Have you ever tried to draw your mind?
When I “release emotion” through drawing, I’m actually releasing myself from the hold my thoughts and emotions have over me. The artwork ends up exposing what’s inside; it’s more about how I think than what.
To get an idea of my state of mind: I had been listening to a lot of true crime podcasts, including episodes regarding cults, when I drew this. Listening to the stories made me ask myself big questions about my place in the world, religion, protection, and responsibility.
It may not be visually stunning, but these types of drawings give me a different sort of pleasure and feeling of accomplishment. These “mind maps” remain the best way for me to explain what I am truly thinking.
Many Mauritians practice Indian classical dance (Kathak) forms, although I was never one of them. That wasn’t important in my family. However, you are influenced by it if you are what is known as “Indo-Mauritian” (ethnically from India, ancestors brought over during British colonialism). It’s a part of the larger culture.
While drawing, I considered the way the rhythm, melody, and dancer’s body must become one in any one of the complex dance forms. They’re considered to be very difficult to learn, and there is a constant struggle to make everything look flawless. I’ve heard “dance is worship” in dozens of Bollywood movies – I get it, I really do. Dance requires your absolute devotion and focus.
With such a link to the divine, I thought it fitting to represent the top of the dancer using a light bulb.
I enjoy drawing monsters, indeed, but this drawing is different because it’s specifically an alien! More specifically, I drew its cavern with as much effort. For what is an alien without its intriguing homeworld?
Nature inspires, as usual! This work is obviously inspired by cacti, and also by something whimsical I thought of when I was little: that plants have entire little worlds hidden from us, inside of them.
The carpet bird is a new monster I created after remembering that I loved drawing birds as a child and teenager – even though I didn’t like actual birds very much (things are different now!).
Not being a fan of realism, I decided to decorate my abstract bird monster with a pattern that I remember from an old Persian-style rug we used to have. I can forget lots of things about my childhood, especially visual things, but I’ll remember a carpet we used to have when I was tiny.
I guess what I am trying to say is that this drawing is as much about a carpet as it is about a bird.
It’s been a while since I posted one of my monsters. This one is climbing over my hastily depicted wall, making his way towards whoever is looking at him.
The background is unfinished because what I really wanted to draw was the monster himself. I’m not the happiest with how he turned out; I’m missing movement in the upper body and arms (among a few other things). However, he’s still beloved as a concept and I couldn’t be happier to get him from my mind onto paper. Sometimes, you can’t ask for anything more.
“Khadeja Ali and the goblet of” is a drawing that came out of an interest in lines. Sounds too simple, doesn’t it? But, it’s true. I just wanted to draw lines.