mohammad younus nomani: this month's featured artist
For this month's featured artist, we worked with Mohammad Nomani. Mohammad is an illustrator from India and is currently completing his degree in applied arts in New Delhi. Not only is Mohammad the first artist we feature from India, but he is also the first man! We are super excited to welcome our first male artist into the follow the halo community.
This piece is titled 'Shrimati' - a title of respect used for married women in India. To Mohammad, 'Shrimati' represents the richness and legacy of his culture. In the piece, the woman carries a peafowl, India's national bird often used in mythology and folktales symbolizing pride and beauty.
When we asked Mohammad about the inspiration behind the piece, he told us:
"To be very honest I get inspiration from feminism. Some men find it funny, but to me, it's very important. I see women, powerful women struggling in their daily life. I see my mother and sister. I feel that these women deserve more, that is why I mostly use women figures in my illustration to mark the importance of these women In India. In India, we find the worship of women in varying forms. But yet we fail to give them respect and their rights. We are still struggling with violence like rape, honor killing, or lynching. I want to make people realize that every person is important."
On his heritage and roots:
"I grew up in an artistic environment. My father is an art teacher in college, so when we were very young my twin brother and I used to sketch each other's faces. It's funny because he always used to beat me in those sketches but now he can't even draw an apple. Growing up in a most multi-cultured country I faced a lot of problems. Since I'm Muslim, I am supposed to be circumcised, so in school, I would be made fun of and called "choppy choppy". Art helped me overcome this. When I started posting my artwork on social media, people loved it. I was happy that people were talking about my work. I am only 20 years old so I don't complain about my life because I haven’t faced the big problems yet but I just want to say that in these years I have learned that art gives you a voice and identity."
To learn more about Mohammad's work, you can follow him on instagram @aint_got_no_mani_