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Siddiqa Juma On Creativity & Art In Islam

Episode 23

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Hosted by
Maruf Yusupov

I help people discover their purpose in life and follow their passion to live in prosperity.

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Siddiqa Juma is an award-winning Muslim graphic artist. In this episode, we discussed creativity in Islam and as Muslims in our current time. 

We also discussed her journey to the house of Allah one painting at a time which is a recurring theme in her artwork. 

Show Notes

Islamic Art Prints
https://www.islamicartprints.com

Interview transcript

Maruf: Hey, this is Maruf. Welcome to the show Muslims On Fire. Welcome to another episode. Today, I welcome a sister. Welcome to the show. Thank you very much. 

Juma: Salam, Maruf. How are you? 

Maruf: It’s a pleasure to have you. How are you? Very well. So today is your turn. Are you ready for that? 

Juma: Inshallah!

Maruf: Sounds good. So, the way it goes, we’ll talk about your childhood first. Then we go to find out and fold your steps and how you figure out what’s your calling reason for being. 

I think you have a very beautiful purpose in life and then we’ll start with the first question. So here it comes, you know, one of the questions we ask our guests, is when you look at your childhood, sometimes, you know, we collected eyes looking backwards. Do you think any moment or any memory is as pacific as that contributes to the person who you are today. 

Juma: I’ve always enjoyed like, all children. I suppose I enjoy painting, drawing, scribbling. But there are certain moments that in a way got me really interested when I was eight years old. I was born in Zanzibar. So I’m from East Africa. 

Maruf: Magical country it is! It’s so beautiful. 

Juma: It really is so beautiful. So when I was eight years old, I did a drawing, a sketch of an African woman with a basket of fruit balanced on her head and I sent it to the local newspaper and they printed it and it was a tiny little picture. But to me that was like winning the Oscars as soon as you can. As you can well imagine. 

Maruf: Was this in the UK or the place you’re born?

Juma: No, it was actually in Dares Salaam and East Africa. 

Maruf: Yeah, there is.

Juma: That to me was really special.

Maruf: It was a fervent first proof of concept that it works. 

Juma: Yes, you could call it that but it was just kind of a child just having fun and I didn’t take it seriously or I didn’t, you know, I was eight. So obviously it was just something that  I was very proud of. My parents were very proud, but we parted that it wasn’t something and then we came over to the UK when I was 13. I carried on with my schooling. So I didn’t really take it any further than that. 

Maruf: Can you answer my question before we just move forward? Look as you said like there are many kids that they like drawing. I’ve two daughters. They love painting. But you took it as a profession. 

But I wanna ask you this incident that look, everybody paints, like kids, but not everyone sends their paint to the magazine or newspaper you mentioned. What made you do that? 

Juma: I’m really not sure. I think I’m gonna just try my luck. I mean, you know, I happen to have the address. So I thought okay send it. Then it was like there was a picture in the newspaper that you know, people could send their art. And so I did. Yeah, so I didn’t expect it to be but to appear or anything, but that’s how I was very very pleased. It was my early recollection of me doing art.

But then,You know as you grow up, you know, we did within our community, you know, it’s very unfortunate in a way that we don’t take creativity. We don’t encourage creativity or painting or drawing. Yeah, as you ask kids, especially from the subcontinent and Arab backgrounds and so on. 

You know, what do you want to be when you grow up they’ll tell, you want to be a doctor or a pharmacist or not very much the artist or a lawyer exactly. Exactly all very well. While careers I’m sure but. 

Maruf: Why do you think it is? 

Juma: Because generally, painting art and so on we don’t put too much emphasis or importance to it, you know, it’s not easy to make a living and parents want careers for their children in something that they will make a lot of money in I suppose. 

That could be one reason. The other reason also is I believe that I don’t know. It’s not seen even now if you go to sort of Asian subcontinent Arab color it Contemporary Art all you don’t think too much of it. This is changing. Alhamdulillah, but I think we still got a way to go. So I think that there are many contributing factors, but I think this is certainly a couple that I can think of.

Maruf: So, you came to the UK when you were 13 years old. So you went to school, so continue your story. 

Juma: But I went to school. I did all the core subjects. I, you know, did the Sciences, the bad thing which I also did Art. My parents wanted me so much to be a pharmacist. It was thank goodness for the world that I’m not. 

Because sometimes I think I’d be lousy at it, but I continue to paint and I really want to do, I really enjoyed it, that’s something quite relaxing, isn’t it? It’s you know, when you’re creating something putting it up on the wall. It’s lovely. So I went to art school, you know. 

Maruf: So, this is after school, right?

Juma: After you finished High School. Yeah, I went to art school. I did graphics, a career that you can make money and it’s not, it was creative. I did Graphics but I continue to pay it and it was a hobby, you know, people were always joking with us in our housewife with a hobby. That’s who I was, you know, I was painting. 

But as I continued obviously to earn money Outlets. I was doing Graphics but as you know Maruf, I started to also as my children were growing up. I published books as well, children’s books. I don’t know whether you do know this, Maruf.

Maruf: I knew about some projects about kids, but not the books. 

Juma: Yeah, I published children’s books because when I was when my children were growing up, you know, when I wanted to teach them Arabic alphabet the most so much available in terms of it being a statictly 

beautiful something that would interest them there, you know, I had a black and white photocopy sheet of paper with Alif, Ba, Ta, Sah, you know, and it was so dry. 

It was uninteresting. So I went ahead and published my first book, my first Arabic alphabet book. It was called My First Arabic Alphabet Book. I’ll tell you an interesting story. I did this. I got it printed in my front room. I had 5,000 copies. Loads of boxes, it was sitting there and now I thought oh my God, what am I going to do now? 

Maruf: Because there was no print on demand, right?

Juma: It was not in demand. But lucky in the fact that my father was a distributor for books. He was a bookseller. So, we sent it to various Islamic bookshops and they quickly sent it back and said that sorry, nobody is going to buy this three pounds ninety-nine which is a lot of money compared to what’s out there. At that point which were very much less than that, but not open quality not of the you know, they look at and feel and so on.

Maruf: If you don’t mind me, what time was it? Three ninety nine is a lot of money isn’t it? 

Juma: Not now. We’re talking about 1989 a long time ago. I’m getting my HB. It was like, 80s or very early 90s. So they sent it back many many years ago, almost 30 years ago or so or more, but my father being a bookseller kind of coaxed the booksellers say, what we know, please do me a favor. 

Just keep one copy each and by the grace of God, you know, they were selling and people were going back for more. So, it proves that actually parents wanted something beautiful for their children, you know, and even at that time you could go to a shop and spend that money to buy books that were teaching the English alphabet or so on but it just that mindset, you know, it’s Islamic so why should we waste a lot of money. 

Maruf: Exactly, it should be free or very cheap.

Juma: Yeah! Free Sabillillah. You know, we sold all 5000 books. And I went ahead and published it three time, again. We sold a lot of it. No, the biggest problem at that point was distribution. As young children, it was a challenge. I was doing graphics, I was doing that but then you know as the kids were growing up, you know, I was also sitting down watching television with them. 

And also I noticed that actually there’s nothing that was suitable for my children and I’m not talking about religious programs because to me religion the first thing is Akhlakh, is your manner, your character exactly. So I went to start creating concepts for kids animation and so on which I obviously, you know that I shared with you at. 

Yeah, I went to Can TV Festival. It was a scary scary time, Maruf. Because obviously me and her job are going to Can but nevertheless my first meeting actually was with Disney and they loved it, but unfortunately did not commission it.

Because you know, this is going into other sort of thing about commissioning and acquiring but you know, but they were saying that if you got it made we would definitely show it but you know, the challenge always was to raise the funds. It’s for actually, Muslims in a way. I went  with various possible investors, contributors and so on. 

But it was very much. Is this a religious program or is it mainstream in my opinion? It is mainstream religion because it’s teaching Universal moral values, which is in Quran and it is in all major religions really really important, but they could not understand maybe you know, the thing is it was the conversations were well, you know Disney’s doing Moral Stories.

And I say yes, but you know, if we don’t take ownership and if children cannot identify with the characters that you know, if John is being a good boy, it’s always someone who is not me. It’s the other, right so I don’t take ownership. 

So anyway during all this time. I was painting a lot more because you needed to keep it. So spending a lot more as a hobby and I was lucky enough that someone came to my house and saw the paintings and said look, you know Beethoven Street and Hospital were building a multi-faith room. And why don’t you just introduce your work that they might be something that they’re interested in.

The painting to be put into the faith room. If they drop and so she said they sent the picture over and they loved it. They bought it and I was over the moon because this was a painting that I did and somebody paid real money for it and it was hanging in, you know, it still is in Great Ormond Street hospital. 

So I was very pleased. 

Maruf: So, it was one of the first like barely, a dream.

Juma: It really was a wow moment because until then I was just painting and it was just stacked against a wall or giving it to friends family and so on and I used to contribute paintings to charity organizations to raise money and so on but it was a first yeah, and then one of the charity event that I went to and the guy was a know you must be must bring, some of your paintings and show.

And then so I did and a very dear friend Sameer Malik is a really world-renowned calligrapher, Arabic calligraphy artist and he says, you know, where have you been showing your work? And I said, well, I haven’t and she goes well and that’s you know, he said to me well, that’s really selfish a lot of what I don’t know you and don’t you know, you’ve got great work and you must show it and literally share and that was the start.

Maruf: I’ve a question for you. Look for some of the guests. We always have defined your hobby in the way. What you want to do, I mean for you it was obvious, right? You want to art, design. That’s what you did, even all odds were against you as well as questions. 

Okay. Remember when you were 8, you did this first condition right on the newspaper. And from that point until you sold your first artwork. How long did it take? I just want to show this painting of the path to a beautiful to share? 

Juma: I would say, long time. I would say over 30 to 40 years. 

Maruf: See, this is a story, right? Look, people between that.

Juma: Yeah! 30 to 40 years between that took me selling the first painting. I never even thought about this before, Maruf. It’s a long time. 

Maruf: What I’m trying to you know, share with the audience is that what we see is that people who are successful and what we call this is whatever it is so or who didn’t make it but what you don’t really see is that so many people in transition like sometimes in your case back into 30 years in the making right if and that’s what people don’t see that I think that’s the point the purpose of this Podcast is to share the back story. 

If you put it correctly, if you understand correctly you know, what expected one. And I think more of us will be patient and pursue what you really care, instead of just going for the mix the buck, right? That’s the path of choosing a career beautifully. Go ahead. So you made your first sale.

Juma: I think I yeah, but if I can just go back to what you just asked and this is also a very act because a lot of the time when I’m in an exhibition whatever two questions always without a doubt I can ask what’s your inspiration? And how long did it take you to paint that painting, right? 

And you know, the answer is very very really because it might not take me long to do that particular painting but it was 30 years. It’s a question that is because what people sort of might be thinking. Okay. Well I took you a week and you’re charging this. 

It took me 30 years to get where I am. So, you know that patients that it’s very very true. You must have patience. You must believe in yourself and you must give it time because anything that is worthwhile, you must give it time. I’m sorry. 

I’m going back to the first painting until I started to paint a lot more and I started to in a way start to believe in myself a little by little and start not to be embarrassed to show my work because I mean I say that but even today when people sort of oh, wow, that is really amazing is there’s a little bit of like, oh my God this quite embarrassing because amazing, you know.

Maruf: So, here’s my question. It’s great that you increased your ability little by little. So today when I look at your drawing instruments with us today spiral Islamic icons right and ideas. Was it always like that or before drawing general, towards the stage?

Juma: You know as human beings we tend to do something that we identify with something that is connected to us, right? For me, it was something that is identifiably mean. It doesn’t mean that I always wanted to be an Islamic artist. It’s just something that actually is relevant to me. 

So I started to paint that but then I also started to think I mean a lot and I’ve produced more paintings about the cover than any other artist as well. The reason is that the whole idea of pilgrimage has absolutely fascinated me and you know, it’s a journey that we as Muslims yearn to make right. It is a place that we are told that we should visit at least once in our lifetimes. Yeah, for me, that was a really scary thing 

Because that journey was not like going on holiday. I want it. For me, it was a journey that should change me, that should define, me throws for but yeah, transformed me, do something for me, do something to me, but I was not ready and every time it comes close to Hajj and I think oh my gosh, I would love to go and I something no, I’m not ready. 

What if I don’t go there and make that change. What if it’s a waste of my that big moment, you know, what if it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to be. So every year it was like I will have next year Inshallah and then people sort of ask, you know. 

It might have been where are you going? What do you think? I keep saying well, I’m doing this one painting at a time. You know how people say I’m taking one step at a time. And for me, it was one painting at a time and I started looking because it was in my head. 

It was something that was important to me and yet it was something that I was trying to push to the back of my head because I wanted it to matter. I started to look at the whole programage it. And I started to explore why it’s so important. Allah is everywhere. 

Maruf: You’re right. Yes.

Juma: That is geography. It’s just a place. I couldn’t pray to Allah anyway, you know, but I started to look through. Wow, this is so beautiful. Why is it so important to me and what is it about and I started to look at the philosophy and what happens there.

And I just loved the idea because we grew up here saying, you know all this multiculturalism in, such a positive thing. And then I thought to myself. Wow, you go to a place like that and it’s multiculturalism at it is best anyone and everyone of any color and any green and any whatever can be there. 

And in the eyes of God, we are all equal and then the whole idea that we leave our stations where we come from and when we’re dead, we’re all equal, you know, standing shoulder-to-shoulder rich and poor and the whole idea started really resonated with me. 

Maruf: And then this one’s even know if so studies next use the rich or poor guy got everyone is  

Juma: Exactly the same cloth you basically leave everything aside and then They’re having a personal conversation with your maker. And then when you think about it when you look on the television this was before when I went to Umrah afterwards, I’ll tell you the story of how that happened. 

I was looking, you know, you can see during Hajj time. You can see the pilgrimage ,you can see the light, what’s happening there, right? And I just thought to myself. Wow, look, everyone there is as individual as they can be and they’re having a personal conversation with Allah. But if you look at it in unison collectively in humanity, we’re all answering the same call. 

And to me that is so beautiful and I started to think how do I put that down on paper or on canvas? How do I paint what I feel, what I see the whole little intricate differences. Not just what I see but what I feel and how I do that on a canvas and it started. I became almost obsessive about it. It was canvas after canvas. 

So then I did you think you know that this house of God and we’re going around and around and around it and it started making me think that actually the house of God first and foremost is within us. So it resides within all of us and the journey that we make is around and around, you know, we have our career, we have children. So there were much similarities between life and Hajj and so that was what my passion was and I started painting and painting and Alhamdulillah. It really resonated with a lot of people.

Maruf: Those were beautiful. So let me ask you, did you start drawing the pictures of Kaaba before going there? 

Juma: So, what happened is that my work was noticed. Specially, now, with social media and everything and I was invited to have an exhibition in Jeddah, right? So I took my art, I created a new series called the last because for me that was the journey that was the circumambulation that I wanted and you know, the almighty that was listening to me. 

I kept saying I’m making this journey one painting at a time and that’s exactly what happened. I went there. I was sponsored to go to Umrah. I wasn’t there at all. It was exactly that that took me to the house of God.

And when I got there it was whatever I was imagining, was what was happening that I was doing that the wife there was a guy and I couldn’t notice. You couldn’t but notice, you wouldn’t believe the beauty of this because there was a guy there and he was doing the Tawaf and I’m from East Africa. 

I’ve you know, I’ve grown up with the Maasai tribe. And so I identify with them and also guy and he was literally hopping around the Kaaba like an antelope, seriously and I think there was an old guy and there was an old woman and a child and I thought to myself 

that this is phenomenal. 

Everyone is so unique and everyone is having such amazing conversations with their maker. You could see they were in the zone in their own zone. And then when you listen to the noise of everyone answering all together the baked and it just makes my hair stand on end and I don’t know whether this is right or it is wrong whatever.

But there I could see paintings and I was thinking I could see you know it. Basically I came back and I did the second series of the Tawaf and the third series and alhamdulillah, you know, I continue to paint but it still is absolutely fascinating. The whole idea is fascinating. 

Maruf: I mean, you know, your story, reason will be on many levels one of the things I guess is that I haven’t done Hajj yet. So it is 

Juma: Neither have I. I’ve done Umrah. But I’ve not done Hajj yet.

Maruf: Then we should go together.

Juma: Inshallah! 

Maruf: So, I mean, the experience of Hajj.  Remember the story when God orders to kill The Prophet Ismaiel (A) son. He orders to build this the origin of the Kaaba right and then start to build and one story really since that to me is that I understand. And also see something happens, right? 

I mean, there’s no doubt about it. But yes, imagine trying to put yourself in desert just right this middle of this. Third there’s no one there and Allah is ordering. Okay just build a house for me and people will come. 

But in areas like, I think this is one of the reasons why the wrong answer was a hell of a lot like a very close friend of Masada assisted him so many times even here. I see middle of the desert so hot, build something and people will come like yes, he says, okay, then just like, imagine that I couldn’t imagine myself like I would ask like.

Tell me why here, exactly is there so we got better places and I would have dozens of questions about the Prophets to them. Okay, we gotta build it and cause people and I think every time you’re going Hajj, we are proving that the Prophet (S). I mean Allah asked him to made the original call, right? Yes. Okay  call the people for the good and we are going and going to you know for the prophets and we are actually answering his call, right? 

Juma: Yes, sir. Yes home and that’s it is very I don’t know you’re bringing your again. You’re building pictures in my hand that requires me to put some paint on it is beautiful. It’s a beautiful story and how beautiful that he unquestioningly did, what it’s Allah’s will and I shall follow it. To know maybe we need to take that as really really important lessons. 

Maruf: Sounds good. So that’s been very very interesting up until now. So we are now, you’re doing your second series Tawaf and run with it. What time, what is this diagram? I will talk about now around when you’re doing all this or is it?

Juma: What do you mean, Tawaf series?

Maruf: Yeah! 

Juma: The Tawaf series is ongoing. It is all about literally circumambulation, it is taking it further. It’s about the journey that we make not only the spiritual journey, but the Journey of life because I believe that the Tawaf is also the Journey of Life interestingly not. 

One of the paintings that I did there is kind of geometric. It’s the whole thing is very geometric and very textures and you’ve got the Kaana in the middle and black and then there’s outlines of Kaaba’s all around the painting and the whole thing about that is that something like this, you know, I was going round and round the Kaaba and when I met my makeup, I realized that the Kaaba was going around and around me. 

So literally the house of Allah is within us, you know, so all these journeys that we are making  right? It’s all our personal circumambulation is all our personal tawaf. Yeah, and it is up to us to choose which journeys we make, you know, the journey of being kind to our brethren, kind to our neighbor the Journey of treating people with in the fairway, doing business in fairway with these are all journeys  

And this to us is all in my opinion in my thinking is all our personal tawaf is all our personal circumambulation. So I’m now starting to explore the whole idea of the world and bringing it to our personal Journeys and one of the things I think I may tell you about this when I was in first Hajj exhibition that I had was in London. 

Actually it was in Wembley and I decided to do, get people to participate in the painting and I started something called Make Your Mark. So basically I did the Kaaba right and then you know, my painting that I’m most known for which is the Diversity where it’s got lots of colors. Yeah, so I invited people to come and. 

Yeah the splotches of color. To represent themselves Within Whole universe that we rent. It was supposed to be just for that exhibition, but it grew and it grew and it grew and now it has had over seven and a half thousand people throughout the world who have put their Mark as suited to buy at the moment and it will travel, it will go to America and so on and so forth. 

But an interesting journey within this painting is I had an exhibition of this in Brent Cross Shopping Center, which is a very well-known shopping Centre in London, okay. So there are ones that we were making people were coming and making their mark and so on and there was a Jewish gentleman who was just standing by and I said to him would you like to make your mark and he said can I?

And he was then of talking to me and said that look, you know, we’re cousins. We are also of the abrahamic faith and it was very beautiful, really beautiful and he even some said to me that you know, I wish one day I would have lost to go to visit the Kaaba and so we were having very very beautiful conversations and I think this is what art does and should do and to me that was the most, it was so beautiful. 

There was me, you know, we aren’t from the Islamic faith is from the Jewish State and yet we connected so yeah, so this is what I believe art does it and I believe the fact that it was about the Kaaba and it was really the house of God, and he was also saying, you know the house of God belongs to humanity and now that painting, you know, I’ve had people who are so many people who are not of the Islamic faith, have contributed towards the painting. And to me that’s really close to my heart. 

Maruf: So look, I mean the printing that is I notice that if you are born Muslim or Non-Muslim. I think at one point we have to take a decision that’s what you wanna do. Do you remember that moment, would you? Cause what you do today is like, representative. I understand you grew up in a Muslim family and community but still there must be a moment you took that this is what I’m gonna do, take a decision.

Juma: I think when I started to I mean again, it goes about our Charming previously to that because I grew up in the Muslim household and you know, the prayers, the fasting it was automatic. It was a sense that we do it just yeah, everybody did the house or you did you know do as everyone is doing the house right? And but I never thought that I was a Muslim or not a Muslim.

We just did. Our parents told us to and we just did. It was only literally much later. You know, when I even asked her out school that I started to just see the beauty of Islam when I had my children, when I look at the beauty of Islam, how you know, even if you greeting festical Salaam alaikum, we’re wishing peace. It is a religion of Peace. 

It’s a religion that is so beautiful and that is when I started I think it was close to when I had my children and after I you know, there are defining moments that I don’t make you think that you know, all right. Now it needs to matter and it’s at that point that I started to pick, right? 

This is really important because I’m going to be teaching my children and what do I know and what do I see it’s just in wrote fashion in and just you know do it without thinking, you know get up, do your stuff, do your Salah do and end of the day without actually, in other words not making it ritualistic. 

But making it rich, making it spiritual. Yes. So connecting on a spiritual level rather than on a ritualistic level. I must do it. Otherwise Allah will punish me or rather than that I must do it because I love Allah, not because I am going to be rewarded or punished for it just because I love Allah. 

Maruf: That’s really beautiful. This is the definition of, you know, what they say about doing some just being. Okay. So what are you up to these days? Well, I know you’re always busy drawing more but tell us what you are upto these days.

Juma: Well, one of the things that has always been something that has been bugging me. It’s something that is I was finding it that we as a Muslim Community, as a Muslim Ummah need to do things to help each other grow. Okay in my case, it was about art. Okay, and I know just going from this being a housewife with a hobby to it being a career. It is actually really really tough to make a living. 

I’ll tow being an artist and it takes a long time so because I’ve been on the journey and because I’ve gone through the hard time I want to be able and I’ve had conversations with very good friends of mine from Dubai culture, you know, and other people who are basically decision makers within this and always kind of shouted that look the creative industry need to be part of the Halal economy of the Islamic economy, you know, it’s not only tourism and food and fashion.

Creativity needs to be part of that and the powers-that-be need to put time and effort and money to make sure that this actually happens. So I’m sorry, tell me.

Maruf: Those are that’s a very interesting point like actually later this week. I’m going to talk to Rafi, you know, Rafi, right?

Juma: Yes!

Maruf: And they are the ones who are between the supporters. That’s a very good suggestion. But for me to bring him on, do you have any like, the specific suggestions how it might look like so I could. 

Juma: I absolutely would love to have these conversations because I think if I may just tell you  what I am doing in very small steps, which I hope to and I will give it my 100% to make sure that we take it to the next level and talk to the people who make a difference and make sure that you know, it has to happen. 

So in my case, I started something called Islamicartprints.com. And this is to represent artist independent. Artists who are doing this as a skill, who are doing this to further their career, who are putting beautiful works out there to the world, who are finding it difficult to make it happen, what I’m doing and I co-founded this Islamicartprints.com to bring their art create museum-quality, beautiful quality art prints and canvas prints.

And be able to make it accessible to Muslims and non-Muslims to the world out there so that their name, so that they can be visible. The biggest problem we have, Maruf, is that we are not visible Islamic Art is not visible, Islamic Art is seen as if it’s a niche as a bit of an oddity. It’s beautiful. But where can I find it, there’s not a signal place where you can find, collectively. 

So I’ve done my mission and I’ve been working on this now for a couple of years and certainly in the last year, it has been a labor of love and now Alhamdulillah, we’ve launched just last week I urge whoever is listening to this is to support this by supporting those you’re supporting independent artist and this is so important. 

So what we’ve done, is we’ve made sure that we’ve got super super quality museum-quality art that is affordable that will bring an income stream to artists that will bring beautiful artwork to your home and offices and that will at least make sure that Muslim artists can grow and not just be seen as you know here.

Maruf: The other thing is also beautiful of the most beautiful forms of damn, right? It is his don’t beauty that’s in our nation filtered by beautiful. I mean it takes our years to do when you begin to talk about like, hey, do you know, do you believe in God and isn’t that I mean, what to do so they put their guards up and say are you trying to sell them.

Juma: It’s very calm. It’s very soft. It comes from a place of beauty, comes from within the heart, you know, people will look at art and you know, they see with their hearts not only with their eyes, they see from you not from the eyesight but from the inside you understand  what I’m trying to say. So it just makes you know, it doesn’t mean I think it needs to be out there. 

Maruf: I get you. I will do my best to support you to check it out, your store is that instead of just doing it on your own thing, which you have been doing for a long time. You are trying to harness the power of community and that’s why I guess you’re trying to create a platform inviting other artists as well. So to represent the stomach Art and Design in its study does.

Juma: Exactly, this is the first time that there is a place where you will find its Islamic art, beautiful Islamic art, all in one place, but if I also tell you one thing is that apart from the established artist who are creating this amazing world. What we want to do is also harness, a nourish and help and support artists who are thinking of coming on board, who are thinking of coming on this lovely journey that is Islamic Art. 

And so what we have created is the IAP Academy where we will put artists who are welcomed and might need a little bit of help and we’ve got wonderful artists who will nurture and mentor these artists, who are maybe at college, maybe at University, maybe have just started. 

But please do not feel this happens that oh, I am not on IAP on Islamicartprints.com because what we will do is we will create a platform. We will have your work out there so that you are encouraged so that One day you will be able to come on Islamicartprints.com and we will do everything we can.

Myself as an artist and my artist friend, what we will do is we’ll make sure that we support you so that you do continue with this journey so that you do not feel that you’re alone just scribbling away or whatever that we will be there for you and we will support you. 

Maruf: I see. Actually before talking to a guest. He asks this question. He asked what’s your advice for young artists. He was saying that my daughter in Middle School, Love drawing, she started drawing with a paper and paint lately. He has no idea how to lead her. What would you suggest? How can we help our daughter? That’s what yours, what would you suggest in this case? 

Juma: I would suggest that this person sounds amazing because this person has taken the time to try and find out how they could support the daughter, how he can support the daughter and that is wonderful. 

My personal advice is drawn and paid every day, every single day because you guess what if you do it again and again and again you are going to be an expert that there is no doubt about it. So if you do it every day, you will be amazing at it, do something that you love, paint subjects and draw some subjects that you love and you know show it to your friends and to your family and friends up there, you know shoulder appreciation of the art when the child feels that you know, they’re so proud of it. 

They’re so proud of their work and the parents are so proud of it and their friends are so proud of it. You can’t but get better at it and see it yourself.That’s what we do need to do is as parents. We need to support them. 

And the children, they need to know that we will and I cannot know what these words are but I would do all the powers that be need to put into place and need to put money and advice and expertise to be able for these people to know that in the future. 

There is a career for them worth doing because at the moment, it doesn’t look like that because we are not putting enough effort into this and we need to, we have to.

Maruf: Thank you very much. So I think one thing we mean so we don’t want this episode to be very long. So once a week, I’m doing one thing we didn’t really go into detail is that as you mentioned one of the core challenges for any artist, how to convert The Passion of work into a sustainable income and also the can live in prosperity and for that purpose. We have plans to introduce  the Academy. We want to you know help people to find purpose in life and try to get to Sue that person at the same time. 

We want to teach them like corn business knowledge. May be exact University. But this is the street knowledge, like what really works like I would say very minified version of NBA. Will you understand what’s business? You know what you’re talking? 

What is it – it isn’t that would like to make this series, but I think since you have this unique insight into art, you know, what I would like to do is with you is maybe we can do another episode or maybe we can come on, some kind of short video. We can meet you, walk people like yourself or what that means free-spirited artist designers who are trying to you know, like moniterized it work. Maybe we can get a small video there to help them if you don’t mind at a later stage.

Juma: Absolutely, that would be great. It’s very much needed.

Maruf: Absolutely sounds good. So having said that would you like to mention your website or Instagram? Anything else is a last note for the service to you know, follow up and follow you in online. 

Juma: Yes, of course. My name is Siddiqa Juma, so you can check out my website which is www.SIDDIQAJUMA.com and please go ahead and support www.Islamicartprints.com 

Maruf: Thanks very much. Assalamu alaikum.

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Episode 23