Spotlight Artist – Emaan Mahmud

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Have you always known you wanted to be a visual artist?

Not really. Uptil O Levels I wanted to get into finance and then when I noticed my brain shutting down while studying accounting I thought maybe a career in Finance may not be the best option for me. When the time came to decide the major for college , Visual arts was the only area I could see myself studying.  The opportunities I got after graduating were as such that I just fell into being a full time visual artist.

Can you recall the first drawing you ever made, what was it?

I can’t actually. I’ve always been drawing, I do have all these hazy memories drawing and feeling so good about it.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Everything. The city, the female body, fabric, threads. Then there are things that inspire me sub consciously ( like reading up on time travel not being an impossibility and information on pretty much anything and everything )

Are there any artists / writers in particular that you admire?

Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Kiki Smith, Eve Hesse, Edward Said, Mohammad Hanif, Liam Gillick. Bruno Latour. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Milan Kunder, Michio Kaku, Richard Dawkins  and Veena Malik obviously.

Your work screams Karachi, which I take it is also your hometown, how’s that relationship working out for you?

Much healthier than a lot of other relationships I see.

If you could illustrate any already existing body of work, which one would it be?

Probably a poster of some Pashto film.

How much of your own self do you put in to your work?

Quite a bit, actually. Its very obvious if you look at the work.on the other hand, it is my writing that is very strongly influenced by the current socio political landscape 

Would you ever think about doing something else for a living?

Teaching maybe. Or writing.  I could be like Carrie Bradshaw and earn a hefty income through my writing.

What’s a normal day in your life like?

A interesting mix of reading, writing, drawing, painting and socializing ( gossiping and making fun of some poor fellow or another )

How would you collectively describe your work in your own words?

Spontaneous. Emotional. Bold. Layered. Textured.