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Sayed Sadat 1 Aotearoa Artist Magazine

Sayed Sadat

Sayed Sadat Aotearoa Artist Magazine

ESCAPE THROUGH ART

Sayed Sadat is an Afghan refugee who has had a remarkably difficult life. He tells us some of his story and illustrates how he came to be here and shares his work with us.

I am a self-taught artist, graphic designer and nature photographer. I never had formal study as my school was burnt down during the Russian invasion in 1979 when I was a year 10 student. My father was a high ranked Police Officer in Afghanistan during King Zahir Shah and president Dawood Khan, and he served his country for nearly 40 years. He, along with my two uncles (who were also army generals) were thrown in jail, right the same day when the Communist Regime took power. Fortunately, my father escaped and took refuge in Pakistan, and soon after that the government turned on me to arrest me or keep me as hostage to get to my father, who joined the opposition. I fled the country for my life and also to stay away from the war, which was started by the Russian invasion in my country, to join him and started living in exile as a refugee.

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Roxanne Milson

THE MAGIC WEAVER

We introduce you to Roxanne Milson, an artist formerly of Australia, now living in Tauranga. Roxanne tells us her story:

I haven’t had any formal art training. My education was based in Graphic Design since I was predominantly a digital artist until two years ago. When I was pursuing education, graphic design was all that was offered for digital artists but it turns out it was not what I wanted! I wanted to illustrate, to draw, to create. So the internet and books were the things that educated me. If I wanted to know how to do something, I looked it up.

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Jordan Turner

jordan-turner-aotearoa-artistTRUE CALLING

At the age of 13, Jordan Turner’s foray into the fine art world was cut short by her family’s relocation from their home town of Cromwell to another country town. She’d only managed to have two private lessons. “My tutor handed me four pieces of paper and directed me to paint four faces without my brush leaving the paper. I feel like ever since that time, I have been mastering faces. He must have known that I was drawn to faces, as it’s exactly what I am drawn to now. The face and body and capturing the emotion, it’s just fascinating to me.” 

She claims her biggest inspiring factor to becoming an artist was when she was 16: “My Mum took my brother and I to the New Zealand Body Art Awards, in Auckland. That event left a lasting imprint and inspired me to research and then sign up and get accepted into studying makeup and film production, at the Design and Art College of New Zealand.” Jordan completed this certificate at the age of 20. From that point she furthered her skills by travelling and sketching her way around Australia and the UK, finally settling in Melbourne. “During this time I really started to focus on developing my creative craft. This involved leading various creative events, teaching workshops and displaying my artworks in galleries and art shows, throughout Melbourne.” 

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UK ARTIST Danny Mooney

Danny-Mooney-aotearoa-artist-the new-zealand-artist-magazine

When drawing people you would think it might help to actually remember their faces… What if you can’t remember them? British artist Danny Mooney suffers from facial blindness but finds that he can overcome this obstacle by focussing on other aspects of a person’s character, an approach that lends itself to caricatures.

“I can draw recognisable people with just a few lines without any real trouble,” he reveals. “I’ve been doing political cartoons. They’re an expression of my annoyance.  Cartoons are caricatures really. Say I’m doing a cartoon of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson… I can do the shape and the way he stands without too much effort. I look at a couple of other people’s cartoons of him and see that they all have little piggy eyes and droopy eyelids. For me the thing that makes Boris look like Boris is the hair, the round face, the fat body and the shabby suit. It doesn’t really need any additional features. That cartoon could be Donald trump or Boris Johnson. In order to produce political cartoons you have to stay abreast of the news but in order to stay sane you have to not stay abreast of the news! It’s a difficult tight rope to walk. I have always recognised people by their shape, the way they move, the way they walk, rather than by their faces. If I’m painting someone then those are the characteristics that are most important to me.”

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Monisha Gallage

monisha-gallage-aotearoa-artistWAX ON - WAX OFF

Born in Sri Lanka, and the daughter of a well recognised newspaper artist, Monisha Gallage did a bachelor’s degree in Fashion and LifeStyle design at the University of Moratuwa. During this course, she did a module of batik in 2012 and completed another course in batik at teachers training college in 2018. She has excelled in this laborious but rewarding discipline in art.

“Soon after I completed university, I started working in apparel manufacturing and worked as a junior fashion designer for several leading apparel manufacturing companies who provide design-to-delivery solutions for some of the world’s most recognized brands such as Calvin Klein, Versace and Superdry Japan. This was a highly competitive and fast-moving environment which I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. I grew up in an arty background as my father was a well recognized newspaper artist in Sri Lanka. He also worked as an Art Advisor for the Ministry of Education and I had the opportunity to get his guidance towards art from an early age.

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Lucia Laubscher-Fantail

Lucia Laubscher

Lucia Laubscher - Aotearoa Artist - The New Zealand Artist Magazine

Lucia Laubscher was born in South Africa and carved an impressive career there around her painting. She immigrated to New Zealand in 2017, and battled with the adjustment of living in a new country with a different culture and set of rules. She started building her career from scratch again and has done exceptionally well in those four years. She tells us her story

When I was five years old, my first grade teacher looked at a cartoon elephant I drew and exclaimed “You are an artist!” This stuck with me throughout my life and my love for creating grew stronger with every passing year. When I was 12 years old my parents ordered me my first oil painting kit in the mail and it arrived with four small canvasses and instructions on how to paint four different artworks – trees, buildings, still-life etc. I enjoyed drawing and experimenting with paint and have always been creative and would find myself doodling all the time.

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Lui Peti

lui-peti-aotearoa-artistLui Peti’s art is surrealistic, emotive and a little quirky. His digital paintings are available to be enjoyed by everyone, with his original work sold online as affordable art prints. His hope is for people to enjoy his art as much as he enjoys creating it. With buyers already in Australia, the USA and Canada, Lui is well on his way to becoming a full-time artist.

I love being able to visualise my thoughts and being able to create art from a process of thinking. I like pushing myself to be braver and reach deeper into my psyche to explore its essence. Perfecting my craft and being surprised by my progress is very satisfying. 

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Toby Willsmer

Toby Willsmer

We often read about acrylics, brushes, and easels, conjuring up images of paint splattered fingers, charcoal pencils strewn about a studio or a well-worn easel. We also read about products admired, like a certain acrylic that works great for adding depth. Enter graphic illustrator, Toby Willsmer, whose favorite equipment isn’t at all messy…

“I use a Wacom Intuos Pro graphics tablet. The pen set up of the Wacom is good for doing light/heavy strokes, varying in size and colour density as you push harder, just like a brush. Wacom has a lot of support in different digital environments so it is easy to set up and get drawing.” Toby’s background is not what you would expect. Forget the ‘IT department’ stereotype, or the graphic design student – it is a drawing tablet after all – and you’ll find traditional art and a few pieces created by spray cans here and there as well as digital. “I’ve been able to draw from a young age. I did an art course in the UK in 1989 but I’m pretty much self-taught from studying other artists and a lot of trial and error. I was always drawing and painting as a hobby and it was something I really enjoyed. “Spray paint was the first medium I got the hang of using, dabbling in graffiti in the 80s and using it on canvases later on. It’s expressive and unforgiving and I like that, as it gives an edge to whatever you paint with it. “Over time it all grew into something that people started to recognise and request.” The motivation behind his creative process is one of drive and determination. Family prove to be a big driver and an inspiration. This helps Toby to kick-start his artwork from its inception, through to the final product.

See more about Toby here: Toby Willsmer.

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Robert van der Touw

robert-van-der-touw-aotearoa-artistTHE PASSION IN PATTERN

Robert van der Touw arrived in New Zealand in 1990 after graduating from the School of Natural medicine in Holland. He always had a strong love for the beauty of nature, even as a four year old boy when he used to wander the Dutch forest and steal flowers and plants out of people’s gardens to put in his own. The police were not amused but were very surprised at his age! “Is that Robert van der Touw” one of them laughed as he entered the room! Roger tells us more of his interest in nature and accomplishing his mission.

Shortly after my arrival here I fell in love (literally) with the native forests of New Zealand. As a practitioner of natural medicine, nature was my ‘playing ground’ and New Zealand’s pristine ancient forests could not provide for a better one. I developed a sincere desire to explore all these beautiful ‘new medicines’. As a trained classical homeopath I was lucky. Homeopathy offers effective research methods to let you explore these.

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Ken Clark - Aotearoa Artist

Ken Clark

Ken Clark - aotearoa artist

THE INDIVIDUAL ART OF MOVING IMAGES

Ken Clarke, an intelligently creative cinemetographer has always considered film and television an art form. Here he brings his vision to us, and considering his tremendously varied artistic background, we are privileged to include Ken in our pages, bringing all aspects of art into your home.  Ken tells us his fascinating story.

I have a BFA(Hons) in Film from Canterbury University. I started it in 1980 and didn’t finish until last year. I have spent most of my life up till now working in the film and television industry; first as a make-up artist, then a stop-motion animator where I sculpted puppets and props and then in post-production and digital effects.

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