Banana Fusion Magazine Interview
Tell us a little about you? And where do you call home?
I’m half Syrian, half Polish and currently living in Canada. I was born in Syria, Homs, and grew up there, and went to school there. My family, friends, and childhood are there. Finished English literature, but never felt that I want to have a career around this domain. Came to Montreal and decided to study Interior design, worked in it for a little while and then my life shifted when I started painting and discovered the love of my life.
Tell us about your art! How it all began?
I always loved drawing, since I was a kid, but I stopped when I was around 17-18 years, when I had to chose a career and had to meet the social expectations which is to have a specific career that generates a steady income.It all came back to me 2 years ago, when I decided to copy a painting that my boyfriend liked and I wanted to do it for his birthday, and after I finished the painting, I thought why don’t I paint something I like. And this is how it all started.
We know for a fact you like Mixing different cultures in your art! Care to explain more?
My art so far is women oriented, I like to express myself through the paintings I paint. My paintings sometimes, are influnced by different cultures, sometimes I like to stick in my painting to one idea, and other times I like to mix different ideas in one painting, and that what makes my paintings very different from each other, whether in the use of colors, style or idea.
In this painting, I used the ballerina, which is European, with the damascene background, I also mixed between two very basic essential notions, illusion and reality, black and white with colors.
In this painting, I mixed between modern art and traditional Mexican skull decoration, mixed between life and death, inner and outer, and again reality and illusion and the reality is that we are all the same.
What motivates you?
When I learn a new technique, or when certain colors come to my mind, usually I can’t wait to start a new painting.
Favorite artist and why?
Leonardo Da Vinci and Salvador Dali. I don’t think I need to explain why.
Are you a big music fan? If so, how does music affect your art?
I’m a big music fan, i choose my music according to my mood which is reflected in my paintings, through the strokes, the style or the colors.
What are you working on in your studio right now?
I just finished an exhibition called “SKINNED” we were 9 artists interpreting each one in their own style the idea of skin as being as an envelop. I’m still thinking about the next painting I will start.
Can you describe your working routine?
Usually I paint a big chunk of my paintings on the weekends, when obviously I have more time to give, and sometimes I paint in my evenings during the week. I don’t have any specific routine; I like to paint whenever I feel like it.
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
My little studio is in my apartment, I made a little corner in my living room for my art. I like to be spontaneous and work at any time I feel like working, I don’t like to plan it ahead all the time, that’s why having my little studio at my place is the best for me. I can create whenever I feel inspiration is flowing.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
It’s always different with each painting, but usually i like to plan my painting, and know where am I going with it, and not get lost with too many ideas flowing into my head. I prefer to have a clear path once I start a painting.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
Mostly I paint with acrylic but I like to experiment with different materials, and try new techniques, try to mix different media together, I’m still in the beginning of all that I can say, but it’s one of the things I definitely want to introduce to my art, and give it a new depth and a different view.
What does the future hold for this work?
When I do my work I honestly don’t wait for recognition or applause, of course when I get it, it makes me happy, proud and satisfied, but the goal is to be satisfied with myself even if I don’t get that applause from people, and this is why I don’t stress about the future. I have faith.
Name one thing you can’t live without?
ART.. it’s what makes life beautiful and gives it shape and color.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to tell everyone who feels something is missing in their life, never settle and follow the voice of your heart.
How can people get in touch with you?
People can find my paintings on my website http://www.susietawakul.com/home
Or my Facebook art page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Susie-Tawakul/230738513624413