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our interview with @coffeeandcastoffs

here is our interview with the wonderful, Sheikah; she is a Kuwait based illustrator who has a newsletter as well as an online shop that you should check out!!!

What made your love for art grow and prosper? Was it a family member? Mentor? Or a fictional character maybe?

I had this professor at university who sort of became my mentor in a way, she showed me that art didn't have to be one consistent thing, it grew and had a life of its own and our role as artists is to follow it and give it a space to grow.

Who are some of your favorite inspirations in the art community? 

I have a lot of people who I look up to like Fran Menses, Pyer Bleu, Vewn, Joey Yu and more!

What is something you know now that you didn’t know three years ago? And how do you think it has shaped your understanding of your work now? 

That things get better because you work on them. I feel like I had such a bad inner critic when it came to my art, I really never thought id actually get to do this. Since I have seen how my work has grown now I have a lot more faith in myself and have genuine hope for the future and where my art will go. 

Is it hard being an artist on social media in the MENA region? And if so, what are some examples of discrimination or judgments you’ve received?

 It can be difficult sometimes because I personally like to talk about issues that are not widely accepted her but if anything it gives me the chance to be brave and show up for a community I genuinely believe has the possibility for great change. I haven't faced any particular discrimination or judgement but I do get the occasional phone call from family members filled with worry that i've done something horrible when all I've done is speak what I believe to be true.

Did starting commissions improve your art, or art style in any way? If so how?

Yes! Definitely. Client commissions give you the chance to truly push your boundaries and to expect more from yourself. there are a lot of themes that I don't cover in my personal art but my client commissions have forced me to jump into a whole new sets of perceiving art.

In your pieces, you tend to use a limited range of beautiful vibrant colors. Is there a symbolic meaning behind that?

Well since a lot of the times I tend to talk about difficult issues I try to juxtapose that with a bright vivd color palette so they people who don't want to understand it can just see a pretty picture rather than the deeper message!.

And finally, how do you think people can get involved and keep up with you as a social media illustrator?

Well you can find me pretty much everywhere like instagram, tiktok, YouTube etc but the best ways to support me is through instagram, my shop and my newsletter which is on my website!

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