What does a day in your art practice look like?
I usually spend at least 4 days a week at my studio full time. Every day, I often start my journey with a specific theme and narrative and then I work towards it. A day at my studio can be simply just looking at the photos that I’ve taken, collaging them and writing about it. Some days a lot of my time is spent on transferring images and then painting over that, or sometimes it’s just simply staring at my work and figuring out where the work is taking me. I also have days that are sewing days. Whatever I do at my studio I believe is part of a creative path.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do not waste the time. Everyday counts. Go to your studio and inspire yourself and just work even if it is an hour. Keep yourself busy in your studio. Read more books which will give you a different perspective and opens up another window for your art practice.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Keep working and do not compare yourself with other artists. Everyone is different and each person has his/her own strength.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
Going to museums, galleries and studio visits keep me going and believe in myself. Especially visiting other artist’s studios is a big motivation for me.
Being part of various artist communities and collectives is also a big motivation; it gives me a positive energy to continue my art practice.
How has personal experience influenced your creativity?
The homes that I have inhabited across geographies represent a multilayered construction of identity. The Iranian identity I carry in the United States relies heavily on my history as an immigrant. Utilizing my personal history as a filter, my work honors the common experiences and materials of everyday life from which people build a home. This includes personal human experiences of love, work, observation, memory, emotion, sensation, nostalgia and desire; and the universal struggle to pull forth vivid memories that have been reduced to flashing glimpses as time creates distance between past experience and current life.
What do you wish to accomplish with your art?
I make mixed-media work to communicate, mutate, and abstract layers of memory along with elements of the home with the knowledge that both are inextricable from political and social contexts.
As Gayatri Spivak wrote, using the displacing gesture as a reversal is a way to reclaim the dubious privilege of having a voice. I aim to build a ground from which I can speak.