With a blurred vision in her mind and a palette of watercolours between her fingers, Mahinaz Soliman uses art as a method for reflecting her own interpretations about the world around her. In her paintings, she presents reality under a surreal cover that gives the people, places, landscapes, nature, and even animals she portrays a different perspective.
Born in Ismailia, Soliman studied commerce and fashion design, however, she never gave up on her dream to become a successful artist. On her official Facebook page, the 25-year-old artist defines herself as a self-taught artist who is striving to be good at it. Her goal is to prove herself as a creative artist and inspire others.
“I have been in love with colours and brushes since I was a kid,” Soliman said. “For me, art resembles a reflection of my inner soul and deep thoughts. Drawing makes me feel complete and puts me in touch with my feelings and sub-consciousness.”
In her paintings, she never intends to convey any particular message. She gives her hands the freedom to choose the shapes and colours that suit the soul of the person or the environment of the place portrayed. She prefers to let the viewer make their own judgment about the painting and understand it the way they want.
“Most of my artistic works belong to the psychedelic art genre as I love drawing surreal portraits and landscapes that may take the viewer into a journey inside their mind and soul,” she added.
She prefers to use simple materials to come up with simple portraits that appeal to the public. “I usually use pencils for the initial sketch, ink, and water or aquarelle colours.
She believes that art can be considered as a therapy. “You can draw when you’re sad, happy, frustrated, or even angry,” Soliman said. “This can help you release negative energy because the idea of creation itself helps people control their emotions and connect with the materials surrounding them.”
In her opinion, it is easy for a talented artist to get inspiration from everything around them as the world is full of colours, patterns, and people from whom painters can get creative ideas to portray. “I always believe that inspiration calls the artist, attracts their eyes, and captures their heart. However, artists have to observe details really well to see what normal people cannot notice,” she added.
Although Soliman joined many group exhibitions before, she dreams of the day when she will be able to have a private exhibition that carries her name. “In addition to exhibitions, I am always concerned with organising some drawing workshops to teach people how to enjoy drawing even if they do not have the natural talent. It was an academic thing, however, we had so much fun,” she noted.
In her opinion, people must change the mainstream notion that people need to go to specialised art schools to improve their talents. “It is all about practice. The more you practice, the more you get better. Sketching everyday upgrades your observational skills and makes you see everything from a new perspective. This will eventually help you see colours, lines, patterns, and shapes around you more closely which will develop your drawing talent,” she explained.
In addition, she believes that joining online art communities is another important factor as it allows amateur artists to see different styles and helps them find inspiration.
“Using new mediums makes your skills grow, learning new techniques, and knowing that every medium in art needs certain training is also an added value,” she said. “Novice artists must try all mediums to find out what they love the most. I tried pencils, ink, pastels, watercolour, and charcoal. I chose ink and watercolours because they are more convenient for me,” she added.
However, she doesn’t advise new artists to watch art tutorials on the internet. “I don’t like watching art tutorials because they give certain rules for drawing each line which root the idea of true and false in the mind of the artist. Fear of mistakes always kills creativity,” she added.
Because of the rising prices of art works, it has become very difficult for many artists to market their paintings. Thus, she proposes a new way for marketing their artistic products. “Artists around the globe turn their original work into cloth and canvas prints, which you can easily sell in reasonable prices that are affordable to anyone,” she concluded.
Photos Handout to DNE