Shafiya Shafi:

Mixing up colors, believes Shafiya is a therapy to her and that is precisely why the psychology student, Shafiya started doing paintings full of meanings. From illustrations to wall paintings and from interior designing to house paintings,  Shafiya has won a number of awards along with the hearts of many.

As a child Shafiya was never interested in paintings, the reason being her perception of paintings as a burden. Grade 7th student, Shafiya couldn’t tolerate the assignments of completing dozens of sketches each week rather she would escape the work knowing less that one day those paintings were going to be the remedy of what she wouldn’t tolerate at all.

Good score means perusing science is a perception in almost every home in Kashmir and so happened to Shafiya who no doubt was good in science as well. But in the quest of exploring herself, being a science student couldn’t help Shafiya who believes that knowing oneself is the first achievement. Taking on her journey to know herself she turned to psychology. “Psychology means the study of behavior; I came to know it only the day I started it. But I know psychology will definitely help me with my goals”, says Shafiya who believes in psychology full of art and art full of psychology.

Other than knowing herself she also wanted to express herself which she couldn’t through words. “It was never easy for me to explain to people how I feel like and soon I realized through my paintings I can reveal my thoughts”, says Shafiya who started with a competition of art in college for which she was awarded with the first position.

This competition may have boosted her up but didn’t get her started. It was only after Shafiya joined the University of Kashmir that she realized she has got paintings to express herself.  In 2016, she joined the Naseem Bagh campus of the university which Shafiya says is full of beauty with Chinar all around. Her destiny had to play its role, thus the department psychology was opposite to the department of fine arts, the department which fascinated her all the time.

A chinar has fallen in the campus and in solitude to its fine arts students had started drawing art over it with whole heart. “I was so excited with this activity that I wanted to paint along with them but they didn’t let me”, says Shafiya who later was allowed by a senior to paint.

 Lips sealed via wire with the text above it ‘Congratulations, it is a girl’ was so adored by all that it got media coverage and she was praised. “There were many other beautiful paintings and I was surprised to see mine was the most adored”, Shafiya smiles. Later she participated in the spring fest of the university and bagged a position for her outstanding art. ““humare liye bhi kuch chod”, students there started to compliment and I was happy for the competition I was giving them”, said Shafiya who further participated in ‘Sonzal’, an art competition in the university, reached to North Zone competition and finally triumphed at national level in the competition held in Ranchi in 2018.

“Believe”, she wrote on the wall of her friend’s room giving a boost to her brush for wall paintings. She painted walls of schools, cafes, houses and then started doing interior designing as well. But everything she was doing was far from the thoughts of her parents who didn’t know about her work. “My dad had heard from people that I was into paintings but didn’t know what exactly my work was about. It was when people from Kolkata came to cover my work and had to shoot my workplace which was my home that my dad got familiar with my work”, says Shafiya who is highly disturbed with the reaction of parents who don’t support the creative skills of their child.

Mentioning about the mentality of many parents towards art she pronounces how parents requested the teachers to transfer their kids from art club to science club at school where she was teaching it. “Parents should be thankful of their children who have got the skills of writing, painting, sketching and being creative because there are many who desire to possess those skills. Parents should understand the mental health of their children rather than forcing them to do what they don’t want to.  And those who have those skills should endorse them and stand for them”, adjures Shafiya.