Originally published on Sky’s Art Bucket.
It takes a lot of courage to be bold.
Growing up, I was anything but. I was always the girl who hid behind my sketchbook or behind whatever I was reading at the time; speeding through the hallways to get to my next class, never really making eye contact with anyone but rather focused on the ground as they walked by. I was never proud of the fact that “this” was how I “was,” although I suppose it had its benefits. My friends were always of the “good crowd,” although I realized as I got older that most kids my age were indeed “good,” just troubled.
My sister has always been the bold type. She generally had an easy go at making friends. In fact, when we were younger, my shy self would ask her to go talk to the other kids at the park so that I could play with them too. She always obliged. It was good to have a sister like her.
It was probably about junior year that I had finally started taking the initiative to talk a bit more. Still quiet in most regards,I tried to make more friends or start more conversations at the very least. I would talk to anyone really. I was tired of being shy; she had too much of a grasp over me, and despite my best efforts, she would brush off my feelings and persist.
It’s a fight to disregard my shyness. Even now, it’s a constant battle.
I took up waitressing for a time; forced myself to attempt conversation with the people I waited on. No matter how I tried, it was typically an exhausting endeavor –probably because of how badly it played on my nerves– Now, I’m a stay-at-home mom wondering when I’ll have the chance to talk face to face with the outside world again and share my art. In the meantime, I share the art of others, conversing digitally with the artists I feature. Speaking of, today’s artist inspired the telling of this anecdote; her art represents everything I wish to become. May I introduce artist Iman Shafi.
When describing an artwork, I usually use the word “bold” to simply describe a small pop of color that adds a slight dynamic to an overall piece. However, I feel this artwork takes that description to a whole new level. When I think bold, I think BOLD with this piece. Blocks of one color, contrasting against one another in a way that resembles a battle of will and power, all competing for a chance in the spotlight but have somehow simultaneously combined to create an entity of one as a result.
From the artist herself, she states,
“I was inspired by 80’s geometric art, which is where the shapes and color scheme came from. I wanted to place the shapes in contrasting color blocks against the background, adding the liquid acrylic as a final layer to tie all of the elements together.”
It sounds so easy when put into steps like that, although surely it was a difficult task. Yet, despite being aware of the fact, it gives me a sense of confidence somehow, almost as though her artwork is telling me, “you can accomplish what you desire too.”
Moreover, I feel the trust in oneself that Shafi must have harbored as she placed the curvaceous lines on the foreground of her collaged canvas –after deciding how best to place each shape to optimize the power they hold to bring the background into the midground– a direct representation of how she feels of herself; it takes an incredible understanding of balance and color theory to pull off what she accomplished and she knows that she is capable. Capable of accomplishing anything, even as she pushes the limits of her creations, “color plays an important role in my artwork. I love using bright hues of pink, blue, yellow, and purple in my work; saturated colors. I am constantly exploring new color palettes and how they work when combined together.”
Thank you, Iman Shafi, for allowing me to share your work on my site.
I hope to one day paint as confidently as you and to one day be as sure of myself as your paintings suggest you are. I am truly inspired to add a little more color in my life and in my works and I feel I speak for all of us shy onlookers when I say that perhaps we’ll try a little harder to make our voice heard.
If you’d like to see more of Shafi’s work, you can follow the link below to her Instagram account. Feel free to comment your thoughts on the artwork or my writing and I ask that you join me Monday for an artist who puts the “cute” in CUTE!
*** a few more of my favorites pictured below: