Join Standard Goods this Thursday for March Capitol Hill Art Walk. Featuring 2 Seattle based artists in an exhibit titled "MILIEU."
Meet Nur Shojai she is an artist and illustrator working in a variety of mediums and styles. Her works in contemporary realism explore the internal experiences of young people in urban environments. The scenes capture emotions and moods that portray a sense of a snapshot into a narrative about the characters. Ordinary and familiar settings become captivating moments witnessing core human experiences of pain, fear, connection, self-reflection, and victory. Learn more about this months artwork on our event page.
Explain your style as an artist to us?
Versatile but consistently bold. I love to explore a variety of painting styles and subjects, from neon-colored magical animals to realistic portraits and figurative works. Though diverse, my style as an artist has always been bold, vivid, and bright. My compositions are always centered around one or two striking elements.
Where did you grow up? How did your experiences growing up shape you into the artist that you are today?
I am Persian by heritage. I was born in Israel, and grew up in Colombia, Bolivia, Canada and the United States. My formative years spent in Latin America infused me with passion, intensity, color and rhythm. My parents were always very encouraging of my creativity and art, and they provided many opportunities for me to explore different art forms. In middle school I was part of a Colombian folk band playing the traditional drums! These types of experiences really helped me gain appreciation and value for being a part of an artist community and collaborating with other creatives, something that I currently make an important part of my visual arts practice.
If you could choose one superhuman power, what would it be?
To eat anything and everything I want without gaining weight! Is that lame? I'm such a foodie.
If you could have lunch with anyone from the past/present...or future, whom would you choose?
I would love to meet writer Elizabeth Gilbert, since her book "Big Magic" really changed my life as an artist.
Name 3 ways your personality is reflected in your work?
My favorite climate is hot and sunny; I love the natural light and warmth from the sun, which is often the type of light source that I like to paint in my portraits. I also love animals and these tend to be my subjects for my fantasy and representational paintings. Beauty and visual aesthetics are important values to me, which I always reflect in the type of images I create, even if the concept is dark or unpleasant, my images maintain a visual aesthetic that I consider beautiful.
Where do you feel the most inspired?
In the company of friends, in community, and in making new connections with awesome humans! I am definitely an extrovert and I get a lot of energy and inspiration from my interactions with others.
What is your workspace like?
I work from my home studio in First Hill. Half of my living room is converted into a make-shift studio, with a big sturdy easel, a stainless steel bar cart carrying most of my materials, my iMac, lots of canvases leaning against the walls and tons of books and sketchbooks in stacks on the ground. It's pretty basic but it works for now. Having a home studio has its pros and cons; I love the comforts of having my bedroom and kitchen so close so I can take breaks seamlessly and also decide to keep working at odd hours. However, it feels like my work is constantly present and it's easy to get distracted with other domestic tasks. I definitely have the goal of getting a separate studio space outside of my home in 2017!
What do you hope to convey to the viewer with your work?
In my realistic work I hope to convey the beauty and intricacy of seemingly ordinary settings and moments. I believe that at the core essence, there is oneness and unity in the human condition and experience, regardless of age, gender, race, etc. Although the outer form of our lives and experiences may differ, the energy and essence of those experiences are universal. Therefore, I hope that the viewer connects to the energy of the characters and setting, free to interpret or project whatever meaning they associate with the image. I hope that my works can become a mirror whereby the viewer can reflect and gain insight on their own lived experience.
Any Creative projects you are working on currently?
I'm very excited to be working as the illustrator for several children's books with a few different authors internationally.
As for my contemporary realism oil paintings, I'm working on an exciting new series that will emphasize the female figure and feminine identity and power. This new series will digress from my usual urban environments, to feature more foliage and nature settings, and many of the women in these paintings are women of color and artists that I have a personal connection to.