We spoke with Pakistan’s rising visual artist, Maryam Arslan, as a part of our Thinking Big interview series! Maryam specializes in creating bright and bold contemporary paintings. Her energetic, loose style gives her work a striking effect. If you head over to Maryam’s Instagram page, you’ll see that her paintings are literally popping out of the canvas! Even though she is based in Karachi, she has displayed her art in both local and international exhibitions. You should definitely check out her eye-catching work!
1) How did you start making art?
The day I realized painting is a medium that helps me produce my ideas eloquently. I was a shy girl until I had a brush in my hand. A brush gave me power to express myself, be courageous, and pour my heart out.
2) What themes do you mostly work with?
As it is classically the ‘fate’ of an artist to work alone, I use the most readily available subject to produce paintings that represent me/myself. I make semi-autobiographical works that encompass my observations, explorations, and speculations.
3) Which artists have influenced you and your technique the most?
I am infinitely influenced by my colleagues and mentors, as well as other leading artists who create art I find challenging.
4) How did you turn your art into a business?
Visibility is the key to run any business. Thanks to social media, I did not have to completely rely on others to promote me. I attend art exhibitions, upload images of my work on social media platforms (e.g. Instagram), and refuse to shy away from daunting opportunities.
5) What advice do you have for artists who want to turn their passion into a business?
Read! Read the news, do anything that could enhance your art. Read to feed your research, read to stay in the loop about the art market. Investment in reading has been, and always will be, the prime way to run and grow any business.
6) Life motto?
I want to inspire others to paint.