T here may be many kinds of artists out there who have their own kind of spark which allows them to bring out creativity which is distinctive and remarkable. It is even more great when you get to shine your creativity with such finesse and win hearts. Pakistan’s a plethora of delectable foods and snacks. And what could be more interesting than to see the spread of our favorites presented miniature style! We spoke with the truly gifted Hamail Bukhari who has paved the way for miniature art in the country as she leaves us flabbergasted with her fine work that leaves you in awe. Learn more on her exciting journey, what inspires her and what is more to come:
SD: When did you know you wanted to become a miniature artist?
Hamail: Believe it or not, becoming a miniature artist was never on my to-do list. The fact that I could execute such art and it would get such an overwhelming response, came as a complete surprise to me. Despite having excellent teachers and a great sculpture department at college, the lockdown was a difficult time, especially for art students and I am sure they can relate. Without a studio and one-on-one interaction with our mentors, it is tough to deal with the assignments let alone learn something new. I got the idea of creating miniature art pieces because at the time my family decided to spend the lockdown with the rest of our extended family in the mountains and didn’t have access to a lot of material. I wanted to make use of whatever I had on hand and also wanted to use it wisely. Making miniature art pieces worked best at that time and I realized it was therapeutic and pretty fun to do as well.
SD: What kind of professional skills did you attain and how?
Hamail: I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. I have had several event planning gigs in the past. Being enrolled in NCA-Rawalpindi was the start of my professional studies and I chose Sculpture as a major in the Department of Fine Arts. As I mentioned before, I never planned on embarking on this miniature journey so I didn’t have any special skill-building in that area. There are millions of very talented miniature artists across the globe and their work is noteworthy. However, my work is unique in the sense that it’s a blend of the sculpture techniques my teachers taught me and some miniature art techniques I found on the internet.
SD: What was the first artwork you made and what was it about?
Hamail: As aforementioned, I have been into art for as long as I can remember so I can’t recall what my very first art piece was. In the miniature niche, however, my first piece was the Ramadan miniature series which had miniature Samosas, Jalebis, and Dahi Bhallas. This is also memorable because I received an overwhelming response and lots of love and appreciation which further encouraged and motivated me to make more of such artwork.
SD: Considering how you target Pakistani food, do you wish to showcase our culture and preferred palate?
Hamail: Pakistani food was one of the many things I made as miniature art. All these pieces hold sentimental value and connect me to the lost loved ones. I was fortunate enough to receive so much love and admiration for all my work, especially the cultural food pieces. I don’t have a particular preference as I recreate whatever has meaning in my life. Going through the responses, I found how many of my followers also connected and related to my work and that has been the most wholesome feeling in all of my career. Showcasing Pakistani culture is just one part of the many-fold meaning my art delivers.
SD: How do you wish to develop your skills further?
Hamail: For further development, I want to explore subjects and new scales. Other than that I want to focus my energies on stop-motion films that will bring my miniatures to life. My artwork will be focused on educating future artists. Every art piece and creative endeavor should hold meaning and make a difference in the world and my films will do exactly that: teach the artists to make art that matters and teach the public that the artists’ matter.
SD: What is the smallest size of your food creation?
Hamail: The only scale that I have worked on is 1:12, every other piece is larger than this.
SD: How do you think such creativity in Pakistan should be encouraged and
Hamail: I believe in working hard and staying dedicated to your passion. Encouragement is inevitable when you know you have worked day and night to achieve something. Not everyone might have the luxury of attending an art school in Pakistan and even if a student is talented, they will have to keep pursuing art as a side hobby. No matter what the circumstance, staying true to your goal will always pay off. Sure there are tools for growth and development and making use of them is wise, but excellence is solely dependent on your resilience and patience. Once the world sees how hardworking and determined you are, encouragement and development will follow you, not the other way round.
SD: Your words of encouragement to those who want to create something unique?
Hamail: I want to focus on the unique aspect of this question. I would encourage artists who want to do something new and unseen before. Getting inspired and blindly copying someone else’s work are different things. The world will take notice if you have something special and new to offer. Running after what’s trending will only leave you confused and lost. As I have said before, follow what’s close to your heart and what brings you happiness, encouragement, and appreciation will come to your doorstep. Being a new and emerging artist can be challenging. Thinking about how people will judge your personality because of your art content can be daunting but once you remove the fear and express yourself boldly, you will realize it is the most liberating and freeing experience in the world.