Artist of The Month Discover

With Prussian Blues // An interview by Sarah Salman

Artist: Fatimah Nadeem Instagram: @fatimah.creates

Q1. Seeing how you’re a self-taught artist has intrigued me so much! What inspired you to start being creative?

A1. My earliest memory begins with paints and paper. I think it’s that inclination everyone is born with, I was inclined towards imagination and art and bringing life to those thoughts and feelings. During my early teens I was unsure how to progress with my style and mediums, until I started using watercolors and that further motivated me to try new mediums and techniques and styles.

Q2. What message do you want to convey through your artwork? What do you want people to know or feel when they look at your work?

A2. Art is the perfect mix of visuals and cognitive. It has the ability to make the viewer ponder or feel a certain way. Personally I want to present work that includes some aspects related to personal experiences, my beloved city Karachi, emotions, and people. I want to use my art to help people find some inspiration or motivation or guidance. Be it through Islamic art, abstract or through poetry pieces. I also want to highlight social or current issues in the society or world to create more awareness, such as mental health or war zones such as Syria, and somehow provoke people to ponder and think over such things and understand the struggle and pain.

Q3. It is so nice seeing someone, especially from Pakistan invest themselves whole-heartedly into being creative. Has being an artist always been what you’ve aspired to become?

A3. Yes, this is one of the things I can say with full confidence because I am a very indecisive person! And a lot of things intrigue me now and then; be it sports, fashion, photography, cooking or gardening. But I always saw myself being in the creative field, I definitely wish to continue my side hobbies with my actual work In shaa Allah.

Q4. When your paintbrush sets itself on paper; what is the one emotion that you feel instantaneously?

A4. Freedom, it does sound cliché but it truly feels freeing in the sense that the possibilities are limitless. I could paint anything and everything.

Q5. Do you ever experience days where the last thing you want to do is stare at a paintbrush? What helps you on those days?

A5. Yes, and quite often! No matter how much I hate not painting and wasting my energy and time, there are days when my mind and hands get very exhausted. During my art block days I try to focus on other hobbies or interests and give myself a break from painting, such as reading books of watching other artists on YouTube to get some inspiration.

Q6. You’ve created a lot of artwork, obviously. Is there a piece that you are most proud of? Why?

A6. The dome of rock watercolor piece would be my favorite so far because it was a completely different style of artwork than my usual and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of detailing and painting the mosque. The color scheme itself was so fun to work with. Overall I was really satisfied with the outcome!

Q7. Seeing your work, my mind screams, “AESTHETIC!” What does the word aesthetic mean to you?

A7. The aesthetic is something that would be pleasing to look at; it can be calming or inspirational or awakens a great feeling inside you. Such as nature is my aesthetic because flowers and clouds have the best color combinations! Aesthetic could also mean a combination of things or colors that create the perfect mood.

Q8. On paper, you can always keep adding tiny details and still have enough space. How do you know when you’ve finished making something?

A8. I try to improvise most of my work because if I think too much about it and plan it a lot, I am unable to make something that I am satisfied with. I take time with details and take small breaks to refresh my mind and then come back and look at the artwork again. I keep adding and tweaking until it looks right.

Q9. Along with your extraordinary art, I’ve always noticed that you take stunning pictures. Given the choice, would you choose painting or photography?

A9. Such a difficult decision to make! I absolutely enjoy both things equally.

Q10. Are there ever any moments where you’re faced by negativity in relation to your art? What is the one thing that helps you overcome those situations?

A10. I have personally struggled with being satisfied with my progress and my artwork in general. And as a creative this struggle will always be present, I just need to teach myself to cope up and take set-backs and mistakes positively and use that to improve myself rather than mulling over them.

Q11. What is your favorite color and why? A very simple question, but I feel as though artists see colors from a different eye.

A11. My favorite color is blue, because it can represent such diverse moods and emotions. Prussian blue is secretive, deep, and endless while cerulean blue is full of light and joy. It can be calming and chaotic, it can be serene and stormy. I also incorporate blue in most of my artwork.

Q12. Besides creating art, what gives you the most joy?

A12. I enjoy nature and working on other creative projects unrelated to art, such as poetry and writing. One of my past times is to climb up on my balcony and watch the sunset, listen to the peaceful sounds of nature and cut myself off from the world for a few minutes.

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Q13. What part of the process of creating art excites you the most?

A13. Every.single.step.

        From the drawing to painting to adding the details and planning out the layout and experimenting with colors, it is like a routine I thoroughly enjoy! The process itself excites me the most because I can learn and experiment with different techniques, ideas, and mediums.

Q14. I know so many people who are just waiting to paint/sketch their first piece. What advice would you give to all the aspiring artists?

A14. Just start! You don’t need expensive supplies and tutorials to paint or create art. It’s a self-learning process and the more trial and error you use, the better you will learn. Experimenting and experiencing on your own helps you improve! Yes, at some point you might find your supplies not good enough or there are certain techniques you want to learn from an artist, but that is part of the journey! You need to take the first step, pick up the first paintbrush, and paint out your first stroke! Investing in good art supplies is great, but perfecting your techniques and skills adds more value and uniqueness to your art. Try to develop your own signature style. But most importantly, one must remember that this process takes a lot of time, patience, practice and focus. I always struggle with starting an artwork and actually deciding what to paint, to tackle that I start out with a theme and then take inspiration from that, such as a country, or a book, everyday objects, nature, flowers, quotes, prompts, emotions, people.

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