Throughout the month of October, artmejo hosted its first ever Inktober contest, promising the winner to become Artist of the Month. Through an online campaign, artmejo called for artists to submit in daily ink drawings on social media by tagging @artmejo and hashtagging #inktoberjo18.

The hashtag received over 1,100 regional and international entries, with many participants standing out. Zain Sharif took on an interesting double challenge where for 31 continuous days, like a puzzle, she completed a small study of Leonardo Da Vinci‘s The Last Supper. A month later, Sharif revealed her grand masterpiece cementing her place as artmejo‘s Artist of the Month.

 

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110 Likes, 7 Comments – zs (@zainsharif.art) on Instagram: “~”

Below is a small interview conducted by our editors with Sharif along with her 31 ink drawings.

Please tell us about your Academic background

The New English School was my second home for 12 years where I did Art and Design as an O-level and an A-level amongst other subjects. I’m currently a 3rd year Dental student at the Jordanian University of Science and Technology.

Why did you decide to partake in this challenge?

For a few months prior to this year’s Inktober I was experimenting with ballpoint pen art and by the time it arrived I was feeling very comfortable with pens and ink I thought it would be perfect to keep going with that “‘medium” while simultaneously partaking in a challenge with conditions that coincidentally met perfectly with what I was working on.

How was the experience?

Rewarding, I felt like I somewhat accomplished something. There were days where I was very caught up and submitted an entry only a few minutes before midnight, but I guess that’s what makes it a challenge.

Did it affect/change anything in the way you create? Did it teach you anything?

Definitely, scrolling through my sketches from day 1 to day 31, I could easily notice some improvements, and more importantly I was able to spot mistakes. I found myself comparing previous days with each other to decide what to do next and how, switching some minor techniques and slowly figuring out what I prefer day by day.. the process alone was amusing.

What kept you going for 31 days?

I thought it was a good opportunity to grow the content count on my Instagram art account and keep it active, a post a day seemed ideal. I already planned the idea of having small sketches put together to make one big cohesive artwork. I was determined to complete it because it felt like putting together a puzzle piece, and I was eager to see how it would look like put together eventually.

What is your usual medium of choice and what makes it so special?

I honestly don’t think I have that yet, I’d stick to one medium for a while then I’d suddenly feel the urge to go and work with another. Recently, I started working with acrylics and watercolours. But if I were to pick one medium, I’d go for watercolors, because they’re the first medium I ever worked with. Ballpoint pens are convenient for small sketches on the move, I fell in love with how easy it is to pick them up and carry them around whenever.

What is your favourite subject matter, why?

I used to heavily lean towards learning and creating landscape art while in high school (you can never go wrong following a Bob Ross tutorial). I spent a great deal of time and effort creating landscapes and portraits at the time so I always feel like I’m rooted to those two. But for the past few months I’ve developed a huge interest in Renaissance art– I enjoy observing and sketching studies of paintings done by Botticelli and Michelangelo. I originally wanted to do and Inktober take on Primavera, but decided to do The Last Supper instead.

How have you developed as an artist?

I believe I’ve trained myself to have a good eye, which is something that takes a lot of time to obtain and keep. I also constantly feel like I still haven’t found one subject matter/medium to stick to, but with my ballpoint series this month I felt like I developed some sort of a personal style (even if temporarily).

How is your art relevant to this time and age?

It’s relevant in the sense of the simplicity it displays, a small sketchbook/notebook and a ballpoint pen is something anyone of any age can purchase and try whenever. I encourage everyone to give it a go.

Who are you inspired by?

I’m inspired by other local artists from my age. While it is eye-opening to look at artists’ works from different generations and countries, I feel like it’s vital to check out what people around me are doing.

What are you inspired by?

Observation. It’s a critical part of my “process”. To look at as many things as possible, for as long as possible, as often as possible, I genuinely believe it’s is the key to unlocking ideas trapped in your mind…

 What do you aim to achieve through your art?

For so long my aim was to maintain a hobby, right now I enjoy creating simple artworks that people enjoy seeing, and for the future I hope to eventually create large scale artworks that display some sort of self-expression which people can relate to or find themselves in.

All image courtesy of the original artists.

Special thank you to Samir and Ghassan for sponsoring this contest.

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