Happy Feature Friday!
This week we are featuring pen artist Tariq Itani. We can’t believe that some his pieces were done entirely in pen! The first thing that comes to mind when using pens in art are their permanence and ability to make sharp outlines. However, Tariq is able to use pens to reflect many different textures, which make his pieces very realistic. He also isn’t afraid of not having an eraser and sees it as a welcome challenge. Read on to see what Tariq is working on now and how he is pushing his art even further.
: Tell us about yourself.
: Hello, my name is Tariq Itani. I am a photorealistic pen artist. I was born in UAE, Dubai, and I lived there for 5 years before my family decided to move to Texas to open up several businesses. By the time high school hit my parents moved back to Dubai to open up more businesses and I was left alone in the states to study. School became too easy, and I was left to find another hobby to fuel my active brain. I decided to take up art, and from then on, I have been drawing 4-20 hours a day (yes, countless times I have drawn up to 20 hours a day.)
: You make your pieces using only pen. What made you decide to solely use this media?
: It is the only type of media for me currently that challenges my brain. The fact that I can “paint” over my mistakes or “erase” my mistakes seemed pathetic and weak.
: You can’t erase with pens! How do you deal with mistakes?
: I don’t make mistakes. (Okay that’s a total lie) there is a mistake in every piece but I find a way around it, wether it’s drawing over it or making the mistake apart of the piece.
: You also run the Art_Spotlight Instagram. Why did you start that outlet and how do you choose artists to feature?
: Art_Spotlight has been my greatest success in art so far. I started out with a personal gallery of artworks just for me and somehow, everyone started following. I got shoutouts from celebrities and famous artists and it continued to grow further.
: You draw a lot of portraits and animals. What about these subjects inspire you?
: The eyes. Simply put.
: What are your favorite pens to use for your drawings?
: All pens. I used to only like BIC pens until I found out all pens are all unique in their own way. Bic is smooth and durable, Pentel tends to blot out more and is also very thin, Staedtler inks tend to be brighter, Japanese pens tend to be more dull, Korean pens are almost glowing, etc.
: Tell us a little about the pen collaborations you do with other artists.
: I find it relaxing to work with other artists and in a way see how they work and what they do.
: What are you working on now?
: I am working on drawing with different materials. The material I have in front of me is a white wood in a way. I can literally scratch away at the wood for highlights, however, I only get one try before the “white” turns black.
: Do you sell you work or plan to in the future?
: I do not sell my work yet, but I will in the future.
: Any advice?
: Always stay active. Every day counts.
The average person spends over 1000 – 3000 hours a year on just TV or games. And some over 5,000 hours!
Imagine using that time for anything productive.