About the Artist
Art Director, Illustrator, Videographer, Photographer, Producer
Born in 1969, Hassan is a self taught artist from Boston Massachusetts. His passion for art and all things creative began at a young age from watching Saturday morning cartoons. With encouragement from his family and friends, Hassan began to study the art of comic books and fantasy illustration. Artists such as Frank Frazetta, John Buscema, Boris Vallejo and Charles Dana Gibson left a major impression on him. Mad magazine art was also a big influence. With a profound desire to get better at drawing Hassan spent long hours honing his craft.
“I honestly didn’t care for school although I did like subjects such as History, Science and Social Studies. Math was not my favorite, that was drawing time for me. I was an intervered type of kid so for me school from a social perspective was scary, awkward and unpleasant. And since I lost my father at such young age I really didn’t have proper guidance. My mother did her best but raising two young kids in a tough city liked Boston has a whole myriad of problems. After my sophomore year of high school I chose to drop out. When your fifteen and stubborn you think you have all the answers and you often choose the path of least resistance. So there I was, a high school drop out, with a string of dish washing jobs to make a little cash. I soon began to hang out with other drop outs and we started to do dumb things like rob people and steal cars. One night, my so called friends came by to see if I wanted to go hangout, steal a car in the next town and hook up with some girls. I made a fateful decision that day. Their offer was tempting but something just didn’t feel right, plus I was working on a painting at the time and I wanted to finish it. So my friends went on their way and I stayed home that night to work on my art. The very next day a detective showed up asking to where I was last night and who I was with. Fortunately, I had a house full of witnesses that could verify that I was home of the night in question. All my friends got busted that night in a stolen car, one of them gave the cops my name trying to protect his own butt, some friend right? Plain and simple, my passion for art saved my life that night and put my thought process in a different space. I no longer wanted to be the high school drop out running the streets committing crimes and disappointing my mother. So I got my act together, enrolled in a program called Job Corps to get my GED and learn a vocation. After completing that program I attended ITT to learn drafting and engineering. In May 1990 I moved to Rockledge Florida and enrolled at Brevard Community College to earn my AA degree. I went on to work as a CAD drafter for NASA in the mid 1990’s but all the while drawing and painting in my free time. My boss Russ Fortson was a fan of art and when I told him that I was an artist he asked me to bring in some of my work. So the next day I brought in a portfolio and when he saw my work he looked at me with a smile and offered me a dichotomy. He said I could put in my two week notice now or he could just fire me. Mr. Fortson said I should be working at Disney and not at NASA. So I put my notice in, thanked all my colleagues and set off on a new adventure into the art world.”
Since 1995 Hassan been a successful commercial artist doing projects for Rhino Records, Sony/Columbia Music, Universal, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Disney, Maui & Sons, NBC etc. In May 2000 Hassan traveled to live and study art in Florence Italy. While overseas he learned techniques in photography and painting. In 2006 he became a freelance photographer for magazines such as Lowrider, Maxim and Tiki Magazine.
“My interest in photography was inspired from watching what my mother did with her camera and gear. I remember being fascinated with the little strobe flash she had, how did so much light come out of that little device! My mother was amazing, so intelligent, funny and creative. She was a social worker by day and a DJ at night. It’s because of her that I have a deep affinity for photography and music. My mother bought me a really nice Minolta film camera in the mid 90’s. It was a great camera but my pictures sucked! I tried reading books on the subject but I just couldn’t get it. However, when I got to Italy and the photography professor broke it down for me then it was like a revelation, I got it! I finally understood the balance of shutter speed, f-stop and film speed. However, processing film can get pricey so progress was steady but slow. When I bought my first digital camera in 2005 then the progress really exploded. I mostly enjoy working with natural light and I love challenging myself to get the best pictures with what’s around me, low tech.”
Hassan continues to expand his knowledge base of art and recently has begun to share his techniques by teaching art classes in local schools and for painting events.