“I think humans have a high capacity for adaptation and resilience.”
Meet Fay Charafeddine, a Lebanese-Canadian artist who currently calls Kuwait home for the past 7 years. Fay is a full time Biology teacher and a part time art enthusiast. She describes her art form “Feminine and/or Earthy”.
Creating artwork brings her joy and peace and Fay hopes to share this feeling with others. Fay is the designer of one of our three covers for this month.
Thank you for joining us for this interview.
Thank you for reaching out!
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Fay Charafeddine, I am Lebanese-Canadian but have called Kuwait home for the past 7 years. I am a full time Biology teacher, and a part time art enthusiast.
Tell us about your education.
I majored in biology in Windsor, Canada and received my MSc in educational leadership from SUNY, Buffalo.
What got you interested in arts?
I have been interested in the arts and creative projects ever since I was little. I was a shy child, and making art allowed me to express myself and connect
with others without needing to be loud.
Are you a self-taught artist or did you take an formal training?
I am self-taught. The majority of what I know actually came from watching Youtube tutorials.
How would you best describe your style of art?
Feminine and/or Earthy
What are your favourite materials to use?
Procreate application, my iPad and Apple Pencil.
What is the message that you like to convey through your art?
Creating artwork brings me joy and peace, and I hope to share this feeling with others.
Where do you take the inspiration for your work?
My art is inspired by femininity, culture and my love for flora.
What is your process of completing a piece from start to finish?
I usually start with inspiration either from pinterest/instagram. I then pick my color palette, and love to stick with earthy/neutral tones. I do linework first followed by adding colors, textures and shading. The last, and favourite, part of my process is adding plant and flower designs.
How has your professional life been affected by the pandemic, the ongoing issues with coronavirus?
As a teacher, I had to quickly learn to adapt to teaching virtually. It has been a huge learning curve for both myself and my students. Although it came with its challenges, I also learned so many new skills that I am excited to be able to use in the upcoming school year.
What was it like where you are during the early days of Covid-19 and Lockdown?
I spent a lot of time at home, which I didn’t mind too much at first as I am a homebody. It also inspired me to keep myself busy, which led me to purchase an iPad and dive into digital illustration!
What does an average day look like for you these days?
I love to maintain a daily routine. My day begins with making breakfast for my husband and I followed by morning coffee. I like to spend a few hours doing something productive such as creating teaching resources, recording videos for my Youtube channel or watching informative tutorials online. I then make a late lunch which is followed by evening tea and dessert. During the evening I do an hour of workout and then something for fun, either digital illustration or playing video games (I am currently obsessed with Fallout!).
How are you dealing with this sudden change in lifestyle?
Like I mentioned, it is important for me to maintain a routine, even if my lifestyle has changed. I also try my best to eat healthy and stay active, especially since I have spent the past 6 months mainly indoors.
What are the important lessons you have learned during this time?
Gratitude for the little things. I also have been reflecting on just how much we are all connected yet small in the grand scheme of the universe. This entire global pandemic began due to a microscopic, highly simple organism. It has shut down entire countries, and disrupted entire world orders. It is quite humbling.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your life and/or career?
I have been loving creating videos for my Youtube channel. It was a project I always had in mind, but never found the time to do. I am planning on signing up for an online illustration course to better improve my digital illustration skills.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing?
Just how much can be accomplished without having to leave the house!
Did you develop any new interest or hobby or learned a new skill during this time?
Although this pandemic has had it’s negatives, it has gifted me so much time for myself to explore projects I am passionate about. I started a Youtube channel, started digital illustration and have been experimenting with cooking and baking a lot more!
What’s your favourite music/songs for the moment?
“9” by Willow Smith & SZA.. or anything by SZA if I’m being honest.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation?
Maintain a healthy routine. Give yourself something to look forward to during the day. Use this time as a gift to either do things you are passionate about or to simply relax.
What 3 things could you not live without under lockdown?
My husband, my cat and my iPad.
What are you missing most about the outside world?
Seeing other people’s smiles
What are you most looking forward to doing once the lockdown is over?
How do you think life will be after Covid-19?
I think humans have a high capacity for adaptation and resilience. Life will remain the same for the most part. I hope that we can continue with the positive things we learned from this pandemic, such as having higher awareness of social hygiene practices. I also hope to continue seeing less cars on the road in Kuwait, because we saw just how much pollution was reduced during full lockdowns. Finally, as an educator in Kuwait, I hope that this opens up a venue for conversations regarding having virtual learning be an option for some students in the future. I saw so many of my students thrive with virtual learning, and although it is not for everyone, it would be wonderful to have this as a recognized option for those who prefer it.
Finally, your message for us at CP magazine.
Thank you again for reaching out to me, I am humbled. Thank you for continuously using your platform as a venue for providing creatives with a voice. I am inspired.