Ever since I got fascinated with art at a young age, I remember being incredibly curious about the lives of artists who inspired me with their philosophies and art. Growing up and working on my craft, all I did was devour all the memoirs, biographies and documentaries that I could find on my favourite artists. This really helped me in developing my own unique perspective of art and how I could evolve my art practice to better reflect my authenticity.
This week’s blog is one about reflection and looking at the artists (living artists and artists from history) who inspire me and the lessons that I have picked up from them which can help you, not only in your art practice but in life as well.
As an artist and a feminist, how can I not be inspired by Frida Kahlo? For me, the woman paved the path for so many female artists to be unapologetic in their work and express their desires and emotions in absolute freedom. The pain and trauma in her life has been well documented; the bus accident in her youth, her lifelong battle with polio and other illnesses. However, she used her art to process all of her pain and heartache which is one of the major reasons why her work resonates with so many.
Being immersed in Frida’s art while growing up, I realized the power I had in embracing my identity, authenticity and femininity. She taught me that my reality and my truths are my own, nobody can change or take them away from me. It is in this acceptance of ourselves, do we find liberation in being who we are and expressing whatever that lays dormant inside us.
Henri Matisse is one of the most successful artists over the past two centuries, whose expressive visual language of vivid colours and shapes has literally shaped what modern art is today. I recall being completely entranced by his work when I first laid my eyes on it. The sheer power of his art’s simplicity and dynamism sparked my fascination with colours and how I can use them effectively in my work. His work truly inspired me to commit to make a living from art.
Having read extensively about his life and work, I was floored by Matisse’s sheer amount of creativity and prolificity. He was constantly creating and kept himself busy by dabbling in all sorts of mediums, be it sculpture or collages, that would facilitate his self-expression. His original paintings are worth millions now and it is astounding to know that how quickly he produced them. I learned an important lesson from him that in order to make art sometimes you do not have to wait for inspiration to hit you, you just have to pick up your paintbrush and get going!
We all have heard of Sacha Jafri, who gained worldwide attention and acclaim recently for creating the Journey of Humanity which is recognized as the world’s largest painting. This painting was sold for $62 million, making it the fourth highest auction price for a work created by a living artist. Being a humanitarian, Sacha has always used his art to raise awareness and proceeds for the numerous charities that he supports. The sale proceeds for the Journey of Humanity has been committed to be split equally among four charities: Dubai Cares, Unicef, Unesco and the Global Gift Foundation.
Having met him recently at one of his speaking engagements in Dubai, I was deeply inspired by his commitment to his activism and humanitarian causes. We have to make our work meaningful not only for ourselves, but for the betterment of people around us. It is when we are dedicated to a greater cause, we are able to be fearless in our commitment to our craft and can evolve to be better artists and humans.
To conclude, I would like you to remember three crucial pieces from wisdom from these artists:
- Own your truths and reality, nobody will be able to hold you back.
- Do not wait for inspiration to hit you, you need to just get going!
- Committing to a greater cause and making your work meaningful is crucial for your evolution as a person.
Shop my artwork collection here.
Check my digital artwork collection here.