Tell us about yourself.
- I’ am Mehwish Riaz, a 23 year old Pakistani, born and raised in UAE and consider Dubai to be my home. Because of my hearing disability, my parents decided to home-school me. Art is my only passion.
Have you always wanted to be an artist? What drew your focus to nature in particular?
- Although I was getting a quality education, thanks to my parents, I wanted a way to express myself. I started sketching from a very young age and that’s how my passion for art grew.
How would you describe your style?
- I started with watercolours and acrylics, but over the years have expanded to oil and ink mediums. I like to experiment and combine many mediums together.
How do you come up with fresh ideas?
- Everything I create comes from my imagination and inspiration from places I have visited. I have always loved nature and always attempted to present its beauty though my art.
Can you describe the thinking behind your paintings?
I love to paint and draw wild life, especially birds. I often use ink, watercolour and acrylic to create little birds. I never like to just copy photos of wild life. My images come from my mind and how I envision my subjects. When a person looks at my work, they can see my struggle with the world and how my birds reflect the confusion and chaos of being deaf, but surviving in a hearing world. I like to work contrast bright vibrant colours with a darker subject. They can also have a whimsical side which can be seen in my Arabic scenes like this my painting of a camel.
Despite your disability, how do you communicate with your clients?
- I use hearing aids, but mostly rely on lip reading. My mom trained me through speech therapy to speak back instead of using sign language. If people speak in a slow pace, I can understand better and respond to them efficiently.
Who has been your biggest support in your journey?
My immediate family
Were there ever any times when you felt like giving up?
- I don’t remember that have ever been through such a situation, despite all the hardships I faced, I have always acted and moved forward, which was only possible due to strong family support
Do you have a daily routine when it comes to paintings?
- No, it mostly depends on my mood and whenever an idea clicks. However I do work on my ongoing paintings regularly
If you hadn’t been an artist, what would you have been?
- Well, having my limitations in communicating, I always wanted to express myself, to be understood and accepted by the public. Art makes me feel more connected to people that I have ever been, so I guess in some form or the other, I’d have to be an artist.
Any other talents of yours we should be aware of?
- My second passion is interior design. Having a good sense of with good spatial order skills, customers consider me to be the perfect person to go to when they need advice on where to hang art in their homes and offices.
Where can we see your work featured?
- I participate in different art exhibition. ARTE The Makers Market in Dubai are my favourite and display my artwork there often.
Explore her beautiful work at www.mehwishriaz.com or visit ARTE Dubai and strike a chat with her Mehwishand buy her paintings.
You can contact her through Instagram :@mehwish_art, Facebook: MehwishRiaz, E-mail: email@example.com