Artist Fatema Josh - A personal story
My journey in the United States began in 2002 in Rochester NY, where I started my family in a land foreign to me. It was thousands of miles away from my hometown, Klang Malaysia where I was born and grew up. My husband’s work brought us here and we lived remote for seven years. Although beautiful, it had harsh winters and most of our time would be spent indoors, except for the two summer months that came by during the year. His travel oriented job and my solitude ignited the artist within me that had diminished after graduating from Art & Design school with my major in Graphic Design. Illustrations were than a mere subject but I started using my experience and former education to bring back some joy and creativity. I purchased some basic art supplies from our nearest and only art store and started expressing myself. It was as if I found a friend through my canvas, with whom I could speak and the other would always listen. It was a joy resonating with my thoughts and emotional state while expressing my heart and mind on an empty canvas. This eventually carved my path in pursuing my creative voice through visual arts.
I’m always connected with intuitive experiences and derive inspirations from personal moods, nature , travel and life at large. I have a romantic relationship with my canvas, I find it to be my best friend with time and a platform to capture my stories through colors and various techniques.
My process usually involves experimenting with colors through various layers and undefined brushstrokes, leaving it for the viewer to create an imagination of his own. Having a vague vision in my mind beforehand helps me execute my paintings through a thoughtful process. I feel my work should convey happiness and positive vibes as compared to disturbing images from events around us regularly. I live in a fantasy world surrounded by dreamy visuals in my mind, hoping to express those ideas on my canvas. They’re mostly spontaneous ideas that mean something to me, touch my heart in many ways and I wish to share it with my viewers, so they could find their happy spot amidst my dreams and vision. I think we all need a space to calm our struggles and moods and to be able to connect ourselves into telling our stories beyond words, in a more wholesome and universal language. I seek that calm space in my work, inspired to deliver the same to the ones visualizing it.
As a professional artist practicing in Houston for 10 years now, my works have been acquired worldwide and commissions done for various clients, locally and internationally. I work with client specifications and budget and provide affordable payment solutions. I've also illustrated children's books and contributed to voluntary work in the community.
My original pieces have been exhibited in the City Hall of Houston, Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts and the Houston Public Library in recent years. I am affiliated with the Islamic Arts Society of Houston and have been participating with various charitable organization such as the YMCA International, Art on the Avenue CDC and IRUSA as an artist.
I have frequently participated in group gallery shows in the Houston and Galveston area and have been curated into Juried competitions. Much recently, I was invited to spot in a commercial campaign empowering woman on National television by the Texas Woman's Hospital in 2018, in Houston.
I’m honored to represent and be part of the cultural diversity in this city!
"Painting is poetry seen through the eyes and felt through the heart.."
Amidst this intuitive process, I do focus a lot of time on improvising my technical skills, working on representational work, Islamic art related themes, especially from the Fatimid Era in Cairo. I often work with clients to prepare original paintings for their space, simultaneously working with their vision and interior design preferences.
As an artist, and someone who believes in changes through time, be it changing one’s perception, approach and understanding of life , I’m also constantly evolving in my work and style and seeking to liberate myself even further. I’ve enjoyed being a risk taker, wanting to explore possibilities and ready to face consequences that come with it. I’m keen on breaking through rules and restraints to fulfill a sense of freedom in my execution, and to evoke simplicity with a wider perception of things around us as I take my work into a more abstract style. I’m challenging myself to understand my thoughts and be able to play with colors in various settings while connecting it to nature and self.
Being an educator, I’ve taken pride in sharing my painting knowledge with students who wish to learn , including kids and adults. I think art liberates the soul and believe it’s a proven method to channel stress in our lives. The therapeutic nature of art brings me to advocate for its practice in everyday life for self and others.
" You have such a sweet relationship between you and your paintings!
Everything you make exudes sweetness. I love it! Warms my heart! "