Aslan Farrukh is a one man show. Bringing life to everyday objects with such fine details that no one can resist saying WOW! He makes everyone realize that every object has a life once you look at it and think about it apart from its commercial worth.
Talking to Arslan was like a breath of fresh air and a whole lot of positivity coming our way. He is a great example to all those who think that they are too busy to pursue their own dream because of their jobs and responsibility. During our conversation, Arslan took us through his journey from being inspired to being an inspiration.
A short intro:
Arslan is an architect by profession but an artist by heart, he has successfully found the mutual relationship between his field of architecture and arts. Right now, he is practicing architecture in Lahore and doing wonders with his arts in his studio.
Being an architect how did you find yourself in love with arts?
“It is actually a very interesting story. Honestly, I was not into arts at first. But I was quite familiar with it since I took fine arts in both my O and A level but during my 5 years of architecture school I left practicing. It came back to me as an escape from my monotonous routine and hectic studies. I always used to think how everything is extremely digitized now and people hardly consider hand work which is much more time taking yet detailed.
After the end of my undergrad studies, I was determined to practice arts every day for my self-satisfaction and soon I reached a point when it became a part of my routine. Now sometimes I go back late from work but I still sit and draw.”
How will you define your work? The language that you follow in arts?
“When I went to architecture school everything became so professional; the plans, the elevation and sections are so detailed. We are always taught to present our design in order to sell the idea and the product.
The language of my art started in my mind back then *courtesy to the training that we architects get*. I knew I wanted to create something that is highly presentable yet doesn’t have an art based language instead it reflects the kind of architecture I like to create.
I always try to focus on one object and explore the details to the extent it comes near to reality. My work is minimalistic and still has a sense of luxury, a sense of wanting or desire. It needs to have a strong language to enhance an object into its perfect form.”
How do you select an object to draw? How do you know that this is my next project?
“We look at so many objects everyday, use them, throw them away. But nobody takes a moment to think of its worth. For instance, let me share a short story with you of my recently completed dice drawing.
I got the idea when me and my sister were playing Ludo (a board game) and she needed to score 6 to move ahead. After several attempts, she exclaimed: “Let’s just change the dice, there is something wrong with it.”
On that moment, I thought how insignificant that dice is, it’s thrown away for not giving the desired number.
Coming now to the process; once the object is decided, I have devised a very thorough process before I start to draw. It starts with selecting the perfect piece for my drawing.
I photograph it with proper lighting set up. Next I get prints of various angles and work on the light effects on Photoshop. Once I’ve decided the final angle, a series of coordinates are designated to it and then I draw.”
How do you make money through your drawings? There are many companies and brands showcased in some of your pieces are you hired by these companies?
“No, I am not paid for any of my drawings when I make them. The reason I choose these objects or brands is because I feel people have let go of things in life just to be in this race of time.
When I was a kid, I really wanted to do something that will make me rich. But my relationship with my art is very different. When I started arts I cleared my mind and told myself repeatedly:
“THIS IS SOMETHING YOU ARE DOING FOR YOURSELF SO, DO NOT HAVE ANY EXPECTATIONS.”
The moment you start expecting, you put yourself in a state of less productivity and start to think desperately to perform better.
Although, I am fortunate enough that all of my work is sold, I have nothing with me right now. But, this is not why I draw; if no one buys I will gladly keep it with me and continue to make more.”
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For those who want to earn by their arts or talent through social media what advice will you give? How does the industry work?
“We are sold on the idea that one needs thousands of likes and followers to be successful and get their business running. This is not true. Nothing is going to happen unless people are interested. It can start from as few as 15 people who love and appreciate your work.
I am not much of a social media person. I don’t have a page on Facebook. People follow me for a reason; either they like to see my work or they want to buy one of it.
People contact me via email as well to know more details regarding my work. Galleries contact me to put up my work. So, the bottom line is:
How do you push yourself to work so hard? What do you see yourself doing in future arts or architecture?
“I made a tagline for myself that doesn’t allow me to take a break,
I have made a commitment to myself that this year i.e. in 2016 I will hold an exhibition for which I am working already.
My perceptive towards doing things is very unconventional. People set goals and ambitions I set DEADLINES for myself.
You can achieve your goal in 2 days or 2 years; but once you bound yourself to time you will know how determined you are towards your ambition.
I do plan to do my masters in future but it will not be fine arts. I think arts is much more to me than just doing *something*. I want to keep it away from the other strands of life.”
Related Post: Interview with Sadaf.F.K
What do you think is the reason that people are often afraid to pursue their dreams?
“Our society pressurizes us to follow a set of rules and norms while growing up.
Whenever we start a conversation we introduce ourselves with our profession. At that very moment, we restricted the possibilities of conversation you can have. Often people do this to create their comfort zone within the circle. Nobody realizes that profession and hobbies are two different things.
Discover yourself and put yourself into doing creative things. There is so much out there. Just invest yourself in your interest and not associate expectations with it. Remember your goal should be to achieve internal harmony.”
One piece of advice you want to give to our readers who wants to grow with their interest or hobby but they are afraid of the failure?
“Just go ahead! Do it! It is for you and your contentment. I know everyone has a different context to fit in, but the fear of prediction is harmful, when you contemplate it so much in your mind, you will lose your interest and your hobby as well!
Everyone is influenced by the power of money, often people let go of the things that are just fun or brings you happiness. Hold on to it, life is composed of such things so later you can balance it with hardcore practical life.
You should find out what your hobby is, what you like doing for yourself, what helps you to boost your confidence and keep you calm. Money should not be the reason for your existence.
You will soon reach a level of satisfaction where you will find time for it daily and it will be your escape from this Tough World. Accept it or not everyone’s ultimate goal is happiness. Once you are happy inside you will automatically be more focused and productive towards your responsibilities in life.”
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