Interview – Tania Qurashi


Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an emerging artist from the suburbs of New Jersey.

When you create, what inspires you?
Many things inspire me when I create including music, movies and coming of age stories. I’m interested in exploring a quietness and softness that is not so commonly expressed.

Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.
Love Bugg and Loveseat were both inspired by idealism and celebrity. The intention behind the pieces is to encourage self-reflection as a way of seeing musicians as an extension of our inhibited selves. These young musicians have the ability to be vulnerable and soft through their music and we celebrate that tenderness. The inspiration behind Me and You is to communicate a sense of longing. Although the painting does not include a portrait, the two carnations act as people who are struggling to touch and understand the person of our desire and admiration.

What is your medium of choice? Why?
My medium of choice is graphite because I believe drawing is offers a sense of urgency. Drawing is immediate and natural. Since childhood, many of us are accustomed to picking up pencils and moving it across a paper until it becomes a drawing. Drawing allows an artist to search, erase and express feeling.

How did you first discover your love for creating?
I first discovered a love for creating art when I was a child. Like others before me, it quickly became my identity to be the creative and artistic student in class. When I began my studies at the University of the Arts, I had a critique by a colleague who observed that my paintings were painted in a way that were unfamiliar to her. She mentioned that portraits of boys and young men were not common subject matter and she enjoyed seeing them painted with such affection. I responded to that critique because I learned that I had something to say. As a young woman, musicians and boy bands are the objects of my admiration because they introduce idealism to us. Along with feelings of infatuation and desire, there lies something deeper. Sometimes we want to become like them. We want to be accepted and celebrated for constructing and revealing our thoughts and feelings without ridicule. I discovered my love for creating at that moment because my work had the ability to reach at least one person.

fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel amusement?
The feeling of amusement is present in my life and work. I have been so privileged to pursue my passions. My family is the source of my amusement because they have taught me to dream. As immigrants from Guatemala and Pakistan, my parents face the impending threat of being who they are in this country. Concealed behind the amusement and lightheartedness, the opportunity to practice art is a challenge to oppressors of dreamers.

Please feel free to add anything else you think is relevant.
I am grateful to be included into Issue 9: Amusement by fēlan because the topic allowed me to explore the source of my dreams and inspirations.

Check back January 20 to get your copy of issue 9!

Submit your work to issue 10.

2 thoughts on “Interview – Tania Qurashi

  1. Pingback: issue 9 artists | fēlan

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