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Using art as a powerful tool to convey a message

As a self-taught artist, Fatima Zuhair Al-Lawati, fell in love with art when she was just a young girl but it wasn't until 2014 that she finally discovered what would become her regular muse and medium.

She shared, "I noticed my classmate holding a white pencil and sketching on black paper. It was fascinating which is why I took the chance to explore it," she shared.

In her early beginnings, she used to draw little bears and flowers and has ventured into anime. When she found her beloved medium, her art became more complex.

She shared, “It was really difficult to find a proper white and coloured pencil on black paper, but it made me challenge myself and tried many art supply companies until I found what I was looking for exactly.”

"Art in black paper" refers to the use of black paper as a surface for creating art. This type of paper provides a dark, rich background that can enhance the colours and contrast of the artwork, making it an ideal choice for many different styles of art, including drawings, collages, mixed media pieces, and calligraphy.

Some artists prefer to work on black paper because it offers a unique challenge, as the colours and tones must be carefully considered to make the art stand out. Whether it's used as the primary surface or as a mat for a finished piece, black paper can add a striking and sophisticated touch to any work of art.

Upon her discovery of black paper as a tool for her art, Fatima searched for other artists who use the same medium and was disappointed that it wasn't a popular art form in Oman.

She decided to continue on the unfamiliar art path despite the difficulties. With a lot of hard work, time, and effort she eventually discovered some techniques that made working with the medium easier.

Al-Lawati aimed to be an expert on black paper and to create something powerful which has a positive meaning with a hidden message. Her art pieces are infused with writings that make her audience even more curious.

Nearly a decade later, Fatima shared that among her peers, she's the only one that specializes in black paper in Oman.

The message behind the pieces

One of her latest projects is a series of artworks that explore the "Stories of the Alphabets" that delves into Arabic letters and the meaning hidden behind their formatting and punctuations.

Fatima believes that every human being has a purpose.

“The poet conveys messages through poetry. I pass my message through art,” she shared.

A niche art form, Fatima decided to open up about her process on social media in 2018 hopefully to inspire others to explore the said medium.

“The focus is not on the number of followers I have but on the quality of minds that access my art account and interact with the meanings behind each artwork,” she shared.

Al-Lawati’s work has attracted the attention of local, regional, and international media and she has been approached by a multi-media company to explore her work. She was also invited to participate in Art Exhibitions locally and internationally which help put her perspective into the consciousness of more people.

Unlike other artists though, Fatima opted not to sell her work in the beginning as she feels that everyone should have access to her art and that people should be able to read through and interpret the different messages she infuses into her work.

“It’s something precious, something that has a sentimental value. Its value is more than the money I can get out of it,” Fatima shared.

As of late, she has plans of selling prints of her original artworks.

So far, Fatima has created about 20 art pieces. To view all her artworks, you can follow her on her Instagram: @Faa_art1.

Her advice to all young artists is to "be brave and have the courage to try different art materials and mediums to find what suits you.

She added, “Use the negative words you get from people as fuel for motivation and to continue this amazing journey that Allah has set for you, so dream the impossible, seek the unknown, and achieve greatness!”

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