I worked on arranging my small art studio last month. I love my new painting space that I can’t wait to record myself painting live!
It did make a difference and a positive change to me these days. I never thought that it could boost my energy that much. When I recorded myself in the past and when I actually paint or draw, my art table was full of paints and art tools that I didn’t have much space to paint on. It was such a mess that I couldn’t record myself. But now it’s totally different and I’m loving my new organized space.
I went to IKEA last month and bought many storage boxes. I bought acrylic and paper boxes and luckily they were enough to store my tools and paints. I still need to work more on my room but I’m loving how organized it looks at the moment. As long as I have a good space to record myself with, that’s all that matters.
Even the angles I shoot from are different and I’m loving my new photo-shoot trend. I still think that I need to work on the lightening, though. Yet, the colors still look vibrant and preppy which gives a lovely feeling of an art studio.
For this blog post I’m posting some of my latest photos which you can find in my Instagram: @anwaar.saleh.
For the past few weeks I was busy getting more illustrations done than before. Fortunately I love designing and illustrating so it’s not stressing me at all, however, when life gets in the way that’s something else though.
I still am doing all of my tasks alone, hence work is slow. But I’m getting used to being that busy so I guess with a bit more time I’ll be done with my main projects and tasks. Since I’ve been working on the design part, I’ll make more time for managing my business.
Anyway, on the good part I’m posting my recent illustrations. I’m really happy with my current abilities and I’m familiarizing myself with more tools regarding painting my designs. I bought way too many art tools which helped me be more creative.
Aside from fashion illustrations, I illustrated patterns inspired by the Ottoman patterns. To be honest, I’m thinking of giving a workshop on how to draw Ottoman patterns. I enjoy designing Ottoman patterns and when I read more about them I couldn’t help but admire that form of art even more. Also, I’ll join an upcoming Exhibition at the end of this month where I’ll showcase my work. I’m super excited! It’s been a long time since I last participated in an exhibition. Below are some of my recent designs and you can definitely watch me on Snapchat where I post the process or Instagram:
I meant to write this post but I traveled for ten days and got back yesterday. I didn’t have enough time for I had to pack my belongings and at the last minute, I decided to take photos of me in a studio. This was all a day before my departure and luckily my photos were out the same day.
I’m dedicating this post purely about me personally and will talk briefly about my brand. I already posted a blog post earlier in my brand’s blog here: http://a-artista.com/blog/. You can read it and get an insight about ‘Artista’. However, I’ll talk about me being the founder of my own business.
My name is Anwaar Saleh Al-Asousi and I was born and raised in Kuwait. I’ve always been a dreamer and I highly believed that most of my dreams will come true one day. By now I accomplished some of my dreams and I’m waiting to accomplish the rest of them.
Maybe you wonder why I always type in English rather than Arabic. Although my native language is Arabic but since I was a kid I loved English. My readings and most of the TV shows I used to watch were English. The moment I learned how to read, I grabbed English stories and read them. At school, my favorite subject was English and although I wasn’t much of a speaker but I my English vocabulary was excellent for kids my age. I remember that we used to have a morning assembly that gathered all students, teachers, and principles. Whenever the English teachers contributed to the daily assembly program, my teacher always chose me for public speaking in front of the whole school. Although I was shy by nature, but that was one thing I loved to do.
Before that public speaking, my teach used to call me during recess and asked me to copy what she prepared for me to say. From the excitement, I used to memorize the whole thing. There was a time when I forgot my public speaking paper. but since I memorized every text the teacher prepared for me, so I recited the whole thing without holding a paper or a card.
Growing, I studied first at the Kuwait University for 3 years before switching universities. I then got enrolled at the American University of Kuwait. There I got to use my English a lot specially when it came to speaking. Since I’ve been using English even more than ever. Right now, conversations, words and thoughts are English by default. Even the notes I take are all in English. These days I do not speak English that much unless I’m talking to an English speaker but my writings are mostly in English.
Hobbies and Interests
My most favorite hobby is reading. This is the oldest hobby I practiced as a kid until today. Even at days when I get too busy, I try to read an article or a short story as to not abandon this hobby of mine.
There was a time when I was too addicted to reading. I used to finish reading a novel in a week and immediately start with another one. Anywhere I travel I purchase a bunch of novels and fill up my book case with more books. Right now I have tons of to-read books and I don’t have the time to finish reading them these days.
Later I got into crafts and art. Since I loved coloring I used to visit ‘Crayola’s’ website and print out these coloring pages. Back then I wasn’t too good at drawing so I printed premade drawings and colored them. Now, I reached a point where I can draw and post my drawings for others to color. Ironic, isn’t it?
Years later I was introduced to graphic design from a forum called ‘Soompi’. And the last hobby I gained was writing. The funny thing is that I used to hate writing. My least favorite thing to do in the world was writing. I wasn’t good at expressing myself and thoughts which is the main reason behind my hatred. But from writing essays, articles and such I came to love writing. It’s the one thing that helps me express myself better than anything else to the extent that I wrote poems and anthologies.
In 2011 I finished writing a full novel. It’s a fantasy novel that’s filled with action and adventure. I tried publishing it in the past but failed. I contacted several agencies but wasn’t lucky enough. Therefore, I’m waiting until current matters settle before attempting to publish it yet again.
My main interest is learning languages and one of my dreams is to become fluent in several languages.
In 2006 I started learning Japanese alone. My knowledge in Japanese is good but since I don’t practice it with anyone I started to forget the basic conversation. It’s such a loss but I’m thinking of joining a Japanese course/club and have people to converse with.
Aside from that, I watch Korean dramas a lot which helped me understand the language. I’m not that good in Korean but I’m working on studying it.
The third language that I’d love to become fluent at is Turkish. Again I watched few dramas and loved the language. I understand a little and hope to be able to learn it in the future.
Aside from languages, I got interested in fashion illustrations lately. You can view them in this blog of mine and instagram.
In February 2012 I was able to establish my own business. It was a daring move for I wasn’t born in a family of entrepreneurs and business owners. So I paved and still am paving my own way. And although I didn’t have the experience to handle a whole business myself I got to learn that as the years passed by. It wasn’t easy but it’s definitely no impossible either. I used to pressure myself a lot to gain customers but these days I’m working at my own pace.
I try to take care of my photograph skills and shoot images with good angle and lightening. I then edit them if needed using Photoshop. But everything in my brand is handled by me personally at the moment including designing too.
These days I’m focusing on creating full patterns and they’ll be posted in my website soon. I’ll also change the look of my website to showcase more work and edit my portfolio section. So there’s a lot of work awaiting me.
You can watch my latest painting process video on Artista’s YouTube channel:
For more information you can watch me on instagram and snapchat and to watch my painting process.
We usually suffer from a change in our sleeping habit because of Ramadan, so most people sleep during the day and wake up late to start celebrating Eid.
Eid runs for three days. During that time, we usually gather, go out, and celebrate the end of Ramadan and the end of fasting. Those three days are like a prize for fasting a whole month :).
Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep at night. The good thing is unlike the past years, I had enough time to prepare before leaving my home. We usually gather at our grandparents’ houses and close relatives.
I left home at around 10 am headed towards my grandparents’ (my father’s) house. Luckily there wasn’t any traffic so my drive was smooth. I didn’t stay there for too long for I had to head for my second grandparents’ house (my mother’s side).
And since I could drink coffee, my sister and I headed to the nearest Starbucks. I had a regular latte. We stayed for a short while before returning home. Then we left again to have lunch in a restaurant called ‘Terrace Grill’. My eldest sister and I shared two dishes. Veal chops and grilled chicken with mac and cheese as a side order. The meal was absolutely delicious. From there I went back to my grandparents’ house and later went home to relax for the rest of the day.
Actually I didn’t relax completely for I still had few things to work on. I wrote a quick to-do list for my snapchat and instagram content. Also, I colored a sketch I finished few days back. I still don’t have confidence in my coloring skills which is why I tend to leave most of my sketches uncolored. This time I illustrated Bella Hadid in her red Versace dress. I did progress a little in coloring the dress but I need to work on the shading and highlights.
I draw daily, which is why I don’t always notice any progress I make.
When I first started fashion illustrating, I was on the verge of giving up. I didn’t have my own style at that time and didn’t know where to begin.
But one day I got the chance to look at some of my old drawings and I was beyond shocked. I never knew that I progressed that much already! That gave me a boost to continue.
I took photos of some illustrations I drew last February:
As you can see, my drawings lack lots of details. That, and the size is much smaller than the ones I draw now! I don’t know why I used to sketch them this small, lol. Perhaps one of the reasons is that the sketchbook I was using is small to begin with.
Gradually, I started progressing. I drew almost every single day just to improve. And instead of the small sketchbook I used, I started purchasing bigger ones to help me draw in a large scale. I mean if I want to sell a print customers wouldn’t want to see a tiny drawn model, lol.
As for the materials, I mainly use copics. I have a set of 72 ciao copics + few sketch + few classic markers. Sadly, I still don’t have all shades but I can certainly work with the current shades I have. As for pencils, I love mechanical pencils. They’re clean and you can refill it easily. Especially when sketching, I love using it because it keeps your sketch clean.
For brushes, I use regular ones from any Stationery or crafts store.
Below is my collection of acrylics and gouache paints.
Before ending this post, do not forget to sign up for my new class on how to draw patterns on fashion illustrations: http://skl.sh/1sM20yL. The free enrollment links will expire on June 30th. So if you want to register for free here is the link: http://skl.sh/28Js5cG.
Remember my online teaching class? I published all videos yesterday!
Now you can access the class and take your time watching the clips and working on your project. As I mentioned in my previous post, I uploaded a 1-minute intro video on YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=J3hplA1YzIg. And I uploaded the same video in my personal and brand instagrams.
If you click on link below, you’ll get 3 months of Skillshare Premium for only $0.99 for unlimited access to this and thousands of online classes: http://skl.sh/1sM20yL.
Again, this is a short course of 16 minutes. And this definitely will not be my last class. You can follow me on twitter, instagram, and snapchat for any updates. And you can also watch my designs and illustrating process in my social accounts too.
Since I didn’t get to draw and paint the sketch I used in the video, I may upload a short clip of the process soon. Also, I’d like to talk more about the materials I use for painting and may as well record another video and upload it on YouTube.
After my one month stay in Japan I returned home last Saturday. As much as I loved being overseas, I missed home a lot. Most of all, I missed my room! It’s the place I get all of my inspiration and crazy ideas at, lol.
Although I bought a bunch of markers and paints from there, I went to a stationery store today and bought even more. The thing is that I don’t focus on purchasing acrylics because I don’t paint on canvases a lot. But yesterday I painted a small pattern design on a regular A4 paper. When I woke up today I was determined to trace that design on a small 20x20cm canvas. Therefore, I bought some really good acrylic paints and went back to my design.
FolkArt acrylics are truly good and they have too many shades of colors that I have hard time choosing what to buy! There are different types like the ones in the above image. There are ‘glow in the dark’ paints, normal acrylics, and metallic paints. I’ll try painting my newest pattern using these and will post the result when I’m done with it.
Today I returned from a short trip to Okinawa! Sadly, I didn’t read about the history of this island but going there taught me a lot. It seems a little different to me compared to the other prefectures in Japan. Every city I went to has a special ambiance to it which is great. I love variation and I hate sticking to one thing or one place the whole time. So I believe this trip was more than a success.
During that time I carried my sketchbook with me and drew when I was in the airport and even when I boarded the plane. I didn’t take my copics with me for I know I’d create a mess. And having to carry all of my markers with me is a whole different story.
So, as I was drawing one of the passing-by flight attendant noticed my drawings and she liked them! I was truly happy that she recognized my work. I hope that the world will recognize my work one day too. And it’s a good feeling to see others liking and giving their feedback on my illustrations. So I’ll continue sketching and sharing my work as I always do.
What did I do in Okinawa?
My family and I reached Okinawa during lunch time. After checking in and dropping our luggage we went around searching for a restaurant. We had a map with restaurants marked on them so we went to a random one and we landed at a steak and burger restaurant. At first, I saw the selections they had on their menu and it was ok. I got worried about my choice of a burger steak, spaghetti with meat sauce, and white rice as a side dish. I wasn’t sure what I was worried about but when trying something new it’s normal to feel that way. However, the burger was absolutely delicious! I truly loved my meal and if I ever went to Okinawa again I’d definitely pay them a visit! The name of the restaurant is Jack’s Steak House and it’s not too far from Naha’s monorail.
The day after, we visited the Shuri Castle and The Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters. Both places were worth visiting. I covered up everything in my snapchat: Artistakw. Unfortunately, all pictures are gone for they passed the 24 hours.
Two weeks ago I arrived in Tokyo and I’ll be staying two more weeks. Two years ago I went to Japan for the first time in my life but my journey was only 3 weeks. This time it’s a whole month. Luckily I brought my macbook with me to be able to share my experience so far with you. And, I brought my sketchbook and markers with me. Whenever I have a free time I spend it by illustrating and practicing. I still do find lots of flaws in my drawings but if I don’t practice I won’t progress. So I’ll just keep going.
At almost every department I store I went to, I had to check the stationery section. I wasn’t too familiar with the Japanese stationery stores but I knew for sure that I’ll definitely find what I’m looking for.
Aside from copic markers I bought other types of markers which are amazing. I’ll write up another blog post about them to explain them thoroughly and show you the result when painting.