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Sharif Tarabay

Sharif Tarabay - International painterly pastiche illustrator. Montreal

Sharif Tarabay is a Montreal-based illustrator who works in an exceptional range of classic art and illustration styles, creating colourful pastiche images infused with realism and authentic character. You could even call him the Norman Rockwell of the 21st century.
Originally from Egypt, his drawing skills gave him confidence as a child and he went on to study Fine Art at Concordia University in Montreal. He’s worked in a graphic design studio and so he understands the pressures his clients are under, using his traditional media skills to exceed their expectations. He loves the classic artists of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and is inspired by Europe’s oldest cities and the artworks they hold.


Sharif works traditionally using oils, acrylics, watercolours, pastels and coloured pencils. Sometimes, he’ll use a combination of physical and digital media, using Photoshop to plan an image, then printing it out on cotton paper and completing it with acrylics or fast-drying oils. The best of both worlds.


Sharif delivers realism with a painterly touch, maintaining an artistic sensibility rather than competing with the camera. Preparation is important to him, and he makes sure he has good reference material, a solid drawing and a good composition in order to achieve the perfect style for the brief.


1997 – Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators (CAPIC) Awards – Gold in Editorial 1993 – CAPIC Awards – Bronze in Self-promotion 1992 – CAPIC Awards – Bronze in Self-promotion 1991 – CAPIC Awards – Bronze in Advertising

Client list

Sharif’s clients include Sony Music Entertainment, HBO-Time Warner, Guinness, IBM, Nike, Volkswagen, Interview Magazine and Der Spiegel.
I have not seen the complete illustration yet but was awesomely impressed just by the first draft alone. I am so pleased to have found and used the agency for my commission. I would use illustration again, namely Sharif. He is a magnificent artist who understood my brief to the letter and created and brought two characters to life from my imagination. That is a special gift
Vicky-lee Mackenzie, Freelance Designer UK
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