I guess everyone has their niche in life. Mine is definitely being an artist. I usually work with watercolor, which happens to be quite a rare craft these days. I’ve heard from many people that art is hard to make, and I’ve heard from many artists that watercolor is especially difficult! The reason I use watercolor is because I can apply it in layers just like Photoshop; it allows me to build depth in color and form.
My subjects are usually my inspiration. When I travel, I bring my sketchbook with me to sit and sketch the places I see.
I do the same with people, for which I have a different sketchbook. I like putting my memories on paper; it's like taking pictures but a little more personal. For my larger watercolor paintings, which involve less sketching on the field and more in depth investigation, I usually start with an issue I’d like to address. This could be a middle eastern struggle, a happy moment with friends, or the idea of home. Then I start thinking about how to depict it; this process sometimes involves taking pictures or brainstorming with artist friends. Sometimes the muse for a painting comes from a song, a quote, or an event taking place near me. Finally I just sit down and paint.
As you might guess, the act of painting isn’t always the culmination of effort. The process of thinking and toying with ideas can be the more time consuming and more enjoyable part, even when I do outdoor sketches. I walk around to find the best spot to depict what I see, which is what I do metaphorically in my larger paintings. Yes, when I paint I get to relax and shut everything out, but it is also surprisingly exhausting! I remember dreading the thought of starting a large painting for which I had a great idea for, because I knew how sore my fingers, arms, and brain would be afterwards. So, the process of being inspired to paint is usually more joyous for me than simply the act of painting.
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