BY JADE TAMPEPE
Car sun shades usually come in very bland colours. As protective shields to keep the sun out and keep car interiors relatively at a lower temperature, only banks or big companies usually dare to use it as a marketing tool making it giveaways for their clients and guests with their logos printed on it.
Omani artist Maysam bint Saleh al Ismaili found these materials an amazing alternative to her canvas. Currently, in the last semester of her Environmental Science course at the Higher College of Technology, she found a gap in the market which allows her to combine several of her passions — from creating vibrant and beautiful nature art and also earning at the same time by customising car sun shades thereby helping create awareness about the environment.
“So far, I already customised 50 sun shades. I only accept them based on my ability as a student. Those 50 custom designs were all sold out’’, Maysam shared.
“The time it takes to finish a piece depends on the painting itself. There are numerous factors to consider from the size of the piece, the amount of detail that goes into the work and sometimes, the time frame that the customer will give’’, she said.
“As an artist, I’m really attached to these pieces. Artist loves their artworks like a mother loves their kids. It’s really hard to have a favourite piece but there was a landscape painting which I hope I didn’t have to sell. By the time I finished the detail of the artwork, it came out so beautifully that I wished I owned it. I still get to see it every now and then’’, she shared.
Maysam’s car sun shade art usually combines text with nature as a backdrop. The landscape also changes depending on her mood. It can be the beautiful glowing light of the afternoon sun hitting the beach, the vibrant ebb and flow of the blue water in a paradise island or a close up of some plants.
“I am very passionate about my speciality although I care a lot about the environment. I started my journey as an artist from a very young age where I was bullied a lot and gratefully art was my escape from life and still is’’, she shared.
“I prefer working in a peaceful environment while watching a movie at the same time or listening to a podcast. However, I managed to find a way to work while I’m surrounded by people. Also, I mostly get inspired by the environment, nature photography and other peoples artworks and then come up with my own idea’’, she added.
For her art, Maysam usually uses acrylic feeling a deep connection with her brushes as she plays with the colours.
“What I usually want people to see through my artworks is the real beauty of art and how it can bring colours to life. How art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable’’, she said.
She added, “Why I chose nature and environment is because of the love and the passion that I have towards it. It’s really amazing how I turned that love into art and made people see that beauty not only that but also the importance of protecting nature plus creating a suitable environment. I believe in the power of art to inspire people to do good not just for themselves but for the environment.”
In the Sultanate of Oman, Maysam shared that she hopes there will be a societal change about the role of women.
“I honestly think that the biggest misconception about Omani artists is that many people believe that a woman’s place is at home and shouldn’t be participating in exhibitions due to cultures and traditions. I always feel blessed for having a supporting family. I also believe that society can help women by providing them with private places where they can participate in art comfortably. When it comes to talents and supporting people men and women should be equal’’, she said.
Her advice to other artists is to continue doing it as it is one of the best journeys in life.
“Your life and your story don’t have to be like everyone else. It is within your hands how you make your story unforgettable and above all, be the hero of your own story’’, she advocated.
To see more of her work and get the latest news about future exhibitions, you can follow her on Instagram: @maysam_alismaili