∙ Yaz The Spaz, Art For Soul, Beaudefy
Pursuing a path of modern art, Rabab Al-kishmeri owner and artist of Art For Soul steps aside from traditional Islamic calligraphy, to set out on a venture to add her own touch to contemporary religious art. We sat down with the artist to get her thoughts on her journey thus far.
How did you start making art? Why do you make art?
As a child I always had paints and colouring books around because that something I enjoyed doing from a young age. I loved drawing, sketching, painting and designing all sorts of creative things. Even though I didn’t pursue to get a degree in art, it was always my passion. After having experienced a pregnancy loss a few years ago, I found painting to be the best way to cope with the situation and get my mind out of it. Since then, I starting my Islamic art business “Art for Soul” selling my original work online and other events.
What made you pursue a path of religious art?
The idea came from a family member. And once I looked into it I found most art available for us here in the west are the traditional calligraphy on plain background style. I wanted to step aside from this traditional Islamic calligraphy and try a contemporary approach to it.
Is there a piece of artwork that you are most proud of ? Why?
My artwork that I am most proud of is usually the recent ones. I always like to try new techniques or new tools to get different effects in my work. So with every new painting there is a new learning adventure. And I literally fall in love with that painting till I succeed in painting a new piece with a new technique.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
It all depends on the technique I am using. However, recently my favorite tools that I can’t live without are sponges. I like the texture you achieve using them. I use them to soften brush strokes tracks, blending and many other uses.
Oils or Acrylic?
I like to use several different mediums, however if I have to choose my favorite will be acrylic. The main reason for preferring it would be due to its fast drying properties. My painting technique is based on layering and layering of paint and I don’t have patience to wait for the paint to dry between layers which might take weeks or more with other paints such as oil.
What do you love most about your work?
The truth is that the process of making the artwork is what I love the most about an art piece. Painting gives me joy, pleasure and a sense of accomplishment in creating something beautiful. And if the artwork is appreciated by others that is the most fulfilling feeling that makes me want to keep painting.
Future plans? Endeavors? Collaborations?
I am open to whatever the future holds for me. I really hope to see myself and other Muslim artists having their art displayed in some known galleries for all people to see and learn about the beauty of Arabic calligraphy art.
Have you always been passionate about fashion and style?
Always – since I was a child. I never missed Fashion Television with Jeanne Beker and use to fantasize about being a model. As I grew up, I participated in many high school fashion events and even helped the models with their walk.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
I’ve always loved fashion, shopping and keeping up with the latest trends. Islamic fashion has blown up globally, and our timing seems to have caught that wave. The real interest came when I started wearing the hijab in 2009, at the age of 30.
What do you hope to accomplish with your company?
As a revert, I found it challenging to find modest clothing that suited my personal style. I wanted to continue dressing in western fashion while maintaining modesty according to the teachings of Islam. I was never one to wear traditional/ethnic clothing, and that was part of the battle in becoming a revert. That’s where the idea for Beaudefy was born. I wanted to bring something different to the community as well as to people like myself, reverts! I wanted to show people that one could be beautiful while defying society’s perspective of what beauty should be – hence the name Beaudefy.
Seeing as you sell a variety of products such as hijabs, abayas, tunics and more, what is your favourite product in your company?
I love flowy maxi dresses and skirts. We’ve been able to reconstruct some classy, fashionable pieces by adding length, sleeves and other qualities to ensure they remain modest, but elegant and stylish.
Who is your target audience?
I started the company with new Muslims in mind - those who want to wear western clothing with a modest twist. Of course, everyone is welcome and I’ve had a phenomenal response from Muslim and non Muslim communities alike.
Future plans? Endeavors? Collaborations?
We are growing! We have recently moved to MODAH in Mississauga. That is a project we’ve spearheaded with the grand opening in August 2014. Beaudefy being one of the brands within MODAH, and also home to Eastern Toybox, Blossom & Bean, Be-licious, Victorious Me, Urban Muslimahs, Henna Sook, Kashkha by Hijabistas.net, Reviving Islamic Art and several more. The facility will also house a women’s only Hijab and Hair Styling Salon with renowned makeup artists and a Café. We’re also collaborating with Victorious Me by sponsoring the first ever IMFDF (imfdf.ca) VIP Lounge and After Party on August 23rd and 24th where we’ll host the biggest names in Muslim fashion industry from around the world. In doesn’t stop there, we’ve also teamed up with Urban Muslimahs for the 2nd Annual Muslimah’s United Conference.
Nafiza Feez, proud owner of Beaudefy a modesty wear fashion store shares her success with us here at SHE. Trending while in her toddler years, she shares her love of fashion and exciting expansion of her company. With her raging success story Nafiza tells us what she defines as beauty within for modern stylephiles everywhere.