Spotlight Artist – Amira Farooq

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What’s a day in your life like?
A day in my life is never the same. I just live and when inspiration comes I paint.

Your work in five words.
Colorful, blunt, thought provoking, conceptual, unique.

You’ve dabbled in many different things over the years. When did you decide you were going to be a painter and what made you stick to it? 
More than any external deciding factor, let’s just say art is pretty much the only thing that came naturally to me. Once I got to NCA, I discovered that were so much else out there so I took my time ‘dabbling’ as you put it, in TV, modeling and mime. After a year, I realized it wasn’t as satisfying as painting and art in general. That said, I think sticking to one form of creativity is detrimental to aesthetic and conceptual growth. I still love to collaborate with individuals from other creative fields – it can only enhance my perspective.

Your work is very direct. How much of your own processes actually end up on canvas?
I don’t think any artist can say that they get exactly what they visualized onto the canvas; the image or concept always evolves based on the technical processes involved. Some paintings work more than others. If I started feeling too content with my work, I’d probably change careers!

Is there a recurrent theme in your creations?
Spirituality and the quest for emotional truth are usually my most recurrent themes.

Over the years, you’ve ended up seeing both sides to many coins. Do you think it’s important for an artist to walk the tightrope between all opposites for life?
Johnny Cash called it ‘walking the line’, and yes I believe that artists do need to walk the line between darkness and the light to gain a real perspective. That said, I do not believe that artists are above judgment or reproach. I disagree with using artistic licence to justify bad behavior. Every human being is a shade of gray. No one is all black or white. Artists just happen to be more honest about it.

If you could legalize one drug of choice in the country what would it be?
Love. It’s the only ‘drug’ we really need as a nation. We’ve turned into nation of haters and it’s time to medicate.

Which of the currently prevailing social problems in our country do you feel the most strongly about?
I feel that the social problem most ignored (and the most important globally) is that there is absolutely no regard or protection for the soul. As far as I’m concerned, humanity has spent enough time on matter. It’s time to focus on the spirit.

What do you think of the other artists your age out there in the country?
I think my generation of artists is producing some interesting work. Every one of them has something to say and they all deserve to be heard.

If you could exhibit anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
It would probably be the Great Wall of China. A painting or a piece by me after every mile. Imagine that, taking a journey to see all of my work.

Guilty pleasures and pet peeves?
Don’t believe in feeling guilty about pleasures. As far as pet peeves go I can’t stand bad manners and unclean people, places and intentions.

You’re reclusive, why is that?
Being reclusive gives me the opportunity to review my life and experiences, and draw knowledge from them. I need thinking time and being around people doesn’t help the meditative process.

Any advice for young artists just starting out?
You are either born into art or not. Those who havea are born into it my advice would to never sell out. You don’t need to be commercial to succeed. Be yourself because no one else can be you.