Evolution of My Being: Choices That Make Us Who We Are

As an individual we tend to worry about what others think of us and the need to be liked by others. We think about how we want to be perceieved and what we want we want to be known for in our lives. Some of us are curious about how or what we would like to be remembered for after we pass this universe. I think that in our individual lives, there are three important stages in life that shape us who we are, and these stages make us…us.

Our childhood is our most innocent years. We are supposed to be free and curious in the world we are surrounded in. The people we grow up next to, the teachers who taught us new things have a large amount of influence of how we view EVERYTHING. Growing up, I spent half my childhood in a small village, Noahkali, Bangladesh and then the rest in the U.S. When I had moved the States, the culture difference impacted my life drastically. I wanted to fit in and be like the other children I went to school with. I wanted to learn the way they spoke, I wanted to listen to the same music they listen to. I wanted to hang out at the same places they did after school. However, most of my time spent during my childhood were with other Bangladeshi’s.

I thought about what it would be like if I didn’t befriend other Bangladeshi children growing up. What kind of a person would have I become? The friends I was introduced came from other school districts. They were the only ones I was allowed to hang out with outside of school. Although I had a few friends in my classrooms, my parents did not allow me to see them outside of school all that much. They were afraid of the american influence they would have on me and I would completely disregard my own culture. I couldn’t blame them. Change is not easy. The community you are placed in automatically gives you a new perspective on things. I was put into a whole new environment, so how could I not want to explore that!

Our pre-adulthood years are the toughest years. At this point, we are already currupted with abundance amount of information. We have to make choices that depict the rest of our life. With school, friends, and family members influencing us through every decisions we make are the ball points of the person we may become in the future. They are part of the guilts, the shame, the self questioning, and even the happiness that lies within ourselves. We choose who  we want to become as a person. For a long time, I definitely questioned a lot of things about myself. I never knew what I wanted do with my choices and what path I wanted to take. Over time, the people that comes across my life helped me learn new aspects of life and how they have made themself who they wanted to be. I wanted that same confidence in myself. So I decided to only associate myself with those who assist in my confidence, rather than lower my self-esteem.

The last stage is our adult years. This is the rest of our life. There is still room to make new decisions in life, such as our career, our lifestyle, or even our eating habits. Everything we were exposed to through out our childhood and pre-adulthood years has now shaped us who we are today. They may have broken us or made us stronger, but the truth is, we can only get stronger despite all odds. From now on, the things we do, and paths we can will only lead us to goals we want to achieve; where true happiness does lie.

It is important to reminiscence about the choices we made growing up that lead us to where we are now, at this very moment. While I am sitting here writing this post, I knew that everything I have done has lead me here sharing my thoughts with you. It may not be perfect, and neither am I, but I am here and I am on my way to a better view.

 

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Pattern Prints

Hey there guys! I know it’s been a while since I posted, but I recently worked on these adorable prints in my sketchbook and wanted to share them with you 🙂 I had a great time spending some time at the studio today. The past few weeks has been occupied with me sitting in front of my laptop, filling out applications to various jobs. So, that took up most of my time. But, I did miss the studio oh so very much!

I went through a small creative block and doodled a bit. These prints are designed with watercolor markers. Some of them are of floral and bundle of leaves, and others are of blueberries, red apples, and lemons. I thought they are a bit fun and fruity, and absolutely adorable!

 

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If I Could Eat My Art

Retro Apple, 2017 11in x 8.5in Acrylic pen on recycled card stock paper Original Price: $40.00

If I could eat my art, it would taste sweet and delicious. The paintings I create are exhilarating with bright beautiful colors that represent colors of sweet fruits and candy. Most of my works include the colors red, pinks, and yellow. These colors remind me cotton candy and colors of other fruits (other than apples! :D) I wanted to start creating works of art that presents health benefits and appreciation of happy thoughts.

Few of my favorite fruits to eat are cherries and blueberries. Not only they are rich in colors, but they are rich in taste and are very healthy for your soul! They include lots of vitamin C and antioxidants. Eating sweet and delicious fruits make us feel GOOD about ourselves because we are putting good things into our body and that also shows us that we are taking care of ourselves inside and out. When we want to eat food like this we automatically start to feel positive.

I felt that I needed to represent all the great, healthy aspects in the drawings. I wanted to make sure I could bring out the colors of the fruits by creating these illustration in the stringy organic like textures and focused on colors that best matched them. If I could my art, at least they are healthy and delicious!

 

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Mind of a Self Taught Artist

Some of my friends who have gone to art schools present great knowledge of techniques and ideas that they trained throughout the years of their program. I also noticed that these art graduates understand and communicate with their skills professionally with others. These are the skills I did not acquire. Instead, I spent numerous years teaching myself new skills and techniques to use in my line of works..and I still am. Time to time I watch youtube videos of other artists and interviews as well. I try to learn and comprehend what they are working on and feel inspired to pursue my own ideas.

When I had first started painting…I mean, actually painting seriously, I had all of these great ideas built up in my head and I wanted to make them come to life right there and then. I knew I had to stay focused with one idea at a time and let the works build on their own. So, I go through these stages where I have great ideas broiled up in my head and get eager to bring them to life. The ideas I create are elaborate and well thought out; however, when I try to make the visual marks, it definitely doesn’t turn out the way I want it would. I become frustrated and quickly give up. I don’t have practice in figurative drawing or even landscape. The Only training I have are from high school years, where I learned to draw figures, self-portrait, and even landscape. I find myself mainly working with colors and manipulating them, rather than adding colors to a figure. Throughout my works, that’s exactly what I did.

I now consider my work to be abstract and contemporary, and conceptual. It sounds a bit confusing, but it’s how I can describe my work. I like colors that are bright. Because I find frequently find myself in unhappy situations, I use bright colors in my work that represents happy, cheerful vibe. In my paintings, I focused on watercolor and acrylic mediums. With my watercolor works, I discovered gouache and learned to use that into my paintings. I have always been a fan of acrylic paintings, and truly enjoy the works I created with them. Although these are the two mediums I have developed my skills with. I continue to explore and experience different techniques. I mean, that is the important process of being an artist. I have to continue to explore new ideas to become a better artist.

When I had started my “squiggly lines” paintings (as my friends would call them) I 100% was not sure what I was doing. Then again, I am never sure about the processes I take. What I do know is that I like the colors and the way my brushes moved to create the patterns. So, I kept making more, whether I liked them a lot or not at the end. I found them interesting and liked the way they looked over all. After that series of paintings were finished. I took a long break away from my studio and stopped painting. I took the time to think about what I wanted to do with my art career. I was stuck and uncertain about my decisions.

I started writing about my paintings as a replacement during the break period of my studio time. The writing part has been quite helpful actually. That’s how I got my blog going truthfully. Sometimes instead of going to the studio, I sit in front of my laptop to write. I have been finding it a positive switch from painting. As my writing has been a frequent habit, it has also helped my painting change as well. I found my developments getting stronger and creating art works that I really am beginning to enjoy making at the moment.

I try not to lose faith in myself and my art. I tell myself that if I don’t believe in my art, than how will others believe in me? I have come this far into my self training and why should I through it all away? If I can’t believe in my work and in myself, I am not only becoming a quitter, but letting myself down. I’ve spent years trying to figure what art is and wanting to become one so bad. The idea becoming an artist is something I can only hope for and believe in. In the meantime, I have to keep working hard and continue to believe in my work and myself.

 

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4 Things We, Artists Need to Stop Doing!

When it comes to my work and creations, it is important for me to give my 100% attention to the work. This involves putting your heart and soul into what you do, because that is whats the art creations come to life. There are a few things a lot of us worry about or second guess ourselves in the work we are producing. Here is just a small list of things we, artists need to stop worrying about doing!

  1. Getting messy! We need stop worrying about getting paint spilled on the floor, or accidentally splatting paint on the wall, or even getting paint on our clothes! If you are a crazy, afraid of getting too messy, person…LIKE ME? than you should stop worrying about these small accidents! The important thing to do is however, cover up your floors, wear clothes that you don’t absolutely care about getting paint on. When you are in the zone of your work, you are not going to pay attention to getting paint on the wall your clothes at all. My favorite part of doing what I do best seeing the messy paint all over my hand. The verity of colors that leak onto my hand from the brush handle or me trying to clean up the edges of the canvases.
  2. Overthinking! I tend to overthink everything I do and second guess myself. Whenever I am in the process of working or beginning a new art Piece, I never know when or how to start it. I stare at my blank canvas for a long period of time and contemplate on my decisions. The other day, I pulled out new 12in x 12in canvases. I unwrapped them and get started with the work. I couldn’t decide if i wanted to make more small apple paintings, or do something else that just focused on textures and lines. Overthinking about the works I want to do, is one of the toughest moments I go through. I have to force myself into just going with my guts and paint what I know I wanted to do in the beginning. An important thing I learned from this process is, not to be afraid going with your instinct and your work sill progress on their own. I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF… just as much as YOU JUST HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
  3. Settling for “Okay” finished products! I found myself frustrated with my works many times and would call it quits on pieces that I know I wasn’t 100% satisfied with, but I would let it be because I wouldn’t know what else to do with it. A lot of you may feel the same way as I do time to time. An advise I have for others, don’t settle on your projects. However, you should walk away from it for some time and come back to it when your mind is clear of distractions. You are more likely to be inspired with ideas when you give you eyes a break from the current works.
  4. Self-doubt! Confidence is one of the most important factors artists have to deal with every day and with every pieces of work produced. A lot of the times we are unsure about what we are doing or what you want to do. The whole process of coming up with ideas is a struggle. We doubt ourselves in our ideas. We wonder if they are worth it, if they represent who we are. Some of the times we focus on creating work that others will like, just to satisfy our viewers. In the process of that, we forget how we want to be represented. I don’t think that we should ever doubt ourselves in our works just to make others see “pretty” art, but to see something more than the surface. We want our viewers to understand us and see who we truly are as human beings.

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Art: A Way of Sharing Visual Ideas

Art is not a Title. It’s a way of sharing visual ideas….

Art or being an Artist cannot be a self acclaimed title, it is earned by how our viewers perceives the craft we develop. Whether it’s a painting, a craft, or writing, they are ideas we share with the world. It is a way of sharing visual ideas, so that others have the opportunity to learn and experience something new. Something that they may have never thought about. It is the purpose to expand our inner knowledge of the world around us and question everything about anything!

What ideas do you have?

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Is My Creativity Genetic or Learned? Hmm…

The other day I was having a conversation with a lady stranger at an event. We were making small talk and asked each other what we do for a living….the most typical question everyone asks initially. So, I told the person that I work part time and I am also a painter. Of course when you tell a person you are painter, they have this certain reaction to the career title. “Oh, wow, cool!” When I hear those words or phrase, it makes me cringe, because I automatically hear a judgment tone in the voice. NOT OFFENDED, don’t worry! What was most interested about this conversation though, was when she asked “Do you believe being an artist is something you inherit or is it learned through schooling? I thought long and hard about this question and I wanted to answer it with my honest opinions.

Many people have asked the same questions and also researched the topic frequently. The same question was also asked in course I took during my Undergraduate Studies. When we look at famous visual artists, singers, writers, or even athletes, most of us think that it is inherited from a family member. Are we too quick to assume and be wrong???

A part of me believes that there are certain aspects of creativity you develop naturally from childhood and the environment you were surrounded with. For example, when I was very young, I watched my mom sew fabric and make quilts with hand stitching, My older brother frequently used to draw video game characters from magazines. Since those were the types of magazines we had laying around our home, and watching him draw, I developed interests in trying to draw them as well. In elementary school, I always looked forward to art classes and holiday themes coloring pages. I also remember being obsessed with drawing fruits mostly and trying to perfect the shape of mango’s, pineapples, of course apples!

In the household I grew up, everything was done unmeasured techniques. Another example, I watched my mom a new meal every day…that is traditional Bangladeshi meals. When she added her spices and other ingredients, there was not measurement! NO teaspoon of this, tablespoon of that, etc. Her measurement was, “A little bit of this, a little bit of that. In-between stirring the boiling pots, she would do test tastes if it needed more spice or salt. And that was the way she cooks till this day! It really is kind of like art. A lot of test trials, until it tastes damn good!!!

What I am trying to say is, I guess the development of my creativity is through environmental influence from childhood and and throughout the continuing years. I did it through watching and doing! I also do believe there is a certain percentage of innate talent instilled within us depending on our family backgrounds and it’s a natural instinct we have. However, the largest portion of talent development is created from applying it continuously to enhance the skills and techniques.

Do you think your creativity is an inherit from your family or a learned skill?

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Self Evaluation

When we work on new paintings, we are most likely experimenting at the beginning stages. We also immediately start critiquing our own work throughout the process. Sometimes, I find myself ripping out or crumble up in-progress works that I already know will be a failure…and that will happen number of times until I finally get it. As an artist, we are quite hard on ourselves when it comes to our work. We create elaborate visions in our mind, and the hardest thing about it is, bring that vision to life. I am sure a lot you individuals can relate to this. It is a necessary process to go through in order to be able to bring that vision to life. It’s not easy!. Today I want to discuss the ways we evaluate our works, or the way I evaluate my own. When I go through my self evaluation processes, I ask myself abundance of questions. Here are just a few…

1. What am I thinking about? 

During middle of 2016, I was trying to transition out of my drip/splatter paint techniques and into something different. I was completely unfocused and didn’t know what to start with. At this time, I was trying to use up the last bits of paint from my tray because I didn’t want to waste it. I did the same technique by dripping the paint on the watercolor pressed paper. After I had done that, I completely regret the action. I hated that I settled for the same old choice rather than waiting to have the light bulb to light up. I found myself frustrated and drawing blanks for a long period of time. There wasn’t much paint left in the tray, so, out of complete boredom I stroked my paint brush in squiggly motions, across the paper. The colors mixed and I kept making more squiggly brush strokes. The lines layered over the dripped colors in the backgrounds.

2. Do I like what I am doing?

I still wasn’t sure what I was doing, but kept on going, anyways. I started to believe something interesting was starting to happen and wanted to see how it will end up looking once I just stop. After I had completed this painting, I stepped back and observed it for some time. Many thoughts ran through my mind, contemplating what to do with it. Should I keep going with the lines, or leave it as it is. I can guarantee all artists understands this feeling. The feeling of being uncertain all the time. However, that’s what make the experiments and mistakes worth it.

3. Let’s try this again…but change something!

When I came to a realization that I wasn’t really satisfied with what was going on in the art work, I took another sheet of watercolor paper out and tried it again. I went with a circular shape this time but with a slight resemblance of Bursting Bubble, 2016. During the process of the next painting, I wanted to focus on the particular shape. The circle fascinated me. In my mind, I didn’t want to the shape to be conformed figure. So the idea of the shaped being teared almost was compelling. When I had finished the next piece, Ruptured Circle, 2016, I felt more confidant in the idea and preceded with the theme.

How do you evaluate your works and what processes do you go through during it?

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What Influences of Your Creative Process?

Before I had my studio, I was doing most of my work within my home space, well outside actually, when the weather was warm. I turned a corner of my parents driveway into a temporary studio section. It was definitely not ideal at all, and my parents were pretty patient with me using the drive away to paint. A part of them actually didn’t mind. They were always curious about what I was always working on and would ask questions. At that time, my work was very messy and it involved me literally dripping paint on large papers and canvases. The paint would spill out or sprinkle onto the concrete and leave paint marks. Two years later, the paint marks are still there.

After awhile, the idea of having that space outside my parents house was not working out at all. I knew that I needed an actual studio space to continue my work. I was limited immediately of my abilities to paint. When the weather got cooler, I remained inside my own bed room, and worked on my large working table. I cleared everything off and moved things aside. This way, at least I could work on my sketchbook and other small size paintings that wouldn’t leave a mess.

To be able to create great art, you must be in a space that you feel most comfortable in. A space where you can strip out of the layers that keep you contained in front of the world. The environment I consider to be helpful for me is my studio space that is twenty minutes drive away from my home. It’s the space where I can shut out the world and think about what is now and how do I want to display it? For others, it may not be an environment with walls, it can be the park, beach, or even out on the streets with crowded buildings and people.

Ultimately, you have to make your own environment that will allow your creativity to flourish without limitations.

What environmental factors influence your creative process?

 

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Tender Apple, 2017

At the surface, we are strong human beings and put on a brave face no matter what struggles we go through in the inside. We are great at hiding our emotions underneath the thick skin we have that covers all of our wounds. We sometimes forget that we are tender in the inside and when we open up, the softness of our emotions are exposed to the the world around us. We can either learn to cherish the tender emotions or leave let it be as it will continue to ripe like an apple and bruise easily with every press.

 

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