1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My name is Madiha Syed, and I was born in Bangalore, India. However, I was raised in Saudi Arabia until my 10th grade, where it was a completely different world. I was oblivious to everything happening outside until I was finally able to return to my country for higher studies. Since then, thanks to my parents for being the most supportive pair I could have asked for, I have traveled to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and most of India, probably to make up for all the years that I was locked up at home xD Since then, I have been lucky enough to have met people from all over the world, and immerse myself in countless cultures to understand and enjoy my newfound freedom!
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
Ah, this is actually still a work in progress. I’ve always been attracted to teals and peaches, and that has been reflected in my Instagram feed for a while, but I’m dabbling with some nude and white tones as well, since the new Boho Chic rage has been all over the internet recently, and I’m just one of the many victims falling in love with that particular aesthetic. I started the page for travel illustrations, but have since branched out to lifestyle illustrations as well as women-centric creatives as well!
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I wish I could paint with watercolors because while I absolutely adore them, I cannot for the life of me understand how to use them xD The medium I’m most comfortable with at the moment is my iPad and Apple Pencil because the wonders of digital art and the undo button will never cease to amaze me. I am, however, dabbling in gouache paints at the moment, since they are a thousand times more forgiving than watercolors!
4. What is your artistic process like?
This varies for each piece that I do. Some women-centric creatives need a few references since drawing people is always a challenge for me, so I whip up some profile references from Pinterest and go about it with a light pencil sketch after which I illustrate them in detail. For travel illustrations, I always make an outline for the reference image and then go about the shading and colors in my own flat/brush style!
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Ah, this is a hard one! There are so many crazy talented artists out there! I guess the one that I saw first that made me want to start my own page would be @jessprintdesigns with her architecture illustrations. For women positive creations I definitely look up to @hi.socialbutterfly and @friday_illustrations, they are some of the most creative in the community!
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
To be honest, while I always wanted to be an artist, I was never good enough xD At least with the traditional mediums… And for the life of me, I had no idea it could become a viable source of income. Always thought to believe the myth of “poor struggling artists”, it was difficult to wrap my head around the fact that this could be a big part of my life.
7. Where did you study?
I was in Modern International School, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia till my 10th grade, after which I returned to Chennai, India for my final two years, and am currently pursuing my Bachelors of Architecture in MEASI Academy of Architecture, and hope to further continue my Masters in the UK. Fingers crossed!
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Wow…I had to think long and hard for this one…. I’m not quite sure. If everything goes according to plan, in 5 years’ time I should have my PhD in design in hand, with a successful online presence and maybe a tiny studio of my own. But then, things rarely go according to plans, do they? I love how unexpected this can be, so I’m going to sort of leave the future open to any and all experiences that could be heading my way!
9. What about in ten?
Oof, I own an island and a kid or two are running around me while I’m on my lounge chair on the beach sipping a coke float xD But on a more serious note, I would love to have designed and started living in a house of my own, where every nook and cranny is something that I deliberately made. I cannot imagine what that would feel like, and I honestly cannot wait.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Oh, my art is my outlet. When work isn’t going well, when the world isn’t bending the way I want, when I’m in a mood to kill, that sort of thing, my art is always going to be my outlet and my therapeutically correct exercise xD
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Ah, these seem a bit lighter, haha. Definitely love Thai cuisine at the moment, but if there’s a showdown, French Fries win every. Single. Time.
12. Favourite book?
Okay no, I am an avid book reader, and you cannot just ask an avid book reader to choose their “favorite book”. It just isn’t done! So I’m just going to name off some of my favorite authors (in no particular order): Colleen Hoover, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare. I have grown up with these authors, and they have taught me a world of knowledge. I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am today had it not been for their books, and their worlds!
13. Favourite genre of music?
Soul, Pop, Electronic? Chainsmokers and Ed Sheeran are my mains!
14. What are your hobbies?
I read a lot, I love travelling to a crazy degree, I’m a huge fan of adventure sports, and I also write my own fantasy tales and never see the light of day xD
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I am an architect by profession ( in another 6 months, at least) so there’s always that…but I guess if art had not found its way to me, I always loved playing with words. I probably would have become a semi-mediocre author xD