Today we’d like to introduce you to Ani Agassi.
Ani, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born and raised in Armenia and moved to LA in 2008. Being raised by a single mother and experiencing a complicated childhood I developed the characteristics of an ambitious and a curious person.
Coming from a conservative culture, I was faced with lots of challenges and struggles while adjusting to the American lifestyle. The beliefs and traditions that I was programmed with began fading away and my life took a whole different route. I committed to self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-knowledge to help myself become a true artist to myself and to the world which I was working hard to be a part of.
The wave of my love and full attention towards art and design from a very early age drifted me to Woodbury University in Burbank where I got a BFA in graphic design. During my education, I studied photography as well, which then became a big part of my professional life, and later – my ultimate passion. Gaining a strong experience in graphic design in both digital and print from big entertainment companies such as Disney/ABD Television Group and Entercom Communications made me a confident designer, but limited my creativity. So I began exploring photography which holds more than just a creative process.
A major shift took place in my life when I moved to the United States in 2008, at the age of 16. The reason behind the shift was because my mother and I wanted to escape from political corruption and domestic violence. Women’s rights meant nothing to the law, so our only way out was to leave our country. In America, my mother and I were reborn. We were given an opportunity to live again. We took every chance to fill the gap and heal the huge wound we carried. As a result, my mother is now the woman she deserves to be with a great career and a life partner whom she deserves to have.
My story is a little different. As a teenager coming from a Christian and very conservative culture, I was faced with a lot of struggles. The cultural beliefs and traditions that I was programmed with began fading away and I had to fight through the judgments coming from the Armenian community. But I was a warrior. I overcame the darkest of situations, so nothing and no-one could stop me from living the life I deserved to live. I worked hard, received a Bachelors’s degree, built great connections, met amazing artists who changed the quality of my life, gained work experience from great companies such as Disney. And here I am now – known as Ani Agassi – successful graphic designer, photographer, and videographer.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I have always been mesmerized by the way the camera sees the light… I started studying the essence of light and how light sets the mood and the emotion in a composition.
Having a strong connection with my mother I was very much drawn to photographing women. This practice has become my inspiration for creating art for fun without any expectations. And not only it became a very creative, effortless and joyful experience, it also became a spiritual journey. Photography gave me the gift of mastering how to listen, how to connect and how to relate to other women. Every woman I worked with left a personal story in my studio and later on, I realized that their stories became the concepts of their own photographs. This beautiful experience planted a special seed of love and appreciation of women (especially mothers) in my heart.
My work is affected by how women are so strongly influenced by media/advertising, social media and modern-day false “standards” and aim to look beautiful, smart or successful based on the approval, validations and “feelings” of the society rather than their own – which then leads them to confusion, depression and strong self-doubt.
My photography comments on self-love, confidence and empowerment of women by capturing them in their most natural state of physical and emotional presence.
We all are beautiful and absolutely unique and amazing the way we are…and we shall never compare ourselves with others.
“A rose flower is a rose flower, there is no question of its being something else. And the lotus is a lotus. Neither does the rose ever try to become a lotus nor does the lotus ever try to become a rose.” – Osho
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
My advice to other artists is to let go of fear, anger and self-doubt. Spending time alone is also one of the most important practices not only for an artist but for every human being. It helps quiet the mind, intensity creativity, develop self-awareness and self-love, without which it is almost impossible to create true art.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work can be seen:
My work represented by Agora Gallery, NY and some pieces are available for purchasing. (currently, the gallery is working on my profile and the pieces will be visible on the page hopefully by the end of August).
- Website: aniagassi.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: ani_agassi
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000417821484
- Other: https://www.agora-gallery.com/artistpage/Ani_Agassi.aspx