Warmth and humor emanate from the works of Amir Abou-Roumié, the Viennese illustrator whose contribution to Star Trek. 50 Artists. 50 Years is titled “Homestead.” Abou-Ramie has illustrated and animated for numerous exhibitions, including at the Viennese Museum of Technology, as well as for major advertising campaigns, mobile educational applications and educational projects for kids. He has drawn for as long as he can remember, doodling in his school books and creating cartoons for his school’s newspaper. He counts among his influences Klimt, Picasso and Schiele, as well as Tomi Ungerer and Sempe. It was during a visit to San Diego at age 16 that he discovered such American talents as Gary Larson and Peter Bagge. For his animated projects, he was inspired by Richard Williams, Chuck Jones and Tex Avery. Abou-Roumié lives just north of Vienna, Austria, with his wife and their three young children, but StarTrek.com caught up with him this summer at Comic-Con in San Diego, where “Homestead” was on display as part of the Star Trek. 50 Artists. 50 Years traveling exhibition. The exhibition will also open on November 10 at the French Paper Gallery in Paris, France, and run until November 25. Here’s what he had to say:
How much of a Star Trek fan are you?
I'm a really big fan. I've been a fan for the last 25 years. I watched Star Trek with my sister when I was a child and I've been watching everything since then.
Tell us specifically about your piece, “Homestead.” What inspired it? What did you want to capture in it?
What I wanted to convey is positivity that Star Trek has, in my opinion. Every time I thought about it, I thought about the colors and about the figures in it, and I also wanted to capture key moments for me which had a meaning, like the waves from Star Trek IV and the first contact in the background. That's what I wanted to get, and what I also wanted to get is a look behind the scenes of the real Star Trek world. So, when the people go work in the morning, they're driving to the Enterprise on the shuttle bus and stuff like that. I just wanted to take an ordinary look at Star Trek.
A day in the life of Star Trek?
Yeah, a day in the life, or something like that.
There are little Easter eggs in there. You actually need to look at the piece often and for a long time to find them…
That's what I also liked about art pieces by Richard Scarry, and art like that. When you look at it the first time you see one thing, but the second time and the third time you always find something new, and that's what I wanted to do, too.
When do you know when a piece is done? When do you say, “I have to let this out into the world for people to see?"
I think it's difficult. It's very difficult. On the one hand, it's the length of time (involved) and it’s a methodical thing. They tell me when I'm done because I think, as an artist, you always want to risk doing it again and again and again. That's the one thing. And the other thing is when you are satisfied. It's a kind of feeling. I think it's really difficult to have a formula for that.
How did you decide on the size of “Homestead”? It's actually quite large.
Yes, it is a bit large. I don't know. I have a few pieces of art at home and I really like this size and it's really good for hanging on your wall. When something is large, you need to have a look at it.
How did you settle on a name of the piece?
The name of the piece is a reference to a Voyager episode. That's what I wanted. And that episode was a kind of a day-in-the-life story. Another thing is the piece has San Francisco in it, so it's a kind of Voyage Home reference.
Last question. What does it mean to you to be a part of this whole exhibition with all these other unique pieces of art in it as well?
It's really big honor to even be part of that, to be in the Star Trek family. It's a childhood dream coming true and it's also really nice to be in the vicinity of all the other artists and to meet them here as well.
To purchase a 13" x 9" print of "Homestead," go to the Star Trek Shop at www.startrek.com.