What started as a hobby in childhood slowly turned into a form of self-expression. I realized, the only time I felt like I could make sense of my thoughts and not feel lost anymore, was when I sketched. There were no boundaries, no restrictions and it made the introvert feel at peace. Pursuing a degree in art was a thought I couldn’t even allow myself to have because my parents had dreamed of seeing me as a doctor. So I did my FSc. with Pre-Medical courses. Being an all-star student, I put a lot of effort into the entrance exam. When the results came, I had missed the merit by 0.2%. Having no second option, I took a gap year to reappear for the test. During the gap year, I lost all motivation.
Instead of studying, I started posting my art online and watching tutorials so I could get better at sketching. I had just gotten access to the internet in 2012 so it was all new to me. That time period played a very important role in where I stand now. I also realized that I didn’t really want to become a doctor and was only doing it to make my parents happy. When I reappeared for the test, I scored even less than I did upon my first attempt. My parents, of course, were very disappointed and I ended up feeling like a failure. It only seemed sensible to choose some science subject as my major. Instead, my mother let me live my dream. In the end, with her support, I took the plunge and enrolled in Fashion Designing. I got a chance to polish my skills and soon after my first year there, I started posting my art more actively on Instagram and got connected to a larger audience.
That life-changing decision has proven to be the best thing that ever happened to me. What is more interesting is that I didn’t just post my work, I am using my skills as a good source of income. It started as a 5×7 inch portrait I did for a friend, since then there has been no slowing down. Belonging to a Pathan family in Peshawar, I’m the first in my family to pursue art as a career and that has only been possible because my parents have been very understanding. I’m not sure what else is next after graduation, but I’m fine with it as long as I’m creating art.