Aaliya Mehraj,the first female Self taught Digital Artist

Aaliya Mehraj,the first female self taught digital artist, who is actually making headway in the contemporary art form and is continously making an effort to make people aware of this interesting form of art and diversify the field thereof.

The talented and young artist, hailing from Nagbal area of Ganderbal district is currently pursuing her BBA and is also an entrepreneur. Her love for digital illustration has been so intense that inspite of facing many hinderances and dejections,she didn’t give up on her passion to draw. For her, it has never been about putting pen, pencil or paper to canvas,but extraordinarily more than that.
When asked about how and when she stepped in this field, Aaliya recalls ” Being the eldest, I had no other child to play with at my home. So my mother, in order to keep me busy, used to put a notebook and a pencil infront of me and I used to scribble on it. That probably instilled seeds of art in me”
Whatever you do in childhood, ultimately leaves a long lasting impression on your persona and this exactly happened with this young artist ,who only came to know about her skill when she was in her fourth grade.
“When I was in my fouth grade, I was given an assignment of drawing the sketch of a scarecrow. Usually my dad or any other person at home used to do this job for me,but fortunately that day,no one was around. Since I had to complete it anyhow, I took a pencil and tried to draw it myself and to my own surprise,the sketch came out to be the actual replica of what i had to copy. I recieved huge applause for that and since then I became interested in the art of drawing”
From there on,she started to draw sketches and paintings and eventually found herself getting more engrossed in her field of pursuit. But for sometime,she was not able to pay much time to her art and the reason was her studies
“Due to my studies, I actually lost touch with my skill of drawing and painting. So,For a long time, I backedoff from this field,as I was unable to focus on both the things at the same time.
Upon asking how she switched to digital art,aaliya had an interesting story to share;
” I was in Delhi for my vaccations and while I was surfing the internet, I accidently bumped onto an app, “auto desk sketch book” with immense and interesting features, which gripped my interest while I was checking it out. Since then I engaged in digital art and there was no going back” ,says Aaliya.
 She has been working as a digital artist even when this art form was not in vogue in kashmir and have hardly tried any traditional art forms since then. For Aaliya, this form of art is more efficient,time saving and interesting than the traditional art forms,making it a solid reason for her to chose it anytime.
Aaliya wasn’t comfortable with uploading her work on internet initially and showed some reluctance towards that. Luckily,however,her sincere attempt to pay tribute to a young online influencer revealed her talent to the whole world.
” I started making sketches using this modern art form but never thought of uploading my work on internet. Whatever I used to draw,I used to keep it to myself. But it was only when a young influencer from the valley died and inorder to pay tribute to him,I drew a sketch of him and unintentionally uploaded it on social media. It grabbed everyone’s attention and I got mixed resonses for my work which encouraged me to reveal my skill to the world.”
Nothing in the world is easy to achieve. For Aaliya’s part of the story,it was no different. Many taunted and mocked her art form as mere editing of pictures as people were not aware of this contemporary art form.
” People at first were prejudiced towards my work. They thought that it is just an editing of pictures as they lacked knowledge about it,but it is not. Digital art is not the editing of pictures. You have to make it in the same way as any other traditional art is made,only the medium is different”. Says Aaliya
Initially even her family was reluctant towards accepting her chosen field of art and didn’t support her. But in due course of time,when she started reccieving orders,her parents started appreciating her skill and art.
” My aim is to conduct workshops to clear the misconceptions regarding digital art as people confuse it with mere editing of pictures. I want people to take this art form seriously. All the misconceptions regarding this art form should be cleared and i am striving for that” says Aaliya while talking about her future pursuits.
Published By Javaid Lone

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