Laleh Kamalian

My artistic journey is an interesting one, which surprises even myself whenever I think about it.  I found art quite accidentally at a later stage of my life after going through a career path that resembles more like a roller coaster than a path!

I started working as a qualified physician after university, moving on to get a PhD in science and working as a research scientist until recently, always aware that I did not enjoy my job, but not knowing what else I could do like many others carried on doing it just for the sake of having a job. 

 

In October 2014, at the age of 48, only forced by some emotional obligation towards my friends I started attending a very informal art class, in which I was the only one who had never held a pencil to draw anything.  I surprised myself by realising I not only enjoyed drawing but also was quite good at it.  As a result, I started drawing as an enjoyable hobby, and a nice distraction from my daily job. Then I started trying my hands in all different media in the following three years. 

 

However, it did not get serious for me until December 2017 when I was forced to stay in a hospital bed for three months, and ended up drawing portraits of almost all the staff who were looking after me.  The feedback I received, the chronic illness I was diagnosed with, and having enough time to think deeply about my life made me realise that for me art had become the only thing worth spending time on.  I made myself part time as soon as being discharged from the hospital with the aim of becoming a full-time artist as soon as I could.

 

Since then I have worked very hard learning many techniques and producing many pieces of art in different mediums such as oil, acrylics, pastel and watercolour; but colour pencils have proved to be the love of my life.  In the course of 2019-2020 I focused on advancing my colour pencils techniques, using very interesting, versatile and novel surfaces and methods.  I tried combining it with other media such as acrylics and pastel to create what is called mix media, or colour pencil painting. 

 

My main interests are portraits from people and animals, especially wild animals, and botanical art.  I like to create art work focusing on a specific subject, highlighting its characteristics or character.  I consider myself a realist artist, but I always want my audience to be able to differentiate my art from a photograph straight away.  So there always will be some roughness, some extraordinary colours or composition to indicate that.  I love using bright and vibrant colours, and am not shy using them in my drawings. 

 

Since 2018 my art has been exhibited in many exhibitions, and published in a couple of art magazines. I am very lucky to have found art, and will never look back.