IAPLC CREATOR’S FILE #10 Hootan Maftoonian

Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal
IAPLC Creator’s File interviews top winners of the IAPLC, the world’s leading planted aquarium contest, and introduces the secrets of their progress and their passion for the planted aquarium hobby.
Primeval Forest
Aquarium Size W1500×D700×H550(mm)

I implement a special style that induces a real sense of nature.

Q What made you start doing aquascape layouts?
I try to keep my peace of mind and to live in a world full of love, happiness, and art. I have been making art as an amatuer in various fields, such as sculpture and carving, for twenty years, and have been doing aquascaping since 1991. I became interested in this art after seeing the works of master Amano and master Fukuda. They are my inspiration. 8 years ago, I was encouraged to develop my specialty in planted aquariums professionally. With aquascaping I can build my dreams and show them to others.

Q What is it about aquascaping that you find attractive?
An aquascape calms the mind and balances energy. I observe life in this process.

Q Where do you get the themes, motifs and ideas for your layouts?
I draw inspiration from nature, specifically the Hyrcanian forests on the Caspian Sea in Iran.

Q Are there any items you are particular about when creating a layout?
My favorites are the Pro Scissors Short and the Pro-Pinsettes.
Q During the layout creation process, were there any challenges or points where you had to innovate?
Yes, the materials I worked with were challenging. I will try to choose better materials in the future. Understanding perspective was also a challenge for me. Also, in making natural décor. I should pay more attention to the works of professors.
The composition was made with undulating driftwood.
Q Can you tell us anything about how you selected aquatic plants and fish?
I chose the aquatic plants and fish based on experience and intuition.

Q Do you have any guiding principles you keep in mind when creating layouts?
I pay special attention to the contrast of light and shadow as well as different layers in the aquascape. And in planting plants, I implement a special style that induces a real sense of nature.

Q Is there a secret to winning the contest?
I have no secret. I just try with all my heart to be among the top artists in the world.

Q What motivated you to apply to IAPLC, and what do you think is the best part about it?
The 2200 participants from all over the world have made it a great event. I think the ADA brand name is also a big factor.
Another of this event’s strong points is that the judges are people with a lot of experience. It is a great honor for me to participate in these competitions. Winning 9th place in this competition was a sweet dream for me.

Q Do you have a message you would like to tell to all the aquatic plant enthusiasts worldwide?
I encourage my students and friends in Iran to participate in this competition. Here, all aquarium lovers follow this event. I send love from Iran to all the lovers of this art all over the world. Try to trust yourself and create a beautiful world.
The Medal awarded to the IAPLC top 100 works.