Makers to Know: Amira Rahim

I've admired Amira's work for a long time because her paintings always evoke such good energy. If you're a fan of bright color and high energy marks, keep reading to learn more about Amira! 

BB: For those of us who are meeting you for the first time, can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you get started?

AR: Well, my name's Amira Rahim! I've been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. Drawing was just something that came second nature to me and I would spend my early years buried in books. I was a huge book worm and not just for the stories. I used to dream of being an illustrator someday. I've been painting professionally now for the past 3 years. The first year was really an uphill battle. I was a new expat in the United Arab Emirates and finally decided that I was going to follow my dream of being a "real" artist. But I didn't have a style yet. So my first year was a lot of failed paintings, lots of tears, but lots of growth too. I'm happy I went through all the miserable paintings because it led me to finding my voice as an artist.

 "Sisterly Love" 

"Sisterly Love" 

BB: Your paintings are bright and full of movement. Where do you draw inspiration from, and how would you describe your artistic perspective?

AR: Much of my work is quite simply about color. Lets just say that living in the Arabian desert will really make you appreciate nature. The lack of color and nature really forced me to look internally for inspiration instead of externally and I'm happy for that. My paintings are energetic by design. I want people to look at my work and feel happy, cheerful, or simply at peace. I love when someone's standing in front of one of my paintings and you can just see them find a piece of themselves in it. I guess you could say my artistic perspective is one of passion, color, and joy.

BB: When you begin a painting, what does your process look like? How long can a painting take to complete, and how do you decide that you're finished?

AR: I like to start with a feeling in mind. Often times I'll approach a blank canvas and thing "I want something feminine," or "I want something crazy and bright". But that's really it. I paint primarily in acrylics these days, and so much of my process lends itself to the materials that I use. I am able to incorporate texture, rich colors, and shapes relatively quickly in my work and that's because of the language I've developed and the relationship I have with all of the paints, inks, and more in my toolbox. I tend to approach a painting like a science experiment. I drop my projections or expectations and just allow it to happen. I'm either going to love it, or I'll set it aside and work on something else. There's very little attachment in the process and that's what allows me to keep painting every day. It's so easy for fear to creep into the creative process but we have so much fear in our daily lives. I don't need fear in my studio.

 "Soft Shock"

"Soft Shock"

BB: What has been a challenge that you’ve faced as you’ve established yourself as an artist, and how have you overcome that? 

AR: Juggling marketing, fulfillment, customer service, photography, all while staying inspired and creative to paint each day. It truly is a balancing act and I think many times people forget it's just you on the other end of the website. That can be hard when you're dealing with different needs and attitudes of people. I try and separate myself from my business these days. In the beginning, I took so much personally and was quite a workaholic because of it. Ok, I'll be honest, I'm still a workaholic, but I give myself permission to detach and take a day off when I need to.



BB: You recently completed 30 paintings in 30 days, which is quite an accomplishment! How was that experience for you? What were some of the challenges you encountered, and what did you get out of this practice?

AR: This year was the 2nd time around for me doing the 30 paintings in 30 days. It is intense, haha. I'll leave it at that. Every year I experience something different. This time, I gave myself permission to do abstracts only and not try and chase some new goal. It went really well. You get a lot out of doing the 30 in 30 challenge. For starters, you get inventory. And if you're struggling to complete work on a regular basis, then doing a challenge like this, even if you only do 15 out of 30 days, that's still 15 more paintings that you wouldn't have made otherwise. It's also a great way to test out new ideas and see how your fan base responds. Sometimes, I'll try out new color schemes or techniques during this time period to test the waters. I'd highly recommend it. Just be prepared not to be good for anything else during the month. No cooking, no housework, just painting. Haha

BB: Lastly, can you name three emerging artists or makers that you would love to see interviewed here? 

AR: A'Driane Nieves, Hafsa Khizer, T. Kimberlyn Art

Find more of Amira's work here: