by legofish at 03:39 PM


Hadi Tabasi is a 25-year-old illustrator/animator/character designer/cartoonist from Qom, Iran. He is the type of artist whose work is so good it makes you want to cry. His blog is a wonderland filled with delicious characters and illustrarions, as well as a few short animation samples.

Apr 22

Artist Spotlight: Mahmood Mokhtari

4 comments posted by legofish at 02:48 PM

I was absolutely delighted to stumble upon Mahmood Mokhtari's blog. I simply love his whimsical yet modern illustrations of some of the most traditional Persian characters; especially his "ZoorKhaane" series. (ZoorKhaane is a traditional Iranian gym, for some real-life pictures check out this link).
Artists like Mahmood Mokhtari deserve far more recognition for their work, and it is a great shame that various other limitations imposed on them by the environment they have to live/work in prevents that.

I would love to buy that whole Zoorkhaneh set in a book or as post-cards ...

Mar 18

Artist Spotlight: Maryam Tabatabaei

posted by legofish at 11:30 AM

Maryam Tabatabaei is a self-proclaimed "newbie", who wants to be a "be a freelance illustrator someday ...". With a consistent style that defines all her pieces, right down to her usage of color tones, I don't see any reason why that "someday" can't be today!

Mar 05

Artist Spotlight: Atefeh Zolghadr

posted by legofish at 10:23 PM

ateeparis.gifI usually avoid self-promotion by not talking about any of my personal art projects here. But it wouldn't be fair if I extend this self-imposed ban onto my friends (or in this case, my girlfriend) when their good work deserves to be acknowledged.
Atee is a painter/illustrator based here in Toronto. She has recently launched her portfolio website which showcases her versatile yet unique style. Her artwork is richly infused with emotion, and the mood of her pieces range from uplifting to melancholy. She has also forayed into graphic design, and has a growing section showcasing her talents in that field. Check out her site, and don't forget to play the funny little flash game in the Misc section :)

Jan 27

Artist Spotlight: Sahar Ajami

1 comments posted by legofish at 12:07 PM


Sahar Ajami is a Tehran-based cartoonist/illustrator. She graduated from the Tehran Art University in Theatre stage design, and started drawing illustrations from 1999. I really like the simplicity and pureness of her work. Of particular interest to me is her fashion and post-card illustrations. I have seen a lot of illustrators using this style, but somehow Sahar's usage of this style is still fresh and inviting. You can also check out her blogs in blogspot, and blogfa.

Oct 21

New Illustration by Hamid Bahrami

4 comments posted by legofish at 10:25 AM

Hamid recently sent us a new digital painting titled "Rostam the Persian Legend". I think it's one of the most solid Rostam illos I've seen to date.

by Hamid Bahrami

Aug 07

Artist Spotlight: Jila Peacock

1 comments posted by legofish at 12:00 PM


I just came across this news yesterday, while looking for inspiration on combining Persian calligraphy with animal shapes. The news itself is a couple of years old: back in 2006, an illustrated book of 10 Hafez poems had won the British Book Design & Production Awards in the literary category, thanks to the beautiful work of a talented British-Iranian artist Jila Peacock.

I can't wait to see the book for myself (I couldn't find it on amazon.ca), but judging from the snapshots I saw online and on Peacock's website the design is pretty stunning. Peacock has used the words in each poem (written in curvy and organic calligraphic style) to create outlines of shapes that symbolize the poem itself ; a deer, a lion, a peacock. This is no doubt a laborious task, but the results are beautiful and I'm glad that Peacock's efforts were recognized and rewarded.

You can see more of these shapes, as well as other artwork by Jila Peacock by visiting her website.

Incidentally, the same calligraphic series have been a subject of an animated film called "Tonge of the Hidden". I could only find this short clip of it online. Imagine peacock's creatures come to life on screen, a fantasia-esque series of moving pictures. I wish we could see more of this online, it seems to be very interesting. The director by the way is David Anderson.

If you are in Rhode Island, you can catch the film this Saturday at the Rhode Islan Film Festival.

Mar 26

Shah Nameh: The Animated Project

22 comments posted by legofish at 10:06 PM

I recently found out about a fantastic project called the Shah Nameh (thanks to reader Sepehr) and I was very impressed by the undertaking.

Originally, the Shah Nameh or the "Book of Kings" is a 10th century epic poem written by Iranian poet Ferdosi, narrating stories of ancient Persian heroes and myths.

Project Shah Nameh, as its press release states "consists of a succession of four feature length films based on the original text by Ferdosi."

The man behind this project is Mehrdad Mojir-Shirazi, and Iranian raised in France who is self-admittedly getting in touch with his own heritage and aims to "revive a part of the Persian legacy along with its culture, lifestyle, and mysteries."

From the teaser it is apparent that the project is a mix of 3D animation with more traditional illustration techniques.

I'm digging the environment and background art. The character concept sketches also look wonderful, and I feel that a lot of their charm is lost in the 3D modelling.

Regardless, with a Persian director in charge, I feel a great deal of satisfaction in that we are finally in charge of telling our stories ourselves, allowing us to maintain historical and cultural accuracy. From the director's statement, it is apparent that his goal is to remain "faithful to the historical merits of the narrative and the Persian cultural identity (notably in terms of clothing and architecture)".

I can't wait to hear more about this and hopefully see the whole thing come out. Meanwhile, I have included some of the concept art here. To see the rest, check out the project's website.

Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh Shah Nameh

Mar 18

Artist Spotlight: Ramin Rahimi

5 comments posted by legofish at 12:02 PM


You haven't lived until you've seen Ramin Rahimi's flash doodles. Many of us in the Persian webosphere have seen his cute 7-sin animation at one point or the other, usually through other websites that link to it. What most of us probably haven't seen is his other delicious doodles like the beautifully retro 7-sin 2 trailer, stylishly grotesque sensitivity, and the amazingly cinematic demo clips (one and two) for "the horrible story of a painter's death".

Seriously, check them out.

It's a huge shame that none of the image galleries on his website work. I would love to see more of his art.

Oct 22

Artist Spotlight: Amin Fara

12 comments posted by legofish at 02:36 PM

aminfara.jpgAmin Fara(marzian) comes from an artistic family in Tehran. He is, as his website says, a "storyboard man, character designer, and animator". But he also has lots of illustrations and photography work on his site. His style is breathy and minimalistic, and is empowered by good composition. His website was frustratingly slow when I visited, but it's worth the wait. Check it out here.

Oct 22

Artist Spotlight: Asghar Ghonche Pour

4 comments posted by legofish at 02:06 PM


I can't believe I hadn't profiled Asghar before. I remember seeing his work somewhere and being amazed by it. When I saw his work again today I checked in the archives to see his profile on Project 300 and when I couldn't find it I realized I must have forgotten to add him the first time.
Anyway, this talented artist from Hamedan uses the cg medium to create realistic and more traditional paintings. His art is soft and graceful, his lighting and form is at times quite extraordinary. The thumbnail I have chosen is taken from his work titled "Persian Girl". Check out his gallery to see more of his beautiful work.

Oct 18

Artist Spotlight: Touraj Khosravi

posted by legofish at 12:20 PM


I don't know anything about Touraj Khosravi, but if his personality is as colorful as his art he must be quite a character. For some reason his work reminds me of Dali, a sort of grotesque Dali from hell. His detailed paintings are extremely surreal and at times somewhat morbid and disturbing. One thing is for sure, they certainly have a great impact and there's an air of magnificence around them. Check out his stuff on his cgsociety profile.

Oct 12

Artist Spotlight: Arghavan Khosravi

2 comments posted by legofish at 12:16 PM

When you mentioned "Illustration" in Iran, more often than not people associate it with Childrens Books. Many of the
illustrators there are active in this area, perhaps because it's easier for them to express themselves through Childrens stories, considering the fact that public art shows are severely restricted by content in Iran.

One illustrator that seems to follow the same trend is Arghavan Khosravi. I came across her profile on DeviantArt the other day and enjoyed her fun and whimsical illustrations. Most of her art seems to be hand-painted in the traditional way, which is more of a rarity these days considering all the digital art out there. Check out her gallery.

Oct 03

Artist Spotlight: Mohammad Aghaei

2 comments posted by legofish at 11:43 AM


I just came across the website of the award winning artist Mohammad Aghaei. This native of Isfahan's style is strongly representative of the prevalent theme among Persian illustrators: A lot of substance, an almost philosophical approach to illustration, and strong Eastern European influences. I must admit that my personal taste is more inclined towards the North American, more 'comicy' styles, as well as Japanese influences. Nevertheless, there are some outstanding pieces in Aghaei's portfolio and I'm sure the fans of this style will appreciate his art greatly.

Jul 09

New Submissions

12 comments posted by legofish at 02:23 AM

Over the past few days I have received some new submissions for the Project 300 gallery. Check out the gallery page as some of them are quite funny and clever.

Also, Nima Darabi sent me this autostereogram, which has an image of the tomb of Cyrus the great embedded in it. (I suck at reading autostereograms, but if you can see the image in there let us know :) )

Jul 04

Artist Spotlight: Hanif Bahari

posted by legofish at 01:41 PM

hanif.jpgI stumbled upon Hanif Bahari's art a few weeks ago and had bookmarked his portfolio so I could write about him later. I didn't have time to update here for a couple of weeks, but I figured featuring his work is as good an excuse as any to update the site after a while.
I really like his style and the quirkiness of his cartoons. He also has a distinct sense of humor that makes his colorful cartoons more fun.

His work can be found on several places on the web. Some of his stuff is at this KolahStudio page, while some others can be found on this page here. He also has a profile on Kargah.com, where interestingly enough some of his cartoons have been censored! Finally, Iranian.com also featured some of his art back in 2005.

Jun 13

Artist Spotlight: Hamid Bahrami

10 comments posted by legofish at 01:19 AM

bahrami.gif Hamid Bahrami is one of the most respected artists in Iran and It is certainly a privillege to have him on board Project 300 with his work in the gallery.

The multi-talented 35-year-old veteran has an amazingly diverse body of work ranging from regular sketches, to cartoons and illustrations, to animation and game-related art.

His cartoons are full of quirky humor and sarcasm, and he has an ability to command whatever style of drawing he wishes to use.

Visit his portfolio at your own risk, since you can easily find yourself browsing through his art for a long time (the site's navigation is at times fidgety, but moving the mouse away from the nav-bar and then back should do the trick).

Jun 13

New Additions to the Gallery

11 comments posted by legofish at 01:12 AM

Last week, several new pieces were submitted to the Project 300 Gallery. The first one is a lovely comic-style cg drawing of Darius (an Achaemenid king) by the great Hamid Bahrami.
There are also a couple of nice works by fantasy illustrator Maryam Gousheh Forgeot.

May 23

Artist Spotlight: Hassan Nozadian

2 comments posted by legofish at 01:29 AM

Among the first artists to submit their work for Project 300, was Hassan Nozadian. He sent me an email containing 16 pieces with little description other than wishing me luck for the project.
I was impressed with his sketches. They reminded me of old Iranian comic strips I used to read and had a retro feel to them. Since the submitted pieces were so many, I only selected a few to put up on the gallery page. I definitely feel that the other pieces deserve to be seen as well, especially since I couldn't find any online portfolio or gallery belonging to Hassan Nozadian. These sketches appear to be part of a comic strip about the Persian "Epic of Kings", in the same style as the old Persian comic strips I remember reading, with the text written in boxes below each image, instead of appearing in speech bubbles. Maybe Hassan can update us on the status of his project, if he's reading this =) .

Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian Hassan Nozadian

May 05

Artist Spotlight: Cyrus Swire

13 comments posted by legofish at 10:19 AM

Cyrus Swire - who was one of the first artists to submit his work for the Project 300 gallery - is a master of modern achaemenid art. He has created vibrant vector illustrations based on some of the most well-known and beautiful achaemenid insigna. He has recently sent in some new work, which I already added to the gallery. But I'm sure you will appreciate seeing all of this submitted work together here as well.

by Cyrus Swire Cyrus Swire Cyrus Swire
Cyrus Swire Cyrus Swire

Apr 28

Artist Spotlight: Shahin Kazemi

8 comments posted by legofish at 10:39 PM

shahin.gif There may not be a lot of pieces in Shahin Kazemi's portfolio, but what is there shows an artist with great capabilities. While his design/collage work is nicely detailed, using a lot of texture, it's his simple and roomy illustration style that caught my eye the most. I really hope he uploads more of his illustrations there.

Apr 21

More Historical Illustrations

10 comments posted by legofish at 10:40 PM

The books I had ordered arrived last week. I still haven't finished reading them, but they have some nice illustrations which I thought I'd share with you. The first bunch is from the Persian Army, illustrated by Simon Chew.

The next batch is from Rome's Enemies (3): Parthians and Sassanid Persians, illustrated by Angus Mcbride. I like these illustrations way better. Perhaps it's because of Mcbride's background in fantasy illos, or maybe it's just because the Sassanids had cooler gear.

There is still one more book which I really want to get, and that is Sassanian Elite Cavalry Ad 224-642. I've seen some of its illustrations and they look really good.

Apr 15


25 comments posted by legofish at 01:26 PM

After spending two weekends on this, I finally finished my own submission for the Project 300 gallery. It's a Disney-esque seated King Xerxes.I did a lot of research for this; all the elements used in the throne and the accessories are based one real Persian artifacts remaining from that era. For the style, I was greatly inspired by Barbucci's Sky Doll.


Incidentally, Disney will be working the film adaptation of Ubisofts' Prince of Persia franchise, set to be released in summer of 2009. While I'm a huge fan of the games, I was always disappointed by the lack of any real "Persian" feel to the games. The settings were almost always some made-up generic place with the theme being much more Arabic than Persian. I'm sure the movie is going to be more or less the same, unless we establish contacts with Disney and ask them to make it more authentic, perhaps by sending them good references. By the way thanks to reader Fatso for reminding me of this.

Apr 12

Artist Spotlight: Soheil Danesh

10 comments posted by legofish at 02:34 PM

jamshid.gif I recently discovered the great art of 22-year-old Soheil Danesh (thank to Reveal), and I'm in love with his atmospheric cg illustrations. Among his work is this poster for "Jamshid & Khorshid", a full-length animated feature with ancient Persian themes (the first of its kind in Iran) that has been in the works for a few years and despite being completed, its release has been held up by unknown reasons. Also check out his storyboards. I was told that Soheil will soon be working on his submission for the Project 300 gallery as well.

p.s. Soheil has a deviant art gallery and a personal website as well that I think he's still working on.

Apr 11

The Persian manga connection

2 comments posted by legofish at 09:53 AM


I came across this last week thanks to a friend (aka Fatso). There is a japanese manga called "The Heroid Legend of Arslan" which is based on the popular Persian epic of Amir Arsalan.
The series, authored by Toshiki Tanaka, was started in 1986, and was later turned into a manga and an anime series. (source: wiki)

As an interesting side-note, the only Persian comic I remember from childhood was based on the very same epic of Amir Arsalan. It was an old-school black and white series published in the comic weekly "Hezaar Ghesseh", with realistic illustrations and no speech bubbles (the text was given underneath each panel of drawing). I remember skipping it for more fun comics like Yakari, which was being syndicated in the same mag.
related links:

Apr 09

Artist Spotlight: Farshid Fardi Monfared

7 comments posted by legofish at 12:50 AM

farshid.jpg Farshid seems to specialize in drawing evil monsters, even though his monsters are more cute than evil. His gallery is full of drawings of his monster character in different poses, and some of them are simply hilarious.