Art Process Videos

I love time-lapse videos of the art process, watching the blank canvas transform within a few moments is amazing!

I never thought of doing it myself because of all the work involved, I am not good with technical stuff (or rather I kept doubting my abilities ) and I thought I would need some advanced equipment. Turns out all you need is a camera, even a cell phone camera is great, some extra time and to stop doubting and overthinking everything!

I started a YouTube channel to share the art process and now I am enjoying making tutorials as well. Please take advantage, grab some brushes and paint to paint along!

This is a recent timelapse I did of a painting in a series to promote positive images of BIPOC. Please do subscribe, it helps me to continue to bring art to the community even in lockdown.

Tip of the Iceberg

Turquoise Spray. 10 X 14 Acrylic.

As I sit here trying to write this blog, I’d just like you to know I have wasted quite a bit of time procrastinating and I really should be cooking dinner right now. And that is basically the theme of this post. We only see the tip of the iceberg. You will only read the blog and hopefully like it, not knowing that I am sitting here in the most unflattering sweat pants and a worn-out shirt that I didn’t bother to change out of this morning because if I am at home, then I believe in spending the day in my PJs. I am not sitting at some aesthetically pleasing desk on a fancy laptop. I am sprawled on my little sofa covered in sesame seed brittle crumbs and surrounded by their wrappers. I am also talking to my cat because he agrees with most of what I have to say and contrary to popular belief cats really are non-judgmental.  The point is, that stuff you see posted on Social Media is just the nice stuff. The painting I sold, the mural I completed, the workshop I conducted. The smile on my face. But I like being honest, and that is not even half of the story. The truth is I have dozens of rejection letters for every project I did get, and poured blood, sweat, and tears into every painting I made-not all of them sell. As an introvert, I have had to battle with myself to overcome my dread of talking to people even if I know them, I never know what to say, I never quite fit it. I’m blunt and don’t have the tact of a politician, so I will say something that maybe I shouldn’t have-and often do.  Don’t even get me started on how hard it is to introduce myself to new people. But I do all this and eventually, over time, it pays off. But it doesn’t happen overnight, no one hands it to you on a silver platter. You have to put it in the time, effort, have thick skin, fall, get up and dust yourself off, wipe your tears, suppress your ego, your anger, your frustration. You have to suck it up.

I felt the need to say all this because I have been getting questions from many artists just starting out. The answer to many of your questions is above. There is no overnight magic. The tip of the iceberg is what you see on social media, the truth is there are tonnes of ice below the surface that I built up over the past years to get that little bit above the water. I have practiced, I have pursued learning, I have done endless amounts of research and reading. I have put in ridiculous amounts of time looking for opportunities and spent equal amounts of time writing up proposals, artist statements, artist bios, and taking and editing pictures of my work. I have saved up to invest money towards art supplies,  entering exhibitions and applying for memberships. Half of which replied with polite but ice-cold “no thank yous”.

If I stop and the ice below melts away eventually the tip of the iceberg will disappear as well. You don’t really stop, you have to keep working at it. So if this is your passion be prepared for hard work and failure (or as I like to think of it “lessons on what not to do next time”) for as long as you want to continue on this journey. It is a long ride, but I don’t plan to get off this train. I’m having too much fun.

Street Art Mississauga

This summer was super busy but no complaints! A busy artist is an extremely happy artist. If you are driving around Mississauga then be sure to watch out for our growing number of public murals!

In May I completed two Bell Boxes for the Mississauga Arts Council’s Banners and Boxes Project, integrating heritage buildings along with some fun stuff. Who doesn’t love sheep and foxes? The Culture Department had arranged for nine artists, including myself, to repaint the Sculpture Court and Skate park murals.

If you pass by them take a selfie and tag me! Another big mural is coming up soon, if you see me painting a wall in a park then come say hi. Also please bring coffee and a bagel for me!

Spring Exhibitions Opening Reception at the Art Gallery of Mississauga

Haven’t been to an exhibition in quite some time, so I was more than happy to go to the opening of the Spring Exhibitions at the AGM (no not Annual General Meeting- the Art Gallery of Mississauga, we all get that in our heads too!). There are two exhibitions up for the Spring, ” niigaanikwewag” which means “leader women” or “they who lead ahead/ in the future” in Anishinaabemowin. It refers to the female artists as leaders in Indigenous Arts. The theme embodies the fact that  Indigenous women have always been present, nurturing art, culture, family, and community and that they are tied to one another and the earth.  There is beautiful (and haunting) work by Joi T. Arcand, Shuvinai Ashoona, Catherine Blackburn, Aylan Couchie, Ruth Cuthand, Thirza Cuthand, Dayna Danger, Raven Davis, Bonnie Devine, Maria Hupfield, Nadya Kwandibens, Amy Malbeuf, Jane Ash Poitras, Ningiukulu Teevee, and Arielle Twist. We were lucky to attend the Opening and witness a powerful and heart-wrenching performance by Raven Davis. It was a much-needed reminder of the past cruelties endured and more sadly the fact that even today countless Indigenous Sisters are missing and still being abused. I can’t put into words what a tragedy this is or how beautifully this artist portrayed that tragedy. You just had to be there. I will post about the second exhibition in another post as niigaanikwewag needs its own special place. It is a must-see exhibition,  and you can still catch the Curator’s Tour on Saturday, April 6 at 1 PM. Don’t miss it, the exhibition is up till June 16, 2019.

For more information: Facebook Event Page

 

Exhibiting at Queen’s Park Legislative Building

 

October is Islamic Heritage month and I was really honored (and just a bit over the moon!) when I got a call from Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath’s office to exhibit my work at a reception they were hosting at the Legislative Building. Would I like to share my art at the Reception? Um…yeah!! My Rumi inspired pieces were the perfect fit and they were all ready to go. I am also happy to say that they have since been sold and have a loving new home.

The evening was great, the reception was well organized, met plenty of old friends, made some new ones and got to chat with Ms. Horwath (bonus!), she also gave an inspiring little speech.  There was also a delicious dinner (what can be better than good food?!) An evening of art, friends, good food and meaningful conversations, yes it was a perfect night!

 

 

Art Battle

Just participated in my fourth Art Battle, this time in Toronto at the Great Hall. It is 100% pure excitement just to watch and even more so to participate. I have been lucky so far to always reach the final round, keep your fingers crossed that I win it sometime soon!

Have to thank the Art Battle team (and founders) for providing artists with such a great opportunity to push ourselves to higher levels, share our work (and yes even sell!!) as well as get some great exposure. If you haven’t attended a battle yet check out their Facebook page or Website to find an event near you, you will not regret it!