Chaymaa Sobhy is a author/illustrator, born and raised in Cairo, Egypt

Chaymaa Sobhy is a 29 years old author/illustrator, born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. She works from her small studio at home and absolutely loves bringing words to life by illustrating magical scenes and fantastical settings. Chaymaa works digitally using photoshop and procreate. While working, she usually listens to audiobooks or watches documentaries/docu-series, with her favourites being the ones about our planet and the magnificent creatures on it. Chaymaa’s inspiration comes from books, nature and everything our world entails.

When did you start illustrating? 
I always loved to draw but I started illustrating as a freelancer in 2016 while I was in university.

Who has been the most supportive in your career? 
My family has been the most supportive throughout my journey which I’m very thankful for especially my twin sister, she really believed in me since day one. 

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?
Honestly no, I didn’t even dream about it when I was young because it never crossed my mind that art can be a career until I saw a couple of illustrators on YouTube talking about the illustration market and illustrating picture books, that was mind blowing for me. I actually studied pharmacy in university but started freelancing as an illustrator while I was In college. It’s still amazes me that I get to do what I love as a job! 

What is your favorite subject matter to illustrate? 
I love drawing girls with magical abilities (I think because I read w.I.t.c.h when I was young and just loved the characters and the outfits and that magic) and plants, I also love drawing space, planets and stars.

How would you describe your style? 
I don’t actually know! I think my style has been slowly evolving over time, but my hope is that people find warmth and wonder in it. That’s the goal I’m working on with my style.

What is your favorite collaboration to date?
My favorite collaboration was making the audiobook covers for kalila w dimna (it’s a classic  collection of fables for young readers). I had so much fun listening to the audiobooks while I painted them and it was really exciting to dream a new concept for such classic stories.

What interested you about being represented by Illo agency? 
I follow some of the artists that are represented by Illo agency and I saw their latest picture book releases which were really beautiful, so I was immediately interested, and to be now represented by Illo myself is such a dream come true. 

Do you have a favorite author, film director, or designer? 
I’m a huge bookworm, so I have a lot of favorite authors, I love Brandon Sanderson’s books especially the Mistborn trilogy, it was the first fantasy books I’ve picked up and ever since I have fallen in love with the sci-fi/fantasy genre. I love Seth Godin’s books they have been a fuel to my creative journey so far especially “linchpin” and “the practice”.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so do you have a favorite? 
I listen to “the creative pep talk” by Andy and “3 point perspective” by Jake Parker, Lee White and Will Terry. Both podcasts about creativity and illustration and I highly recommend them. 

If you have any questions or a specific project in mind, please do get in touch: [email protected]

at illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.