Artist of Deedban
My name is Shaista Momin. I was born in the house of the famous urdu poet Anwer Shaoor in 1971 at Karachi. I am the eldest child. I am really close to my father as my mother was always occupied with household chores. My father's personality left a huge impact on me. There were more books in my house than actual furniture. I never had any interest in playing with toys but from a very young age, I used to sit in big bookshelves, reading thick books while trying to draw the pictures from those books. Nobody told me and neither did I decide but from childhood, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Maybe, an artist's first inspiration is beauty. There was nothing to get inspired by in a metropolitan city like Karachi where there are buildings, noise and pollution everywhere. That is why the thing that used to attract my attention were human faces and their expressions. I started my work with making portraits. After finishing school, I thought of continuing my education in art but my parents did not have enough money to send me to a private institution. So that is why I had to seek guidance in painting from my father's friend who was also an artist. At the age of 20, I professionally started doing illustrations for some local magazines. Alongside this, I continued my education in graduate philosophy. In 1993, I got married to Momin Rahim Khan who himself was a well known illustrator.
I made ink and pen sketches for many magazines for many years but my heart was always in painting canvases. In 2008, I left my job as an illustrator and professionally started painting canvases. My biggest inspiration has always been women. A Woman, who dared to disobey God in heaven. A woman, who is made to bear children by nature. A woman, who is better than a man at many things but is still considered inferior than him. I always saw a great strength in women who tolerated the pain while still smiling. In my opinion, A woman is the nature's most beautiful and complete creation. In my paintings, the elements seen with the women are in a way related to or are a symbol of freedom of speech and the desire to be free for example a pigeon or a flute. While the jewelleries are those chains which give a woman the deception of beauty but in reality are restricting them from being free in our society. The women that I draw reflect the pain of slavery that they have been bearing from centuries through their eyes.
My medium is acrylic on canvas and I do it in a reverse process. That is, first I spread the paint and texture and from that I draw a form. It is just like creating a sculpture from stone. I get pleasure of doing work in this style and people like it and now this style has become my identity.
This is just the beginning of my journey in art. My destination is really far. Actually, it is more suitable to say that there is no particular destination for an artist. We just have to continue this journey till our last breath