Truck Art has gained a lot of fame over the past years. Today we got in touch with one of the major forces behind this movement. Join Social Diary as we discuss things with Anjum Rana of Tribal Truck Art.
- Briefly tell us a little about yourself? Your background, education etc.
I studied in NWFP and always admired the Colours on the trucks, and made a note of the interesting, hilarious, meaningful poetry at the back of the goods truck.
I was in college till my FSC in Peshawar and then moved to Lahore where I did my Masters in Psychology and worked as Psychologist.
Then there were ideas flowing every day a new piece, metal, wood cement surfaces were the best. We painted surmaedani’ sin brass , tables , chairs , buckets , tubs , refrigerators , deep freezers , fans, cycles , cars , enamel mugs , trays ,kettles and so on.
Today I have almost 40 different products including ceramic tiles for floors and tea and dinner sets.
- How did you come across the idea of promoting truck art? Was it something you had always wanted?
I always liked truck art, but I did not know what to do with it. Many years later I decided to have a trunk painted and went looking for truck painters in different truck “adda’s” in Karachi.
I found an old man painting a truck, who was not confident about painting a box initially. So, I sat with him not knowing what I wanted at that point, and gave some ideas. The trunk became my drawing room piece, soon someone gave me an offer and I sold the box. So that is how I started promoting truck art
- It is commendable how much you have been established as a recognized face of creating this venue for truck art. How did you approach to promote this culture?
It was a challenge and a battle upstream as Truck art was considered cheap garish and kitsch. My family was asked why is your ‘mother ‘, ‘wife ‘ doing this work, couldn’t she find something better to do. With my family’s support for 19 years I achieved my goal of bringing truck art into the mainstream and promoting this unique art from Pakistan all over the world. And providing the truck artists with an alternate source of income. The negativity I faced in the beginning did not stop me from pursuing my goal.
Most places I visit for work are dominated by men, it was never an obstacle and since I converse in Pushto I get a lot of respect and attention to work. Women must not feel insecure or unconfident working with men.
- How does it feel to be known as a major force behind promoting and brining truck art to the fore front?
It feels great, as I have finally achieved what I wanted to. I think I have been successful in making truck art popular and bringing it to main stream. These artists have a lot of respect and work now. People visit them for different purposes, they want decor for their weddings, festivals and other occasions. Everybody is happy and truck art is famous all over the country now.
- To what do you attribute your success?
I would attribute my success to being persistent and passionate about the work that I was doing. I single mindedly followed my dream and wanted to help the artists in bringing their work to the same level as that of other artists. I think it was my hard work and the fact that I stayed focus on my goal of promoting truck art all over the world.
- What are some of the challenges that you have faced throughout your journey, specifically dealing with men and working in a male dominated sector?
It is a man’s world, but I did not face such challenges as I spoke their language. They were very respectful towards me and were happy to have someone working for them. They were very receptive and felt safe working in those remote truck addas, where you could see no woman. Everybody treated me like their own and has always been very hospitable.
- You have had exhibitions all over the world and within Pakistan as well. How have the experiences been different?
I have met many interesting people through my exhibitions and also accomplished many challenging goals.
A French shoe designer got shoes, shoe box and invitation card designed by us “Tribal truck Art” team.
We painted six vehicles in Paris and paraded on Champs-Élysées’s with a brass band playing. It was very well received.
Other exhibitions held abroad were in Jordan, Lebanon, India, Jakarta, Oslo, New Zealand, Glasgow, London, Santa Fe’ U.S .
- Tell us about your responsibilities as the owner of Tribal Truck Art?
It is my top most responsibility to promote truck art in a positive fashion, and look after the truck artists, their interests, and rights and protect them and their artwork. I also want to take this form of art to another level and promote it further.
- Which piece of art is your personal favourite and why?
There is no favourite piece. I love all of them, as there is no single piece that I have no worked on with passion. Each one that I work on I put my heart and soul in it.
- What future exhibitions have you planned for your organization?
We have two exhibitions in Iran this year and an exhibition in the UAE as well.
- If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out within the industry, what would it be?
Just keep doing what you have to do and follow your dream.
- Describe a typical day of yours.
A typical day for me begins with an idea of what to paint and the design, the painters come over, we sit under the tamarind tree in all kinds of weather conditions, I guide the painters with design and colours, and try and come out with a different design each time .Working from the has its advantages, as I can take out time for my personal life and also overlook the paintwork at the same time.
- When you’re not busy with work, what are some of your favourite things to do?
When I am not busy with work I like visiting friends or having them over. I also enjoy visiting exhibitions and art galleries.
- On what do you spend the most: clothes, accessories, perfumes or anything else?
It would be household items, or household gifts. It is my favourite sort of shopping.
- How do you take out the time for your personal life, specifically with so much going around you?
Since I work from home I have a lot of time. It is easy to do personal things when the art work is getting dried. So I get a lot of time to run personal errands and get work done.
- Give a message to your fans through the platform of Social Diary Magazine.
A message for my social diary friends, “Stay focused, don’t give up, and do something you are passionate about”