Art is sacred to me and my artworks are derived from my imagination, fantasies, ideas and real live experiences. I reveal the inner thoughts that are often unspoken, which could be magical, adventurous, sensual, exhilarating and sometimes tragic.
Years of unspoken words...
The Naked Truth
I still remember at the age of 8 when my class teacher hung up one of my artwork in the classroom (it was a collage of a white bird), another teacher passed by and said ‘She couldn’t have made that, it must be her mother” And my class teacher replied “No, she really did that herself”… Oh how I love art class!
Ever since then, I’d enter various art competitions and would usually win something. We didn’t have much growing up, but these were some of my happiest memories as a child.
At 16, my family went through financial difficulties and I worked after school till 5 months before my big exam the following year. It might not seem much, but working as a sales promoter taught me a lot about people and life, and I’m thankful for this experience.
Before school ended, my art teacher gave me pointers on what to major and which local art scenes to follow, it all sounded so exciting. So when I got my exam results, I was sure I was going to take up arts but then my parents (who just wants the best for me) thought that there was no future in arts. We had a chat about it and I agreed too, so I instead applied for TESL and accounting and I got scholarship for both – one for a university in the UK and another at a local university.
I couldn’t imagine myself doing either, so I turned down both offers … I gave all the excuses in the world because I guess ‘the heart wants what it wants’, and there was nothing my parents could do about it.
When you turn down 2 scholarships, it’s unlikely you’ll be offered another. So I went and got a full time job and looked out for art classes to study part time. Unfortunately, with a low paying job, there was no way I could afford the art classes the colleges were offering. Somehow I ended up taking night classes doing a 2 year diploma in computer programming.
Throughout the years, I’ve worked in real estate, corporate sales and even ran several of my own businesses, which I still am till today. Running a business especially is never easy, but I will admit I do enjoy it.
You can say that life has taken me to a different path and it’s been a roller coaster ride. I didn’t get much time to draw, paint or create any kind of art for years. It really hurts inside and so I tell myself I’ll do it someday when the time is right. However, that someday never came for so many reasons. The hard truth is, the longer I waited, the harder it was to take that step. And in my case, it’s been more than 20 years.
I realized that there is never a ‘good’ time, it’s just time. So I recently picked up my brush and started to paint again. I might not have gone to art school or have any proper training, but I know this is my true passion and it’s what I’m born to do. Art is sacred to me and so I give my all when I paint. I spent years of visualising and even dreaming of art creations in my mind that they are just bursting to be materialized on canvas. My hope is to bring joy and happiness to the world through the artworks I create.
Lina Ali 'Undercover Chameleon'