Afshaar Shariff is a 24 year old industrial designer from Bangalore, Karnataka. Growing up, one of the greatest pleasures she experienced was giving presents with personal artistic touches to all her near and dear ones. Over time she turned into a self taught artist gracing pretty canvases with her artwork to give as gifts.
"When I started learning to paint, web browsing had only just started becoming common. I remember using random images of paintings as reference to practice. Now, I would say, the number of tutorials available because of so many talented artists makes life far easier."
A major part of Afshaar's learning happened through trial and error. There were a lot of things she discovered when trying new techniques and using different tools.
Afshaar believes that art is about breaking boundaries and losing oneself in the process of its creation.
"This in turn would enable you to create something you want to create without paying much heed to what others say. Art doesn't restrict you. There are no rules to abide by. I truly believe art embodies freedom beautifully."
Afshaar claims that the hundreds of creative artists whose work she sees everyday influence her art work in some way or another. She believes that social media has opened a portal and has made great art forms from all around the world so much more accessible. As somebody who has only recently started focusing on art full time, she is still exploring and trying to find her niche. Of late she has started to create work that draws attention to child abuse awareness and hopes to continue working along those lines. Afshaars favourite artworks are by digital artists Ali Miri and Amanda Oleander. She is inspired and fascinated by their work which beautifully portrays scenes from everyday life and captures nostalgia and emotions exceptionally.
Whenever Afshaar encounters an art block she relaxes, grabs a cup of coffee and attempts making something new. She believes that the excitement of making something different and new inspires her to apply this to her upcoming work.
"The excitement of learning something new and wanting to apply it in my upcoming work almost always works in reminding me why I love what I love to do and getting me back on track."
Afshaar believes that one must not fall under the pressure of creating new pieces at a pace where one starts cutting corners. She claims that some of her best works so far have been born out of patience and hard work.
Afshaar Shariff's painting titled 'Prey' was a finalist in the TCC Acrylic Contest held in June 2020. Her painting portrays a tiger appearing to walk out of the canvas frame which was her first attempt at both wildlife portraits and illusion art.
"On a personal level, I wanted to capture the negativity that one is surrounded by on a daily basis. There are always people trying to attack you, and with such admirable dedication, I must say. I think one must always be wary and Prey was a reminder of the same."
With a contrasting perspective , the tiger also represents the animal instinct with which one must always fight back and stay strong and that is exactly what Afshaar has done throughout her art career.
Afshaar shares her advice to the community, "As a growing artist myself, my advice would be to take the leap and trust the process." She believes that hard work always pays off. Afshaar adds, "Paint for yourself, not to impress! Those who like your work, will always come to you."
Well said Afshaar! We wish Afshaar Shariff luck in all her future endeavours.
To see the paintings of all the finalists of the TCC Acrylic Contest June 2020 visit www.thecrimsoncanvas.com/exhibition
To participate in future contests, click here.