Fatima Mohammed was into sketching and charcoal art until a friend gifted her with tools for wood burning. Like many self-taught artists, she learned the art of pyrography. She started burning designs onto wood, paper, and leather and didn’t stop enhancing her skills since then.
This Qatari artist believes it’s always a great idea to try something new or learn new skills and inspire others to do the same. Let’s check out her artwork and get to know a little bit about her in this short interview!
Fatima: I am Fatima Mohammed. Art has been my hobby since I was 10 years old. I liked drawing anime characters from Japanese TV shows. I joined an art club during my college years, but I was not very active then. In 2011 I joined the QatArt community where I first introduced my wood-burning artwork. Now, I am working as a freelance artist.
Fatima: There is not much difference between pyrography and wood burning. Both are art forms of decorating wood using a heated metal pen similar to a soldering iron. However, pyrography can also be done using other materials like paper and leather.
Fatima: It started when I received a wood-burning tool from one of my friends as a gift. I was into charcoal painting and sketching at that time, so I got curious and tried to learn wood burning and pyrography. I am self-taught in terms of my art, mostly from watching YouTube tutorials. In my latest work, I chose to mix real and fictional drawings and add geometric shapes to them.
Fatima: It's unique. Whenever I visit art exhibitions and markets, I would always see the same style, same art forms, and so I said I wanted to be different and bring something new to the art community.
Fatima: It’s very simple. I start with a pencil sketch, then heat the burning tool and start drawing. For shading, I use higher heat temperature and control the depth of shades by pressing on the tool—the more the pressure the darker the shade.
The tool comes with several headpins for lining, shading, and other styles needed in the artwork. Also, some heavy-duty tools come with a heat controller.
Fatima: I was always looking for ways to present my art to people. It finally happened when I was invited to exhibit my artworks and do live pyrography during the recently concluded Doha International Book Fair.
It gave me great happiness and honor that many visited my booth and said they were amazed at the uniqueness of my artwork.
Fatima: The type of wood I use is the finest board. It is not easy to find woodcuts for pyrography in shops here in Qatar, except sometimes you can find them at Jarir Bookstore. Sometimes I have to make a special order from carpenters. I tried once to order from eBay, but they arrived damaged and defective. I find other types of wood hard to burn, and if I try, the tool wears out very fast.
Fatima: Yes, of course. I do commissioned works and I price each piece by the amount of shading, size, and time required to finish it.
Fatima: I am working on a bigger project now, and hopefully I will be all set when the exhibition that I aim to participate in opens. It will be in the Msheireb area.
Fatima: “Work in silence, let your future make the noise!"
Fatima: Do not steal other people’s ideas, instead learn from them and make your own art.
Fatima: A work of art has a deeper meaning than just a painted picture or a ‘burnt design’. It takes time, effort, love, thoughts, feelings, songs, and many other elements to make a full artwork.
So, thank you everyone for supporting artists in Qatar. Thank you ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team for sharing my artwork with the community.
Cover image credit: ILQ staff
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