ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: FARAH SHAH
I am thrilled to welcome to my Artist Spotlight the wonderfully talented Farah Shah!
Just one look at Farah’s beautiful illustrations will delight you with her delicate, charming, and magical storybook style. Farah’s artistry as a freelance illustrator features whimsical woodland animals and birds, gorgeous colors, eye catching mixed media and oh-so-lovely collage.
Hello Farah, Thank you so much for taking time in your busy schedule for this interview. I can’t wait for your fans to get to know you a little better! Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Farah Shah, but you can call me by my illustrator name Fawa. I run an online shop on Etsy from Bradford, West Yorkshire. I specialize in creating unique illustrations to original work and even jewellery. I must admit I use a wide range of media or the best approach, whatever I can get my hands on. I love creating a piece of art that has a combination of different media. I use mediums such as acrylic, gouache, watercolour paint through to newspaper, odd paper and pens and pencils.
Tell us how you have developed your style and where you hope to see this style evolve as you continue to work and grow as an artist.
I developed most of my style through my illustration degree which I completed in 2012. Throughout my degree I got more into creating images for children, and since then I have continued this scheme of work.
Another turning point in my life is when I moved houses, and moved into an old farm house. Having the nature around me surely keeps my creative juices flowing.
What would your ideal studio look like?
How do you divide your time between your creative art and social media for marketing and PR / or what lessons have you learned to make this process make sense and run day to day more smoothly?
I try to have a balance of both creating art and marketing my work on social media. It depends on what mood I am, but more of less I try to get my work on social media as soon as possible. Once that is done, I can then focus on being creative for the rest of the day and possibly night.
Do you like to stay fairly true to an initial idea / sketch / art vision ? Or do you like for your art to change as you go along the process, sometimes resulting in a finished piece that is dramatically different from what you first envisioned ?
When I have an idea, I get it down on paper. I come up with a few different outcomes and then I select the best design to work on. More or less I do stick to the design I have chosen. If i feel that the image is not working well, then I will change it.
For something to draw me in, it has to be an original style of work. And I must admit using twitter and Etsy you see alot of different and inspiring pieces of art.
Tell us about your ETSY store!
I opened my Etsy store at the end of 2012, and initially it was to sell digital illustration prints. However as time has gone on, I dabbled in creating jewellery such as brooches and earrings. And furthermore, I have even gone back into creating original pieces of art either done with linoprint or on canvas.
When have you been the most satisfied with your work and what bird (s) created illustration or art piece in your gallery feels connected the most to “you”
I am always satisfied with any pieces of work I have done, because I always have given my 100 percent. However I always like to know what the audience think of the pieces of art I have created.
The bird I use to represent me is the “Magpie”. I just resemble the magpie as I am very cheeky and I love anything that shines especially silver jewellery. The magpie also represents my favourite three colours – Black, White and Blue.
Do you think working as an photography and artist is a natural born “gift” vs artistry skills learned through desire, education and simply putting in the work?
This is a very hard question to answer, but it can be both answers. I see myself as I am born with this gift and its my duty to create art to make audience happy. But on the other hand if you are interested in the art’s field then with the help of education and tutorials you can become better over time. It is the matter of if you are willing to put the effort and time in.
Do you ever find yourself going back to older art pieces and reworking them either in a different direction and / or with new skills you have developed since you first finished the piece?
It is very rare I will go back to an old art piece and rework it to make it better. Once a piece is finished, I am quite happy with it. If I learn any new skills then I apply this to new pieces of artwork and see what happens at the outcome.
What is “success” to you? Has this evolved and been redefined to you over the course of your art career?
Success means to me that you are confident enough to show your work and being able to accept any feedback you get from the audience. And of course selling your artwork is also a bonus. 🙂 A win win situation.
What kind of encouragement or jump start ideas do you give to someone who has been developing their artistry and style but hits a wall / slump?
If one of my followers on Twitter lose inspiration, I suggest many ideas to try to get their motivation back. A lot of the time just suggesting a walk will help clear that bogged down mind and kick start the ideas again. Another idea I like to suggest is to play with a different medium and doodle away. This always works.
Where do you show your work and where can fans view your portfolio?
http://www.fawashah.com (under construction at time of this post)