Tasneem El-Meshad is a painter who was born in UAE. Growing up in Sharjah, the state of culture, has greatly influenced Tasneem’s character. At a very young age, Tasneem fell in love with art and began to notice her great passion for it. Her lively and zestful personality can be clearly seen in her art works. Tasneem El-Meshad participated with her paintings in a multitude of projects from exhibiting her paintings in local exhibitions to exhibiting them in a university in England. Tasneem hopes that one day she would be able to exhibit her works in Biennale pavilions and we are sure that she will.
Mariez Hany: Tell us about yourself?
Tasneem El-Mehad: I’m a passionate painter graduated from the faculty of fine arts in Zamalek, department of painting. I was born in the UAE and came to Egypt searching for art because there weren’t any art schools in Sharjah, so I came here to join one. Passion for diverse art is the main thing that defines me and makes me who I am. “Opportunities comes to those who are prepared” is the quote that perfectly reflects my art journey. Today, I can say that I worked very hard and seized every opportunity that has ever befallen me. Art, for me, is an ongoing journey that would keep me alive until the day I’m gone.
MH: When did you begin to notice your intense passion for art?
TM: My passion for art grew as I did. It all started from where I lived, in Sharjah, which is the state of culture, it was where I could see different forms of art manifested in exhibitions and events. Also, my parents were keen on taking me to attend cultural events and art exhibitions. The Biennale, for example, was where I use to stare at all works of art and just get lost in them. All these experiences have helped me to absorb art and fall in love with it.
MH: When and how did you start your journey as an artist?
TM: After being enrolled in the faculty of fine arts, I wasn’t a stereotyped student. I used to seek learning art in every possible way and this included closely watching my teaching assistants working on their masters’ projects, spending endless hours in the library and attending infinite exhibitions. My passion for art was the motive and the energy that fueled all this. In my graduation year, my painting was specifically selected by the artist Salwa Elmaghraby to be displayed at the exhibition of “The Seven Promising Female Artists”. My painting which was called “The Atelier” wasn’t only displayed there but also sold at a very high price and this how my journey in the art profession practically began.
MH: How can you describe your first painting experience?
TM: My first painting experience was unforgettable. It was in year one in the faculty of fine arts. I was painting, my mother was behind me and my passion for art was inside me. I remember that I felt puzzled and unsure about the painting, but I recalled what my teaching assistants, who are now great professors, told me. They taught me to be spontaneous and let art smoothly flow from inside me to the canvas in front of me. I took their advice into consideration from then on. The result was my very first painting that I keep till this day and that fully expressed me back then.
MH: What does it take you to start a painting?
TM: To start a painting, there has to be something powerful enough to trigger and challenge me. Truth is, sometimes there isn’t any and that when I seek it. I have “art craves” and I always find the art in the tiniest of details and in places no one thought and this inspires and challenges me to paint.
MH: We’re curious about your unique color palette, Can you tell us more about it?
TM: I always use warm, bold and vibrant colors. I guess this originated back when I was a kid and studying at school. My colleagues were mostly Indian and they used to wear bright colorful clothes all the time. I used to wear like them sometimes because I loved how it looked and vibe it made.
MH: From your point of view, how do you define art?
TM: Art is an ongoing process. It’s a journey of learning, exploring and growing. It’s the thing that keeps me alive until the day I’m gone.
MH: As Tasneem El-Meshad, what inspires you for your art?
TM: I see art everywhere I go. During my early college years, I found a line that I could perfectly express myself in and that is the cubism. Cubism had conquered my heart and mind since the very first time I was introduced to it. I see it as a way to express one’s inner revolution. I never liked going with the flow, never liked imitated someone’s style and never loved static states. So, cubism was my inspiration and gateway to express my revolutionary personality. I also have a secret inspiration from fans, you can easily detect them in my works of art. Fans can represent movement and liveliness and can also represent steadiness and constancy. The flexibly found of the concept of the fan helped me to use it to tell diverse and sometimes opposite meanings.
MH: Who are your favorite artists that you’re constantly inspired by?
TM: There are plenty of them, but they all have one thing in common which is the revolutionary and various styles in paintings. From the creative Mahmoud Abla to Prette Botros Ghaly who beautifully flourished at old age.
MH: Tasneem El-Meshad, tell us more about your different painting styles?
TM: In my opinion, art shouldn’t be limited to a certain school or a certain style. I put my passions together to make my own art. Art isn’t about strict or static styles but rather dynamic feelings and lively states. So, I get challenged with something and I just paint it. Above all, I don’t seek to sell my paintings, I seek to have them find their homes.
MH: Do you have a favorite painting?
TM: Yes, This painting is a favorite to me because it specifically implies the fan and the concept behind it. The non-ending twirling of ideas in our minds that sometimes erupt and other times settle down.
MH: Tasneem El-Meshad, what is your dream as an artist?
TM: I hope to establish my own “Artist in Studio” program. This would be where I blend my experience as an art teacher with my passion for art to create a space of integration and interconnection. I want visitors to feel the artist’s experience in a studio. I aspire to help everyone have the courage and confidence to play around with art and try different artistic styles and types in order to create their own in the end.
MH: If you could give young artists advice, what would it be?
TM: Believe in yourself, be prepared and always seek your passion.