Amir-Behan Jahanbin
Culture

Amir-Behan Jahanbin | Giphy Arts at Nasdaq

Nasdaq has become an iconic symbol in New York City. We find inspiration each day by emerging artists working in the community. We are pleased to highlight these talented artists with their unique and inspiring perspectives.

Amir-Behan Jahanbin is a 27-year-old animator from Brooklyn, New York who currently runs his own freelance animation/graphic design business. Since launching his business several years ago, Amir-Behan has worked with many high-profile clients including BRZ, Adult Swim, and DJ Boring. He also has a residency at Mana Contemporary Art Center in Jersey City.

For his clients, Amir-Behan primarily designs GIFs, music video animations, short animations, and other types of visual content. However, before he started working as an animator, Amir-Behan was an architect. In fact, he studied architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, earning a bachelor’s degree in the subject. 

After working as an architect for several years after college, Amir-Behan decided to transition to animation, as he found it more artistically fulfilling and more in-line with his values. He had been passionate about visual art for many years and had even created his first GIF at the age of 12. So, the transition was very natural. 

When Amir-Behan is not creating fascinating GIFs, animations, and other visual art pieces, he loves to ride his bike through the bustling neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Amir-Behan Jahanbin

What do you like about GIFs?

I think it’s the fact that they loop forever endlessly, and you fall into that. It has a trance effect where you are watching it and you know that it’s repeating, but for some reason, you keep watching and expecting it to change and do something different, but you also find comfort in the fact that it’s constantly the same, over and over again. I think that cyclical nature just gives it comfort as well.”

Do you have a favorite GIF?

“Most of the GIFs that are available on GIPHY tend to be pretty fantastic. They have great artists on there. However, I can’t think of a specific artist in general that makes GIFs I’m super into right now.”  

Is there a particular type of GIF you like to design most?

“These days, most of the GIFs I make tend to be character design-based. The latest GIFs that I have thrown up on the GIPHY site have all been virtual characters from the Nasdaq board. So, I took each one of those little dudes that were floating around and separated them out and turned them into their own little looping GIFs. I think that people looking at them find a little connection when they see humanoid characters there rather than just objects. I first started making GIFs as just objects and things and then I moved on to characters: people walking, people jumping, people spinning, wiggling – all sorts of nonsense that you can make people do with 3D.”

What are your thoughts on your GIF being displayed on the Nasdaq tower? 

“Unreal, it was kind of hard to believe at first. Coming from New York, when I was a kid, I always thought Times Square was for all the people who have made it to have their names up in lights. It was great to be able to send my work to people who don’t really understand my work and be able to say ‘look, Times Square’ and then immediately, there is that connection point. Everyone knows Times Square. Everyone knows where and what it is and what it stands for. It was great to have that sort of sense of accomplishment. It was definitely an honor. It was way bigger than I thought it was going to be. Even though I knew the size of it, when I went to see it in person, it was enormous. I almost felt like I couldn’t see the top of it. It was larger than life.”

What was your inspiration for your GIF on the Nasdaq tower?

“I just thought about – well I named the piece ‘Square Times’ – I was just thinking about Times Square when I was doing it. I was thinking about all of the people hustling and bustling, running around there, getting from all their point A’s to point B’s as quickly as possible, but also there just to see Times Square. I came up with this wonky sort of machine, where all of these characters are in this illusionary world where there is no up and no down and they are all running around trying to do their own thing, but there is all sorts of nonsense. It doesn’t seem important to anybody else, but there is this one big dude cranking away trying to get his work done.”

 Is there anything else you would like to say about GIFs in general?

I think that moving image, in general, is the way of the future in imagery. I think everyone has got these cameras in their phones, they’re all taking stuff like live photos now that capture movements – boomerangs and loops and all these things that capture the nuance of the place and the movement carries a lot of that definition for most of us. But in the animation world, GIFs are a powerful tool. You know, all the sudden animators can become just as popular as influencers on Instagram. If you have a cool enough GIF out there, everyone wants to pump it up, have it there, and use it to express themselves.”

Contact Info:

  • GIPHY Channel -  ABJahanbin
  • Website – Jahanbin.net 
  • Tumblr – Abjahanbin 
  • Instagram – Abjahanbin 
  • Twitter - @Abjahanbin

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Bennett O'Brien

Bennett O'Brien is a freelance writer from the state of Massachusetts. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Westfield State University. Currently Bennett is expanding his writing career, and enjoying the opportunity to write on a variety of business topics. He has written for more than 350 different companies and always looks forward to providing outstanding content for his next client.

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