BOTHELL — Navid Rahbin loves to draw while listening to movie soundtracks. He makes videos featuring his three siblings. He also has a passion for photography. The 17-year-old junior at North Creek High School looks forward to a career making art. If that doesn’t work out, he’d consider becoming an art teacher.
In February, Navid’s drawing “Future City” won recognition in the 2019 Regional Scholastic Art Awards. It was one of five American Vision Nominee/Best of Show recipients from Snohomish County.
Question: Your entry for the Scholastic Art Awards was impressive. Could you tell us about it?
Answer: I made this a few years ago, so it’s not super recent. It’s called “Future City.” I used just markers and white-out pen to create some cool lighting effects. It’s mainly markers and also highlighters like you would buy at Staples.
Q: What were you trying to convey?
A: I’m not sure what I was trying to convey, but I get inspiration for landscapes like this through music. When I’m listening to music, certain imagery will pop up in my head.
Q: What kind of music?
A: Just movie soundtracks, sometimes classical music as well.
Q: Do you work in other artistic mediums?
A: I do video stuff, too. (Navid takes out his phone and shows a video called “Heartbeat.”) That’s my little sister. I mainly film my siblings. It’s just around Bothell, usually. I don’t have a car so I can’t drive anywhere. This took about a year and a half to film. I had to listen to this song probably over 100 times and try to plan out all the clip sequences, like what comes next. Also bribing my siblings to do photo shoots and shots like this was very interesting. I would have to trade playing with them or reading stories to them so they would do it.
Q: How many siblings do you have?
A: Three. I have my twin sister, Olivia. My younger brother, Mateen. He’s 7 years old. And my little sister, Lua. She’s 10.
Q: What fascinates you about making family videos?
A: I guess just watching how the audience reacts to it is really satisfying. I remember my mom when I first showed her this video she had a really emotional reaction. That really confirmed this is something I should pursue.
Q: What are you studying at North Creek High?
A: Right now I’m trying to maintain a decent GPA while doing art as well, which is a struggle for me considering that I like art a lot more than academics, but I try.
Q: What are your goals after high school?
A: I want to do something really risky that I probably shouldn’t do in the arts, but I’m also trying to consider the fact of providing for myself. I’d like to go into cinematography or directing.
Q: If not artwork, what else?
A: I would be an art teacher. Maybe an architect. Maybe in the future I would like to apply to art school, but I would probably first want to go to community college, but at the same time continuously make films.
Q: How has your family helped you get to where you are?
A: Obviously, my siblings are in my videos. They’re always open to sharing their ideas. It’s not just my ideas that I’m portraying. Their acting goes into it, so that helps. My twin sister also does art and draws frequently. We like to inspire each other and to bounce ideas off of each other.
Q: Is faith a big part of your life?
A: I would say so. I get a lot of inspiration from the Baha’i faith.
Q: Many people are not familiar with your faith. Could you tell us something about it?
A: It’s a religious faith that promotes unity in society in all aspects: for genders, religiously, through the races, all forms of unity — not just justice, but unity. The goal of the Baha’i faith is to unite the entire earth. It’s really ambitious, but that’s what I like about it. The religious prophet of my faith is known as Baha’u’llah. (Baha’u’llah founded the monotheistic religion in Persia in the 19th century.)
Q: How does it inspire you?
A: A lot of the religious texts have to do with morality and how to be a better person, just like any religion. But the way in which they’re worded is so beautiful, it’s kind of poetic, so I really enjoy that aspect.
Q: Are there people you would like to thank for getting you to where you are now?
A: My parents, obviously, for making me. I want to thank my little siblings for putting up with me and my directing for videos and photoshoots. And I also want to thank my sister Olivia. She’s one of my biggest sources of inspiration.
Q: Is there anyone outside your family you would like to acknowledge?
A: All my art teachers, so Ms. Brittany Martin. She’s my current art teacher. There’s another art teacher I had last year, Mr. Bill Rosenthal.
Q: How have they helped?
A: Generally by embracing my style and motivating me to work hard. Just instilling within me an optimistic view of the future.