Saturday, 9 November 2013

Talking to the lovely artist Saffa over a virtual glass of iced tea

Dear Shakespeare,
So I suppose I could begin this letter by whining about the urghness of school or apologizing for my lengthy letter writing absence (does that even make sense) but I have something so much cooler to talk about... my interview with the fabaroonie artist Saffa Khan. Which is why I included iced tea in the title, because where I live a good discussion is usually marked by some sort of yummy food and drink and even though I can't talk to her over some afternoon tea I can pretend to do so in a virtual sense (am I just rambling?). Anyways I remember first seeing Saffa's illustrations on the The Le Sigh and marveling at their wonderblime-ness, so being able to ask her some questions about her art and stuffz has been really awesome and I'm sure her interesting answers make up for my sadly generic questions (all pictures are her art):

If you could be anyone ever, either fictional or real who would you be? 
1) Hmm, that's a rather hard question, because there are so many different people (real life & fictional) that i admire so much! But, If I could be one person, I would most certainly be Morticia Addams. Unconditional loving husband, mature, but slightly violent children & overall a dysfunctional, but ridiculously loving family, what more could I ask for?
Do you collect things?
2) Oh I'm a hoarder, I collect an awful lot of things, from train tickets, buttons and miniature books, to lost items in playgrounds, photographs and dead insects (mostly butterflies and moths). I also collect records and books.
If you had to eat one food for/listen to one song/watch one film for an entire week what would it be? 
3) I could easily eat just noodles for a long period of time, as sad at as it sounds, noodles make me very happy. That one song would be You by Keaton Henson. Hmm, one film? I like so many films, & I simply cannot pick just one, which is why I'm going to have to cheat (sorry) and pick two: The Secret Garden (1993) & Amélie.
Fast six: summer or winter? Strawberry milk or chocolate milk? Jellies or doc martens? Chocolate or candy? Oil pastel or watercolor? Film photography or digital?
4) Winter, definitely, I'm an Autumn/Winter person. Strawberry milk, always! Hmm, as much as I LOVE my jellies, I'm going to have to go with Doc Martens. Chocolate! I'd have to pick watercolours. I do a lot of film photography & I definitely prefer that to digital

Artsy things
What sort of art mediums do you usually focus on in your works?
1) I am in love with brusho inks, which is what I usually use on my drawings and paintings, with a hint of watercolours & often acrylics. It usually depends on what I am painting, I suppose & when I am feeling quite patient, I dabble with oil paints too, so there isn't really a particular medium that I usually focus on, I like to experiment with different materials and see what I end up with.
What inspires you when you are working artistically? 
2) Everything in one way or another inspires me. I know this a rather vague answer, but honestly, I cannot simply name a few things, as everything I see, touch, hear, smell always influence my art. When I'm having an artist block, I get ridiculously frustrated, so I turn to my old friends; books; the lives of fictional characters, galleries & films. I talk to people I wouldn't normally talk to, I visit places I normally wouldn't be able to & sometimes, I just stand, whether it's in a middle of a crowd, in a shopping center, on someone's doorstep or beneath a tree.
Are there any recurring themes or ideas in your art which you explore?
3) Most of my work has been inspired by my favourite fictional characters and other art has been based on personal experiences, daily life changes & struggles.
Were you always interested in art? 
4) Yes, always. I used to draw & paint on everything when I got my first paint pallet at the age of four, unfortunately, my mother was not impressed with me painting on every wall in the house, as I preferred them to a piece of paper. I loved it, everything about it. I am slightly oblivious with a lot of things when it comes to art & there's a lot that still needs to be learnt. After all these years, I can truly say that art has kept me sane.  
Do you have a piece/series of your art which you are most proud of?
5) Not really, no. As an artist, I want to do as much as I can & regardless of how much I do, it's never good enough, for me anyway & it's not because I like being harsh on myself, it's because it pushes me to do even more & helps me step out of my comfort zone. There are pieces of photography that I have done, which I have liked, but that is all. Perhaps when I create something that I'm truly proud of & 100% happy with, I shall let you know then.

Do you pre-plan your art a lot or is it based mostly on impulses?
6)I don't often plan my work, no. I'm one of those people who like capturing what they see & wishing they had cameras for eyes. I experiment a lot & that is how I like it anyway, there is no fun in planning & preparing a piece, but there is fun in finding something unexpected & extraordinary as you go a long the way of creating something completely out of the blue.
I love this playlist you made HEAPS and the art at the top just made me go woahhh and I was wondering how you made it, I mean materials and techniques wise
7) Aww, I'm really happy that you liked it, it features some of my favourite songs! I did a bit of collaging for its art, where I used a small old map (which almost resembles a brain) so I thought it would hit perfectly well with the theme of utopia & being a part of the perfect imagined world. For the figure, I simply used a felt tip pen & then layered the entire collage onto the photo, which inverted its colours, making it look quite dreamy, but slightly melancholic
 This is the collage I'm talking about
She is the coolest cat and such a lovely and nice and beautiful person and such a talented babe. This is only some of her super wonderblime, fabaroonie, beautiful, amazing, afhbwlfb art and y'all should check out her tumblr and be amazed by her stuff
Truly Mary,
P.s The song for this letter is Beach Rats by the growlers, I got really anxious in an English SAC a few days ago and didn't write anything cos my hands were shaking and I may have failed but afterwards I listened to this song and I just felt so calm and relaxed (sorry if this sounds stupid or something)


  1. Ahh she is so talented! Awesome interview

    1. hello anon, Saffa really is super talented and she's also very kind. Thanks