by Febi Sidiku, year 5.
This academic year has been especially stressful, and this is certainly not helped by the current global climate and pandemic. Making something has always been my outlet; making art has been the “something” that always stuck. Something about seeing pretty things, or seeing the pretty in things, and focusing enough to create something new from that has always calmed me. It feels like entering a bubble just for myself, away from life’s stressors. I feel quite privileged to have this outlet for myself, and hope everyone can also find one in whatever form suits them.
I tend to paint a lot of portraits. This is probably more from habit than anything, but also because people are so weirdly unique and beautiful in ways that are easy to forget. Sometimes, the little details that make people so unique or beautiful go completely unnoticed when they look in the mirror, but stand out to me as the artist. I love being able to tell people that they have a really nice eyebrow shape or a gorgeous eyelid crease as I notice them, and I hope it brightens their day a little too.
One of my favourite things about art is, well, other people’s. I absolutely love saving and sharing other artists’ work, particularly the work of other black and POC artists, who are criminally underrepresented in mainstream art and art history. The imagination, creativity and beauty of other people’s work never ceases to amaze me. Seeing their talent always encourages me to do more and be better. I am really excited for the day when I can buy more artwork to fill my halls with.
Another new endeavour for me has been taking commissions! It was really scary to start; art does not always go according to plan, so the fear of messing up something that takes five to ten hours (and sometimes longer) to produce when a client has already paid can be pretty stressful. The more I push myself to do it, though, the more comfortable I am becoming. And I haven’t messed up yet!
“OPULENCE” is my most popular piece so far, and my personal favourite! The model is the beautiful Cierra Nia (@simply.cie) who thankfully reshared the post on Instagram, leading to more exposure which I was really grateful for. Painted in acrylics, the original piece sits proudly in my bedroom reminding me to remain calm, that good things will come, but I need to work hard. Cierra reminds me of a young hustler who is on the grind all day, but it all becomes worth it because at the end of each day she goes home to a nice place with a stunning view, affording beautiful dresses and high quality wine, with time left to watch the sunset. I take it as a reminder that all the hard work is definitely worth it, but there needs to be time to enjoy the perks outside of work as well!
To see more of Febi’s gorgeous artwork, find her on Instagram @febicreatessometimes.