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Young Creatives: Chatting With Amara Sikander, A Free Thinking Visual Artist

Young Creatives: Chatting With Amara Sikander, A Free Thinking Visual Artist

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Amara Sikander is an established visual artist and graphic designer who also engages in street photography. A multi-talented individual, she has an untamable spirit that shines through her work, which can be found on Instagram.

Image: ProperGaanda. Photographer at COLABS.

Amara is one of many Young Creatives from Pakistan who is empowering people through their art, however her distinctive style and way of thinking is what makes her stand out.

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We sat down with Amara to learn more about the uniqueness of her artwork and the brain behind her it.

How did you first get into digital art? 

“I have liked digital art ever since I can remember. So naturally, I opted for the School of Visual Communication at Punjab University (old grounds). During those four years I learned distinctive drawing techniques, however my major was Graphic Designing and afterward I did an M.Phil in it too.”

What was the first piece you ever created? 

“It’s been so very long that I can’t pinpoint one in particular.”

Your Instagram feed features so many important women and addresses the issues they face in society. How did you decide that this was the course you wanted to take once you started?

I’m discovering motivation all over and always. It’s always a record-breaking adrenaline high. I haven’t ever fallen into a “don’t know what’s next/I’m hungry” situation, but more of a “I don’t want to see anything else because I’m full”. Perhaps on the grounds that I kind of recall all that I see, which is both a gift and curse.”

“While illustrating these women I wasn’t thinking about being the center of something, I draw them because I consider them to be a beautiful creature of GOD, warriors from inside on the grounds that they are battling for different things in life; and I have never drawn a dismal lady who is looking for assistance or anything – my representations are conspicuous enough that they tell everyone that every lady is wonderful, autonomous and amazing.”

If you could use one word to describe the theme of your work, what would it be?

Fearless and powerful!

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How much of your art do you think is influenced by incidents in your life and the people around you?

“I think when I’m drawing I do try to communicate my emotions in that moment. For me, drawing is a way to express myself and let my emotions come out and take life on paper. On personal projects, I prefer to express different ideas, emotions or meanings and let the viewer interpret them freely. I like giving my work a touch of mystery.”

How do you pick who you’re going to feature?

“I don’t really pick people for any specific reason, if I see something beautiful I start making it.”

In your opinion, how relevant is social media to digital artists?

“Social media is in control now, it’s in the reach of a toddler as well and everyone is trying to make their presence known on it, so yeah, it plays a huge role and has a powerful impact but it can also be dangerous for the younger, more vulnerable generation who are exposed early on. So it’s going great yet in both ways positive and negative.”

How do you balance your commercial work with your personal projects?

“I am doing a full time job as Senior Art Director in Ogilvy while handling personal projects as well but it’s fun and I am enjoying it.”

What is your personal favorite piece that you have created?

“Every piece I have made is in a way my favourite”

Is there a Pakistani artist who’s work you love? 

Omar Aqil (without any doubt); he is the father of the modern digital art world in Pakistan.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

“I have a sketchbook in which I draw and write down ideas or words that inspire me. I also spend a lot of time looking at other artists’ work from past and present. They can give you so many ideas! I’m really inspired by nature, science, books, documentaries, music, philosophy, spirituality, sociology, etc”

What is one piece of advice you’d like to give other aspiring young artists?

“My advice for those who can’t decide is: just know what kind of illustration interests you, what you enjoy doing and what you can draw, and focus mainly on that. Your style will come naturally because at the end it’s just your personality: who you are, what you like, what your strengths and weaknesses are, etc.”

“It’s also important to understand what you draw. It can be useful to write about your work, to try and describe it, for example. It helped me understand what I was drawing better.”

What do you think is the future of digital art in Pakistan?

“For starters, galleries need to start acknowledging digital work more; so far, progress is really slow, but let’s see.”

What is going to be your next project?

“That’s a surprise!”

Where will we see you in five years?

On MARS?! Just kidding. I don’t plan things in life, so whatever is coming is coming!