Saturday, September 5, 2015

Nadine Feghaly: Vivid Color And Imagination

Nadine Feghaly by Dominika Plonska
Nadine Feghaly, Lebanese visual artist, book illustrator, graphic designer, and blogger, has been a major inspiration to me for many years now. In fact, I first started writing and blogging years back after following Nadine's blog Viola'.

Her illustrations touch on everyday thoughts and feelings that are quite relatable and are expressed in such vivid colors! Nadine's work has been featured in many exhibitions in Beirut and Barcelona as well as several children's books. She even has a collection Viola' for Sarah's Bag as well as her own set of products with illustrations on laptop sleeves, totes, jewelry, postcards, tshirts, pillows....etc.

This super talented artist now lives in Barcelona, but her thoughts and heart are always with Beirut. I am so glad to get the chance to share Nadine's work...

  • · What motivated you to pursue this artistic path?
As far as I can remember, I enjoyed drawing and painting, but only after finishing my studies in graphic design and starting work I felt a necessity to express myself through illustrations and writings more than anything else.

  • · Where do you get your ideas? 
From anything and anywhere, and like Rumi says: “What you seek is seeking you”, it feels somehow that ideas come to me mostly when I’m not looking for them, like a vision, when I’m daydreaming, wandering around spontaneously, or just being with myself in silence. I often try to look at things around me with curious and innocent eyes, as if it is the first time I see them, and so I question them…

It can be a poem, a tree, or even the loss of a loved one.

"Without You" by Nadine Feghaly

  • · What would you like to say through your work?
I guess it is more like an invitation to look at things from my own window, in a simple, sensitive, curious, innocent way, asking questions that don’t have answers, reflecting on how things are around us…
  • · Can you tell me about your technique?
I work with watercolor mostly, sometimes I use acrylic or oil pastels, then I work on it digitally to find the exact contrast, color, and composition that I have in mind.

"Love-Window" by Nadine Feghaly

  • · I fell in love with your blog a little over 5 years ago. How did you get the idea to create the blog? How did people react then?
I’ve kept a diary, for as long as I can remember, where I used to write my thoughts, everyday experiences, or poems. And back at that time, there was no Facebook nor Twitter, nor even all those blog sites, so some friends and I started blogging as a way to share these thoughts between us. It felt like a digital diary where I could share it with close friends. And so from there, I started to share more of my writing and poetry until one day Viola’ was born to give them form and colors.

I think the reaction of close friends, and later on people I didn’t know, was what kept me going with the illustrations and motivated me to draw more.

I thank each and every one of them for their beautiful presence, inspiration, and support.

"In Solitude" by Nadine Feghaly
"Dancing Around My Soul" by Nadine Feghaly

  • · Who is Viola’?
Viola’ is an illustrated female character who was born during and after the war between Israel and Lebanon in 2006. It feels like she is that little girl inside of me, that pure innocent self we all have inside…

Through her, I started to draw my pain, dreams, emotions, questions, or anything that I wanted to express or share.

  • · Are there any projects currently in the works?
I’m currently working on some children’s books projects along with more products, jewelry, and accessories.

"Where Is Home" by Nadine Feghaly

  •  · Barcelona! Tell me more about that.
Well, I moved to Barcelona in 2012 to specialize in illustration for children’s books and then found myself getting a Masters in Art Therapy. Since then, I've lived in that beautiful Mediterranean city.

  • · What is it like being a Lebanese artist in Barcelona?
It takes time to make roots again. I left Lebanon without really considering coming back soon. It was not easy. I learned what nostalgia really feels like, I experienced what it is to be away from your family and friends and loved ones, and as an artist I had to learn to believe more in what I do, to start from zero somehow…

"Sea Of Garbage" by Nadine Feghaly
"I dreamt that I came back one day only to find the city (my city, Beirut) drowning in a sea of garbage, surrounded by security forces."
  • · What words of advice can you give to aspiring artists?

To be true. To create from deep within. To connect with the inner, self trusting it, and giving it a space to be.

Check out Nadine Feghaly's Blog, Website, Facebook, and Online Shop for more illustrations!

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