Abdal Mufti (self-taught storyteller & illustrator) is a promising digital artist whose work has enchanted us. With a prominent following that is intrigued by his use of light, colors, and shadows, it doesn’t take more than a glance to be drawn into his images.
The pieces often feature faceless characters that don’t even face the viewer or the artist, having a dreamy gaze towards the distance. They are alone or with a lover, always in want to closure, comfort or tragedy.
One feels the desire to know who they are; understand the mystery so we may perhaps know ourselves a bit more.
Here we are speaking to the talented artist.
How are you?
I’ll like to answer that with just a smile.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Even though I’m very well aware that not many people care, but nevertheless for the sake of this interview I’ll answer. I’m a painter turned illustrator. Professionally I work with the Govt. of Punjab as Head of Research in School Education Department.
When did you get into art?
To me, Art came all of sudden, at a time when perhaps I needed it the most. I still remember one day I found a paintbrush and one Red paint (my aunt’s leftover art supplies) in our storeroom. I started painting a picture I found in a newspaper that was lying around. It was one of the best feelings of my life. That’s how I started making art. Haven’t stopped ever since.
Was it a natural inclination or was it something you had to work for?
It just came one day. Now it’s a part of who I am. Having said that, I still had to put in quite many hours to learn how to draw and paint.
What inspires you?
Things around me, books I read, music I listen to, and the experiences that I have.
How do you feel after finishing a piece?
For me, the process is more important than the actual art piece. Once the piece is finished I don’t really look at it anymore.
Do you like to explain your work, or the image enough of a statement?
I don’t believe in explaining art pieces, it destroys the experience that the other person can get out of it. I always allow people make their own variations or their own stories around my art.
How much effort or time do you put into a concept?
I paint for three hours every day. This includes taking an emotion and then deep diving into it until an image becomes visible that I then put on the canvas.
What’s the hardest thing about being an artist?
I don’t know, ask an artist.
Why so many faceless faces?
Because faces don’t matter, in the end, all that matters is how people make us feel. That is why I don’t believe In emphasizing on faces too much, I think the society does that a lot anyway.
What’s your favorite color?
What are the people in your drawings looking for?
A reason to keep going on, an excuse to wake up the next day, a feeling that we belong.
Thank you for being with us, what would you like to say to our readers?
There is nothing wrong in being vulnerable, in accepting that it is tough to get by each day. We live in times where there is increasing pressure on us, due to social media, to portray that our lives are perfect even though they are far from it.
So be honest, own your sadness, your troubles the same way you own your happiness. You never know, someone out there might feel a little less lonely knowing that you are going through the same things as they are and still manage to continue.