Sunday, February 13, 2011

Women Who Create Beautiful Things - Soraya Nulliah

I'm very fortunate to have for my "Women Who Create Beautiful Things" interview series a very talented, kindred spirit and now fellow Californian, Soraya Nulliah.

Tell me a little about yourself?
I am a mixed media artist, wife, mamma, storyteller, creative soul. I gave birth the same month I turned 40 (!!) and feel that right now, raising Tara is my most important work. That being said, I still try to juggle painting, blogging, spending quality time with my hubby and everyday creativity into my life. It’s difficult (as all of us mammas know!) but possible. Of course I’m sleep deprived much of the time!

Can you share an experience when you realized painting was your passion and how has it evolved?
I started painting and drawing in my teens but without any encouragement or support (I actually experienced ridicule)…as I entered my twenties, I stopped. I then went through a whole decade of soul searching and mending my soul without once picking up a paintbrush. Of course I still visited museums, art galleries and read artist biographies but not once during this time did I ever consider myself an artist. When I turned 30 I went on a 4 month pilgrimage to India that changed the course of my life. During this journey, I came face to face with mySELF and could no longer ignore my deepest yearnings to paint. While in India, I took private lessons with a master sculptor and his mentoring was invaluable to me. When I came back from that journey, I filled up canvases, started taking classes and workshops and wholeheartedly embraced my creative spirit.
My work has evolved in many ways, My earlier painting were heavily influenced by Indian aesthetics but after the birth of my daughter, my work became more universal. Now I wanted to speak to the deepest parts of ourSELVES. Our broken-ness and our whole-ness.

What do you think about when you start a painting…what do you want to say?
Diana, most times when I start painting I have no set agenda!! I write a lot though and feel that this translates into my art. Whether it’s a few lines, a poem or pages and pages…all my ideas start with words. Once I get to the canvas I allow the painting to speak to me. What colors should I use? Line, text, shape? Sometimes   a painting will just sit there, half finished, for 6 months or more and sometimes it all just comes together in  a short time.
But always, always, always…the message in my art are our stories. We all have them and I deeply believe that when we share them honestly, we grow and inspire others to do the same. My stories are rich with pain and vulnerability, joy and hope, pain and promise. I try to bring all the pieces of who I am to my art. I hope to connect to others through my he(ART)

 I understand you took the Kelly Rae Roberts e-course.  What impact has it had on you.
Oh! this class was, hands down, one of the best classes I have ever taken! Like so many of us, I had all these things I wanted to do…someday. Like open up my Etsy shop, set up my website etc. But I was overwhelmed, scared, tired and had no idea how to do any of it. When Kelly encouraged us to take tiny steps, that we could figure it out along the way…we didn’t have to know how to do everything all at once, that really gave me heart. This shift in perception was huge for me…it allowed me to stop procrastinating simply because I didn’t know how to do something!
Also, Kelly was so honest, authentic and candid…to witness someone living from their core was a powerful and inspiring example.
I am happy to say that Flying Lessons gave me the courage, know-how and kick in the pants to set up my own website and open up my Etsy shop! 

What goals do you have for the future?  Is there any advice you can give a young artist?
My immediate goals are to refine/find my style (I just wrote a blog post about this).
I also want to build up my Etsy shop. Like so many artists, I have a difficult time focusing on the biz side of things…I would much rather be in my studio.

Hmmm? Advice to  a young artist?
Be yourself, follow your dreams, listen to your heart. I think a lot of times artists (photographers, writers etc) are cautioned against pursuing their passion because they are told …it’s too impractical, how are you going to earn  a living at this, what’s the value in it etc. But I say-do what you are passionate about and then figure out how to make money doing it.

Also, take as many classes as you can. Learn new techniques, try out new mediums and styles and then…bring into this world what only you can. Your vision, your art, your magic!
Thanks so much for this interview Diana!

Thank you, Soraya, for sharing your art and yourself with us.  Your interview touch my heart in so many ways.  I am so grateful that you took the time to spend it here.  

For more information about Soraya or to purchase her prints, please visit her website, etsy shop or blog.  

Next week I have a very special interview from my favorite southern belle, Terri Smith, of Dimples & Dragonflies. Please come back and get to know that special woman behind the wonderful, warm words of encouragement left in the comment section of your blogs. 


Diane said...

Great interview and wonderful artist. Thanks so much Diana, for introducing her to me!

Artist Terri Smith said...

Diana..Thank You So Much For This Lovely Introduction To Soraya. Her Work And Story Immediately Touched My Heart! Sweet Diana..You Have A Special Quality In Knowing What Questions To Pose An Artist. I Truly Believe It Takes A Soul Of An Artist To Know What To Look For. I Deeply Appreciate That You Chose To Take The Time To Look. Hugs From Your Southern Friend, Terri

Jen @Sadie Inspired said...

I really enjoyed reading Soraya's interview and visiting her blog. I love "meeting" new artists so thank you very much! Happy Valentine's Day too!!

Carola Bartz said...

Great interview, Diana. I've "known" Soraya since Flying Lessons and she is a wonderful artist, a true person and such a thoughtful woman. It all was evident in this interview. I enjoyed it very much.

Soraya Nulliah said...

Dear Diana-thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. You did a great job with the very thoughtful questions you asked.
Oh! just wondering if...the next time you come down to San Diego...maybe we can meet for coffee/lunch? It would be a pleasure! xxx

Lorrie Everitt Studio said...

Great interview ... as soon as I saw Soraya's painting I realized that I had seen her name before through Flying Lessons. So nice to see how far she has come in such a short time. Thanks for sharing!

Kelly Berkey said...

Hi Diana,

Great interview. I love the color Soraya uses in her mixed media work. I'm now a few follower of hers.

Keep up the great interviews my dear friend!


eva diva said...

I've been following Soraya's blog since flying lessons and have since fell in love with her strength, wisdom, talent in both her art and words she shared so generously!Diana, I'm so happy you picked that up and interview her so more artistic women are inspired by her!

Kat Sloma said...

Lovely art and lovely interview! Thanks so much for sharing with us Diana. This is a wonderful series.