International. Contemporary. Art.
Aneela Fazal from Portland, Oregon USA will be exhibiting with Global Art Agency at Barcelona Showcase 2013, at the beautiful Gaudi Casa Batllo. Aneela was selected by GAA Curators because of her abstract expressionism influential painting style that lift spirits. The colourful brush strokes layers each of her paintings with vibrant and dynamic emotions that show the feeling of the expressive motion behind the painting.
This is an interview with Aneela Fazal, modern abstract painter.
Great to have you on board at Barcelona Showcase 2013! Can you please explain our audience who you are, and what you do?
I’m originally from Pakistan, currently settled in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon with my husband and two kids. My art is truly my passion. I have painted my entire life. However I have never had any formal art training. I went to school to study Apparel Design. My very first art exhibition two years ago was a two day event and was sold out the first day. I want people to be drawn to my art. Many of my pieces were sold to people who had amazing stories to share of how they felt connected to my art. Currently I work at Nike doing Apparel development. My art and my family is what completes me.
Could you tell us about some of your work? And how you describe your style?
My style is modern abstracts. All my paintings are layered with textures and bright colors. I love painting pears and always find creative ways to reinvent them. Another favorite subject for me is birds, I love painting hummingbirds. I have had incredible stories associated with my art and how people have related their personal experiences to it. It is the best feeling when your art can reach out to people and tell a story in one way or another.
Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to creating art?
My art is heavily influenced by one of my very dear friends who happened to be a phenomenal artist herself, yet she never considered herself as one. She made spectacular paintings and sculpture pieces, yet never signed any of her work. We lost her to cancer sometime back. I called her my art muse, during her illness, looking at my paintings she would drift away to a peaceful place and feel happy and forget her worries for a little while, she said the colours made her smile. Each and every piece that I create will always have a little bit of her in it.
Share with us something funny that has happened to you recently.
When I was selected for the Barcelona showcase, my family was thrilled to hear the good news. My 11 year old daughter was excited that she gets to attend an art show with mom and maybe go to Paris, since it has been her lifelong dream to study fashion design in Paris. The funniest however was my 15 year old son’s reaction: He says he’s proud of me, yet he would not want to miss school and jeopardize his grades. By the way he is already a straight A student. As we head out to dinner to celebrate the good news my son decides to stay in the car with his laptop working on the essay he says is due next week. Talk about priorities. Different for every one of us I guess.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I work as an Apparel product developer for Nike. I have worked with high profile athletes in my professional career, my favourite is Tennis legend Rafael Nadal, and now I get to take part in an art show in his home town. I have painted my entire life; painting is very therapeutic for me. Many people have an escape, somewhere they go or something they do that takes them away from reality and the chaotic everyday life. For me my escape is Art.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice for me would be to follow your passions and let your dreams take you where you want to go, never give up, learn from your mistakes and keep reinventing and improving yourself and your skills and attributes. If you can dream it, you can do it.
What’s your favorite artwork, and why?
My most favorite piece tells a beautiful story of love, compassion, and endurance. During her illness my friend wanted me to paint a Tree of life, with hummingbirds flying around it, the hummingbirds would signify the friends and family who never gave up hope and helped her through this difficult time. While the tree and its branches would symbolize her husband’s love and devotion for her. Sadly I was not able to make this painting in her lifetime; however I just recently completed this piece and handed it over to my friend’s grieving husband and 4 year old son. To them it’s a treasure they will hold very close to their heart not only for the message it conveys but also that I fulfilled my best friends wish after she was no longer with us.
What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
My most vivid childhood memory was when I was 10 years old, I would collect stones from our garden and paint flowers on them, I would sit in my small room surrounded by my 17 dolls, and paint for hours and hours.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
One day I get a call from this guy, who says he entered the movie theatre restaurant and was drawn towards my art, he especially liked the lady painting. He said it reminded him of his wife who he lost to cancer couple of months ago; he says his wife was glamorous like the lady in the painting. And as he glances down to the name, he is shocked that the painting is called “Soulmate” He says to me this lady is my Soulmate and I have to buy this painting. At this point he does not know why the painting is called Soulmate or what is my inspiration behind this piece. So I start telling him this incredible story. I made this painting during the time my friend was battling with cancer. So much had changed for her; I would tell her I see her as this glamorous beauty, just like old times. So I made a painting with her in mind of a lady, loosely sketched, emphasis was on her sparkle dress and hat and her shoes. She was glamorous, beautiful and for her less was more. I named the painting “Soulmate” Months after, as fate would have it my friend lost her battle to cancer and left this world to be at peace, free from all the pain. The “Soulmate” was hanging at the local movie theatre. My friend was my inspiration for this painting and for someone to connect to it in such a personal way will always be the most special memory to me that would last my lifetime.
What superpower would you have and why?
I feel that God is watching over us and He only knows what lies in our hearts, our wishes, desires and aspirations. Also the people who we deeply care about and those who are no longer with us will always be smiling down on us from the heavens above, they were part of our past and will always be part of our future, as they are part of our heart and soul.
Name three artists that you most admire, and why?
Andy Warhol: I admire is work for its raw expression. He was not afraid to express himself through his art.
Gustav Klimt: I’m inspired by the works of Gustav, especially his beautiful renditions of the Tree of Life. I can relate to it as I myself did a Tree of life in the memory of my friend. It’s a very powerful message that the artist can convey, as trees are the only living source that continues to grow throughout its lifetime yet giving shade and shelter to so many through its life.
Pablo Picasso: I’m a big fan of Picasso’s pieces during the cubism period, my favourite “the guitar” with large, schematic patterning. This inspired me to experiment with mosaic pieces for some of my art resulting in interesting effects with a play of different textures and mediums.
If you would have one wish, what would you wish for?
If I could have one wish, I would wish for good health so I can peruse my passion for art and take it to next level.
What does art mean to you?
My art is my life, it completes me, I cannot live without creating art. I will always paint as long as I am alive an able.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Never lose hope; if you have the talent and the desire to succeed, things will happen for you. Also never forget your humble beginnings and how far you have come, let it be a life lesson for you.
Thank you for your interview, it is lovely to see how passionate you are about the arts and your family. We are looking forward seeing your art on show at Barcelona Showcase 2013, on Saturday 27th April at Gaudi Casa Batllo. And we are confident that you will do very well in your career.
VISIT ANEELA’s WEBSITE
Come and See Aneela’s work in real-life and meet her in person at Barcelona Showcase 2013.www.barcelonashowcase.com