Happy Feature Friday!
We’re heading to the world of fine art for this one! We are so excited to share Artwork by Sahar’s story and give you all a look at some of the incredible pieces Sahar creates. We love how she’s always pursued art in her life and has constantly found an outlet for her creativity. Her outlook on her own work is amazing as well, and she truly wants the viewer to see her pieces in their own way and create a personal connection with it. We are always huge fans of artwork that can be interpreted however the viewer sees it! Sahar has a lot to share about her personal creative journey as well as her process for crafting her original artwork. Keep reading to learn more about Artwork by Sahar and see some of her pieces!
: Tell us a little about yourself.
: Hi! My name is Sahar. I work full-time at an advertising & marketing agency based in the Washington, DC area, but I’ve been an artist my entire life. I started taking art classes at the age of 6, and studied Studio Art (with Painting & Photography concentrations) at the University of Maryland, College Park. #GoTerps!
I am huge, huge Terps basketball fan and Washington Capitals fan – I love repping where I’m from! I live with my fiance – our wedding is this fall! – and our blue heeler mix, George Costanza. We love to spend time outdoors and veg out with Netflix marathons.
Between my full-time job, planning a wedding, and well – life in general – launching a business has been quite the endeavor.
: Since you were a child you’ve taken art classes. What about art made you stick with it into your adulthood?
: My parents put me in every kind of class you can think of – piano, tennis, swimming, tap – but nothing every really felt right. I wasn’t passionate about those other hobbies, and to be completely honest, I kind of sucked at them. Drawing, painting, creating in general – it made me happy. Everything made sense in my head.
Fast-forward to today, and it is truly my version of meditation. I am so grateful for painting in my life.
: You currently work in marketing! What are some aspects of your marketing work that influenced you as an artist or visa versa?
: It’s interesting, as I’ve grown at my company, I always point back to the fact that working in a creative atmosphere keeps me going. Even though I am not a designer (seriously, photoshop confounds me) or a creative director, I can still bring a creative eye as we review projects internally.
Additionally, working around so many marketing experts – especially in the digital/social realm – allows me to absorb & learn new techniques, best practices, look at KPIs etc, that I can apply to my business.
: How did your Etsy shop, Artwork by Sahar, get started?
: I had been toying with the idea of starting to sell my work, but starting from scratch on an ecommerce site was too daunting. So, I decided to try out Etsy. I’ve started with prints of larger pieces, and smaller originals – for easy shipping – on that platform.
: Some of your work is abstract. Are there any emotions or ideas you aim to convey in these pieces?
: In all of my pieces, I want each person to connect with it in their own way. I’ve painted pieces where I had one “idea” in mind, but then the viewer sees something different – I love that. I think that’s the best thing about art – that a person can connect or see whatever stands out to them. It’s not my place as an artist to tell you what to see or feel – it’s my job to make you connect to the piece in any way.
^ This piece is unique in that I painted it for myself and my fiance. We needed a piece in our living room above our couch – I didn’t have anything in the right size & colors to go along with our furniture. This piece is totally me – heavy texture, graphic with bursts of color, and keeps your eye moving. Knowing it was a piece that was truly mine and for my fiance made it all the more special.
: Describe your typical creative process from idea to completion? Is there any part of your process that is essential or unique to get you inspired to create?
: It’s hard to say there’s one exact process – it seems every piece starts differently. But, there’s a variety of aspects or routes that spark that creativity. Sometimes I just have a color palette in mind. Sometimes I just have a composition in mind. I do like to look at photos of beautiful landscapes/views and photos of nature or flowers to inspire me to get me started.
Honestly, sometimes you just have to take the paintbrush (or in my case, palette knife) to the canvas and see what happens. If I don’t feel ready for a canvas, I will play around with watercolors on a smaller format to test ideas.
In terms of essential things to create… This is the weirdest thing, but I definitely get “in the zone” much more when I listen to EDM or Dubstep. I’ve never been able to figure out why, but I work so much better with that music!
: It’s hard to run a business and put your artwork out there for the world to see! What impact does a purchase from your shop have on your life?
: It’s such a rush! Launching my business has also prompted a few purchases of larger pieces or commissions, and that is just so meaningful to me. I want to bring unique, affordable work to everyone, and every purchase validates my dream to do so.
: What are some of your favorite mediums and tools you use to create your pieces?
: I paint exclusively with acrylic paints, with a preference to Liquitex because I love their Heavy Body line. Oil paint takes too long to dry for me, I like to paint fast and in the moment.
To get the increased texture, I use a heavy gel medium – it just adds another dimension (literally) to the paintings. I mentioned earlier my use of palette knifes, again, they really add that interesting texture and mix paints on canvas in a fresh way.
: What are some people, places and things that inspire you?
: Interesting or expansive landscape views. Flowers. Rainy days. A great book. All the incredible artists I follow on IG.
: Any advice for other artists looking to start selling their work?
: Believe in your work and stick to your guns. Invest in marketing dollars wherever possible. Rely on your network and ask them to share as much as possible, even if they don’t buy. Appreciate of every little win, and stay focused on your goals & dreams.