“Be yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else”
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Fatemah Albahrani , an artist from Kuwait. My work can be described as a narrative; an impressionistic realism. I focus on water colour painting. I am also a happy wife and a proud mother of four.
Tell us about your education.
I have a BA in art having graduated in 2005 in Kuwait.
Tell us about your career journey.
I spent thirteen years in art education/teaching. I’m ex Head of Department in Art Education (Public School-Ministry of Education) and I’m currently working as an art trainer in The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training.
How do you manage your time? Describe your average day.
I often struggle with time; finding enough time during my busy day between my job and my family obligations. We all know that the creative process tends to operate independently of time. It’s not easy, but I try to bring time on my side by taking the time to plan and get some breath with art.
What is your biggest strength?
My strength as an artist would be never giving up. Even when I know it’s not really working I will go back at it, time and time again, until I am happy. I have always been this way with painting, but anything else in my life that doesn’t work is immediately discarded without a second thought.
Do you have any weaknesses?
My weakness would be that I can sometimes almost send myself into a trance looking at a painting over and over again, which can become a bit obsessive and tiring. I think it’s because I cannot bear to fail at something that is so important to me.
Have you made any mistakes that have made you stronger?
Yes, I’ve made many mistakes. They taught me valuable lessons and I became the person whom you are addressing today.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced during your career?
The most challenging obstacles I overcame were searching for my own style, making a name for myself amongst all those great artists around the world, and letting people listen to my voice as artist.
How do you stay motivated during challenging times?
First I adjust my mood and set my goals with positive thoughts. I take a deep breath, then I start with the easiest task until I reach the hardest.
What do you do to relax?
Some days can be so overwhelming, you want to scream or cry, or do a bit of both. It might be a struggle to take a moment to relax and clear your mind but being an artist helps me release any stress or tension in my daily life. With art, I always feel greatly rewarded emotionally, physically and spiritually for my creative efforts. As Pablo Picasso once said, ‘Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life’.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment as an artist has to be when someone comes to let me know that my art touched their feelings.
What is your biggest fear?
My greatest fear is to wake up one day only to find that I can’t dream and imagine any more.
What is your favourite quote?
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away – Pablo Picasso.
Name one item in life you can’t do without?
My iphone – I can’t live without it!
What’s the best advice you have ever taken?
Always keep it simple and be yourself.
Share three books on your nightstand.
LONG WALK TO FREEDOM by Nelson Mandela and THE SECRET series by Rhonda Byrne.
In your opinion, what are the three keys to success?
I only have two: Gaining knowledge. Keeping your hands busy by practicing and being brave. Never giving up.
What is next for you? What would you still like to achieve?
I am exploring new mediums that will increase my abilities, develop my personal style and improve the general knowledge of art/artistic taste. I hope to open my personal art exhibition very soon.
What advice would you give to young women starting out in their career?
My advice to the young women out there is to believe in yourself and to be yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else.
How does it feel to be a CP Woman of Substance?
I am very thankful and honored that you asked me to do this interview. It has given me the opportunity to present part of my life and personality that I like to share with others.
Your message for the team at CP magazine:
I thank the team for their efforts in the constant search for what is valuable and useful to the readers of CP magazine and for showcasing the beautiful side of our cultural and artistic aspect in Kuwait.