Discovering the artist within you

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Cup Of Art co-founder Afrah Faraj believes that rediscovering your passion is just a matter of experimentation and support. The independent artist has found herself in many interesting places as a result of her journey. She joins BTW to talk about finding time to pursue art projects and her inspirations.

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Tell us briefly about yourself

I am Bahraini, I was born in Bahrain. I have a Bachelors of Art from the Nottingham Trent University.

What do you do full time?

I am marketing and communications manager at KPMG Fakhro.

Being in an audit firm how do you get time to pursue your art?

In fact, I believe KPMG had a big role in inspiring me to experiment with art. I started painting around the same time I started working in KPMG Fakhro. The leadership at the firm gives a lot of attention to the workplace and culture. The office is decorated with plenty of nice paintings, which motivated me to pick up painting as a hobby. I joined a painting group, Cup of Art, in January 2016 and I started painting with the group back then on weekends.

Are you doing this as a passion or a profession?

It is a hobby, which I enjoy on evenings and weekends. I am working on polishing my techniques and I open to see where my painting journey/adventure will take me one day.

Were you interested in painting during your childhood?

Yes, I used to like painting landscapes and traditional houses in my childhood.

Who has been your inspiration?

Many things inspire me, especially nature and beautiful landscapes.

Tell us about the significance of art in your life.

It is a great way to express yourself creatively. Through painting, I have met many interesting people and I have been to exciting places which I do not think I would have been to if I was not pursuing a creative journey. An example of this is going to a small village in Sothern France with only 92 people living there for a painting workshop.

What have been the major challenges of your life so far?

The most challenge I am facing is juggling work commitments and time to pursue art projects.

Tell us about your association with Cup of Art? How has it helped you?

I am a founding member. Cup of Art started of as a group of girls, me and the rest getting together and painting, on certain days of the week. The girls’ ongoing support and the fun environment we used to create gave me the motivation to rediscover my passion for painting.

Do you feel that a formal training is essential to pursue arts?

I believe education and training is essential to grow in any given field. However, raw talent is a must after all.

Have you participated/held exhibitions in Bahrain or in any other place? Give us a list of the last few.

I did exhibit my work in Think Pink event in Saar Mall in October 2016

What kind of help and support do you seek to help reach your goal?

Since I still consider myself a beginner, I am looking to polish my techniques and I am always welling to learn from other artists. I enjoy abstract art, and I am looking to create abstract artwork of landscapes and human faces that inspire me.

What is your message to the aspiring artists of Bahrain?

It is never too late to rediscover your passion. Happiness is shared, so join a painting group today; it will make the learning process much more fun.