An interview with our curated artist of the month – Batoul Yaghi Absi
About Batoul and her Art
What is your Name, where are you from and when were you born?
Hello, I’m Batoul Yaghi Absi (BYA), I’m from Lebanon, Beirut and was born in 1984 – UAE, Abu Dhabi
Tell us something about yourself that you would like our audience to know?
If you see me cracking up laughing, chances are something pretty awkward just happened
and I’m nervous.
What is the type/ form/ style of artwork you focus on?
I’m an abstract/modern artist – in the sense I aim to paint the expression of something rather than portray it in accuracy. I like to capture the impression, like a glimpse of a fleeting moment. My focus is on acrylic paintings and sometimes mixed media. The subject matters I choose are emotional decisions and seeing as I paint as a form of positive expressions, most of my work are ‘feel good’ pieces.
Describe your creative process?
I have two processes for each piece. I have a technical process where I visualize where I want things to go and I detail out the sketch and the colors in my head or on a pad. This part is calm and smooth with a lot of back and forth to iron out the details.
Then I have an emotional process, where I put my lines and splashes, my signature style. In the emotional process, a lot of risky moments that can make or break my piece and I move fast and try not to think. With that said, there is definitely a good song in the background and a start, a middle and an end.
How did you commence your journey into Art and what was the first piece of Art that you had crafted?
My fascination with art and appreciation for it began as a kid when I would sit and watch my mother paint on silk for hours.
The first art I ever crafted? I don’t remember, but I think it was an impression drawing of a circle. I used a mixed media approach of primary color crayons, dirt, and drool. I was 3.
How has your style changed over the years?
I wouldn’t say my style has changed but it has certainly evolved. An artist’s style is like a signature on the dotted line. I make sure that each piece has my signature style on it, the style that makes it a BYA piece. My lines and the splashes that go on top of whatever visual I created, those are my jazz lines, that’s my signature and my grand finale.
How do you differentiate your work from the rest?
Every work of every artist is different. So, it would be quite inaccurate of me to assume my work is different while everyone else’s is “the rest”. We all have our styles and we all have our expressions, how we choose to portray ourselves on a canvas is what differentiates us all from one another.
Do you ever experience creative blocks? How do you deal with them?
YES, but I don’t deal with them, I walk away. Blocks don’t scare me, I trust myself and my creativity enough to respect the process knowing it will be okay.
If you had the chance to dine with an artist, who would it be and why?
I would like to dine with Van Gogh and hope my babble wouldn’t lead him to him severe his second ear. Equally as exciting I would grab a burger and coke with the rebel street artists by the walls they created and hear stories about their culture without having to say one word.
What drives you to create art and where do you get your inspiration from?
I create for the same reason I exist, and I exist for the same reason I create. It’s just who I am and I could never imagine not doing it.
Who inspires you as a person, and as an artist?
As a person, my inspiration is my family because they are my strength.
A white canvas is a challenging place to be, it represents endless possibilities and that is an exciting place to visit. However, I do have a sense of relief that when I’m done, I get to go home to my family where nothing is unknown. Sometimes I come home from my studio feeling very emotionally drained, painting feels like you have been talking about your feelings for hours and that can sometimes be exhausting. It’s good to come home and be surrounded by people where no words are necessary and just be loved. Safety is important to me as an artist and for my creative flow. While I can get lost in a canvas and my moment of creation, my family is where I go to be found.
What is your own favorite artwork and why? what’s the story behind it?
My own favorite artwork, that’s a tough one. I guess the pieces I created while feeling mystical are my favorite. Looking back, my series called “behind the lines” had many paintings that portrayed wings and mystical impressions. I have always had a fascination with the mysteries of a dark and dense forest and the secrets it holds; the magic humans have not yet discovered but some feel. With that, my favorite piece in that series is called the “Black wild”. Despite a lot of interest in it, I never had the heart to let it go.
What role do you think artists have in society?
This question made me wonder does the artist play a role in society or does society play a role in the artist? both? An artist can either create work that follows society, or they can create work and choose subject matters that can uplift or even provoke society. I guess this answer largely depends on the personality of the artist.
How do you see the future of art?
Art has always existed from the walls of the cavemen and to the 3d printers of today. Either way, as long as we choose to express ourselves, art will always exist and evolve into more creative and new forms and shapes.
Can you name a book that impacted you as a person or that has left a mark on you?
There are too many! But the classic “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl has to be one for the ages for me. I loved that story so much as a kid and it was the first novel I ever read. I remember it took me away on an imaginative journey and an eccentric experience at a time where I needed an escape. As a matter of fact, I love that book so much that my husband bought me a first edition copy for one of my birthdays and I cherish it.
Our brand name is ‘Osheq’ which means Extreme Love or Extreme Passion – what does the
word Osheq mean to you as an artist? or what is your own Extreme Love or Osheq story?
That’s an easy question, my Osheq story is my husband. My kids are the sequel lol.
In addition to her ‘Fine Art Collection’ shown in this interview, Batoul Yaghi Absi also offers a ‘Pop Art Collection’. To see more of her work, visit her instagram page @batoulabsi