As I sit here nervously writing my first (ever!) blog post, I tentatively wonder whether anyone will actually read it. To be honest, I've always struggled with self-esteem, and imposter-syndrome. Being mostly self-taught as an artist, I still find it hard to believe it when you guys show my work so much love!
Alhamdu'lillah for all your support. I truly and honestly value it.
These series of blog posts will aim to give back to you all. I'd love for you to be part of my journey as a self-taught, independant artist.
I initially started my Islamic Art journey as a form of therapy. Being an autism mom sometimes gets exhausting, and for me, having a creative outlet was the one thing thats kept me grounded. I started off just whacking paint on canvas, using any means and tools I could get my hands on. I've use sponges, forks, skewers and even spaghetti to create textures in my paintings!
Lately, my heart has been stolen by Islamic Illumination, and I've been trying to educate myself about the do's, dont's, methods and techniques essential to this form of art. It all started out after a glimpse of the beauty created by an elite group of multi-talented women artists who curated an exhibition at the end of 2018, called "Manifesting the Unseen".
The exhibition took place in London, a mere 2 hour journey for me (from Leicester), yet it seemed almost impossible for me to be able to visit. I have a 10-year old autistic son, and as main carer, I seldom spend time away from him. With my family's support, I gathered courage and stepped out of my house into unknown territory, travelling solo by train, (which by the way shouldn't be a big deal, but for me it was).
Needless to say, the excitement I felt when I reached the venue, witnessing marvellous artworks, and aspiring to be among these artists, was beyond anything I could have imagined. I was lucky enough to be taking a workshop with Esra Alhamal, a London-based Saudi artist, who went on to teach us the basics of Islamic Illumination. Needless to say, when Esra announced the launch of her online course many months later, I jumped at the chance and enrolled immediately.
I can thoroughly recommend Esra's course as a brilliant starting point for anyone wanting to embark upon this journey of learning Islamic Illumination. Esra's work can be found on her website www.islamicillumination.com
This was my first ever encounter and ever since that day, I've been researching, learning, reading and implementing all I possibly can in the few hours a week I get to myself.
This was my introduction to the world of Islamic Illumination. A journey into learning an ancient art, rich with history, heritage and tradition.
Join me on Instagram, where I am charting my journey into the world of gilding. Look out for the next blog post, where I will discuss do's, dont's, materials and methods. Until then,
Much Love and Duas,