Art: Haseebah Ali
I’ve always enjoyed creating art but the turning point to change it from a hobby to a career happened during A-Level Art where I really honed my passion to create. I felt very nervous taking the plunge to pursue it and I did find myself often comparing myself to others. However, my confidence set in when I realised that the main focal point of my art was to create a story. From having a background in illustration, narrative became just as important to me. I always want to make sure my work is genuine and a true reflection of what I believe in.
Being part of a movement where Muslim women are taking their rightful places and expressing important stories, stories that tell of culture, femininity, religion and so much more, inspires me daily. My project on The Syrian Refugee crisis was a pivotal point in my career where I really felt like I was able to get all the thoughts flying about in my mind about this horrific event down on paper.
I find that my work is part of a generation of fellow POC/Muslim creatives who are finally able to express themselves without the damaging weight of traditional job choices. There are of course difficulties, one such as being the first to pursue art in the family, but it’s exciting and I enjoy showing hints of that in my work.
One of my projects centred around Islamic geometric prints. Researching into Islamic art, as you can imagine, was really quite interesting and left me in awe. Learning how to print and layer these patterns took some perseverance, but I got there in the end! From incorporating fragile interlacing to perfecting my carving skills, this project allowed me to refine a lot of my skills. One of my favourite things to come out of it had to be the GAP workshops that followed where I was able to teach young people this unique style of art.
My journey to getting my work recognised has been long. I remember in the beginning trying so hard and feeling like no one is seeing it, appreciating it. The key is persistence and playing the waiting game. I don’t feel like I’m satisfied with where I’m at right now -- I don't think I'll ever get to a stage where I am satisfied -- but I’m enjoying the journey. It was initially a big move, but stability takes time, like with anything. I might be a small drop in the water but I like to think I enjoy being a part of the Asian Muslim creative community.
By Haseebah Ali
You can support and purchase Haseebah's art here: https://www.haseebahprints.com/shop