"My characters become apparent to me as they are being painted. A flick of the paint brush or the eccentricity of the hair can reveal a different character."
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Shazia grew up in a large family full of girls in Keighley, Yorkshire. She used to watch her mother making dresses with a sewing machine and listen to her stories.
She knew from a very young age that she could draw, but it was her talent for remembering details by heart that became the benchmark of the work she produces today. Shazia had excellent art teachers as a child, which she believes were a major influencer in helping to reach her artistic potential.
Shazia takes inspiration from her travel diaries and sketch books, music and watching others. She carries a journal full of magazine and newspaper cut outs, and says that transferring this into her work can be either easy or challenging.
She often begins painting low down on a canvas, a faint outline of a head and then usually takes a free reign and see where the brush takes her. Shazia's characters become apparent to her as they are being painted; the eccentricity of the hair can reveal a completely different character. She paints in oils on canvas which Shazia says gives her flexibility and direction.
The characters in Shazia prints often have an unsettling charm made more apparent by their enigmatic gaze. The nervousness revealed in the tiny, blank eyes and the absence of a mouth would make you believe that they are lonely characters, devoid of communication. But Shazia believes they provide sentiments of hope, joy, sadness and loss.