News Column

Dana Eshki's emotionally inspired art

June 24, 2014









Rima Al-Mukhtar

Dana Ghassan Eshki is a 28-year-old Saudi artist who has been drawing and illustrating all throughout her life. Her art represents her feeling and emotions, making her work personal and close to her heart.

She has never thought of showing her hobby to anyone until her mother decided to display her daughter's work in her home and her business space. That's when people started buying Eshki's canvases and hanging them in their personal spaces.

Eshki is a very shy woman who does not talk much. However, looking at her work, one can tell exactly how she felt and what she thought when she colored her mood on a one-meter canvas.

"I love to show off my energy and whatever makes me special when it comes to talents, I like to put it in the best shape and share it with the people I love," she said.

"I like to express my feelings through objects such as my paintings. I like to translate my words and my feelings into creative lines that would look good when hung on a wall," she added.

Aside from being an artist, Eshki is also a teacher, tailor and a designer. "When I was 11-years-old, I used to bring coloring books to school and sell them to my friends. I loved coloring and participating in school art galleries to show my friends my hidden talent," she said. "I also like sculpting and anything where I can use my hands to shape a beautiful object or stitch an artistic piece," she added.

After graduation from high school, Eshki used her spare time to teach children arts and crafts. "I used to love my time with my students when I teach them how to discover their inner talents using their hands and creativity to create something artistic and beautiful," she said. "When I was young, my father used to always call me an artist and he supported me in becoming one. He used to buy me canvases and pushed me to see things from a different angle and that's when I started holding my brush and whisking it away to draw my passion on the canvas," she added.

Seeing her thoughts and ideas in front of her is one of the things that pushed Eshki to draw more and more each day. "I have a great collection of paintings since when I was 17 until now. When I stand in my studio I forget everything else around me and focus on my own artistic world," she said. "I get inspired by books and characters sometimes, you will always find a story behind each painting where I transcribe both my experience and inspirations in one piece that represents the real me," she added.

There is one book that really touched the young artist and she drew the character from her own point of view and decided to never sell it. "A book called Azazel by Youssef Ziedan, memoirs of a fifth-century doctor-monk named Hypa, whose scrolls bearing witness to a period of Christian turmoil are uncovered in 1994, its depictions of an aggressive, pagan-purging Bishop Cyril offended some members of the Coptic Church so gravely that they filed lawsuits, this inspired me to draw the main character hepatica because she really touched me and I was hurt when I was drawing her. I think this is the best piece I have ever worked on," said Eshki.

Eshki always uses canvases when working on her artworks. She uses different kinds of colors such as acrylic and oil colors. "When I hold the colors, I go crazy and for some paintings I don't touch my painting brush and I only use my hands to ensure that my feelings are felt throughout my work," she said. "When I become emotional I sometimes don't know what gets into me. I once got aggressive and tore a piece of the canvas I was working on," she added.

The artist has never participated in an art gallery; her high school was her limit until she showcased her work in her mother's concept store. "When visitors saw my work, I was very excited to get their feedback because I always painted for myself and not for other people. So when you see people appreciating your passion, this gives you hope and inspiration that whatever you are doing, you are doing the right thing," said Eshki. "I then decided to share my work with people and was happy when they bought it. I am very thankful to my parents who supported me and stood by me," she added.


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Source: Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

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