Alice has been living in Qatar all her life for over two decades with her two siblings and parents who are originally from India. This young and talented artist had been using only chalk and graphite her whole life until she got into VCUarts Qatar two years ago where she was introduced to oil and acrylic paints as a part of her course. Since then she never stopped painting!
Alice is one of the many emerging artists in the local art scene that you need to keep an eye on, and we will get to know a little bit about her in this short interview.
Alice: Hi, my name is Alice Aslem, born and raised in Qatar. I am an artist currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts in Qatar, majoring in Painting and Printmaking.
Alice: Growing up, I have always had a strong interest in art. My mom would have me create all sorts of projects to challenge me creatively. It was primarily a hobby until I got to university and I started to realize how much I really enjoyed it.
Alice: I started drawing at the age of 3. Art classes and a few art competitions were the only creative involvement during my high school, and also the time when I was told by my teachers that “art is only a hobby.” I must admit those words made me ignore the fact that I enjoy creating art.
One day, I decided to pursue arts as my career. However, thoughts like “I can learn arts through the internet!”, “Do I really need this degree?” “Will I get a job?”, “Wait, are there any jobs for artists?” ran through my head.
In the process, I learnt that a career in arts is not limited to being a painter of canvases. There are stage set designers, computer game designers, art galleries and museum curators, teaching art, art therapy, mural painting, and many more.
I am very grateful to Qatar Foundation for helping me achieve my dreams. In the last two years, I was able to turn my hobby into a part-time job. I take commissions such as drawing portraits, personalizing leather accessories by painting custom designs, creating murals, and am open to experimenting with different mediums. I am still in the process of figuring out what my ultimate vision is. Every day I learn something new.
Alice: My inspiration comes from personal and shared experiences, as well as observation of any given space I occupy at a time. I try to capture these experiences through the unique and experimental use of colors and lines. Currently, my goal is to convey the vibrancy within us and inspire everyone to embrace who they are.
Alice: I have been included in various exhibitions such as 'Memories in Prints' at Alhosh Gallery and 'Project Spaces' at Virginia Commonwealth University.
I have also done collaborative commercial commissions for Gulf Warehousing Company in 2021, performed live mural painting for Formula 1, and gave support for Qatar Museums’ JEDARIART and POW! WOW! artists!
Alice: Qatar’s goal to become ‘the art Mecca of the Middle East’ says it all. The nation's developing network of museums, heritage sites, festivals, public art installations and programmes are exposing art and culture to a wider audience which has developed and greatly increased the art community.
Alice: One of my future goals would be to be able to document and share my art. I haven’t been able to share my art because at times it feels so uncomfortable because I’m a very private person. My goal would be to be able to express myself through artworks, not necessarily to pass a message but to question and to reveal something in the process of creating the work. To have a conversation around what we have in common as human beings.
Alice: When I was first starting out I thought there was a “right” way to approach my art style. There is no right or wrong way. Art is a never-ending quest because of the freedom it offers. One piece of advice I follow is to be authentic, be experimental and keep creating art consistently. You will eventually figure out what works the best for you.
Alice: Thank you for the interview, ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team. I learned a lot while answering the questions.
Cover image credit: Alice Aslem
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