It is believed that an aesthetic sense takes a fairly long time to develop, but same cannot be said for the eminent artiste, Faiza Sheikh. Faiza was introduced to art at a very early age, which later transformed into her obsession and passion. The young brilliant painter tells, “ I've been painting for as long as I can remember. There is no specific moment which can be identified. Art is a journey which has no beginning and no end.”

Quoting from Picasso, Sheikh passionately talks about art and painting. “Art is never chaste... It must be forbidden to ignorant innocents... Never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared.. Yes Art is dangerous.. Where it is chaste it is not Art...”

Art is manifestation and celebration of life. The artistes are expected to be far more sensitive and involved. Sheikh, however, believes that detachment is a better strategy for artists. “I look at this world as a detached on looker and see and enjoy the going ons, the “tamasha” as it unfolds. In my paintings I hope to impart an uplifting experience to the viewer. My paintings are a celebration of life. I choose to live in my own world where I define my own rules, and I exist in nirvana where everything is perfect. It is in this state that I paint so I am detached, I am devoted and I am obsessive when I paint and I hope that my paintings display these emotions.”

She adds,

Based in London, Faiza draws inspiration from poetry, sufi philosophy and truck art. To her, art is a medium to intertwine elements of evocative self-expression with eclectic optimism. Over time she has gained an expertise in juxtaposing texts and poetry with innovative, cutting edge aesthetics. She has also developed a special technique of converting the canvas into a luscious, rich silk and velvety texture. The artiste tells, “Life is a bundle of experiences. I draw on the experiences of my life and my paintings depict the moods and realities of the world as I see it.”

By taking pure American Archie and Veronica and adding them against the rickshaw Shairi background, Sheikh has managed to spark an avant-garde aspect idea in her work. With swift strokes of her brush, she creates prolific images with captivating muse against vibrant backgrounds. And the cameos come alive with pure desi truck art and cheap desi shari accented by English euphemism. She tells that all the techniques that she uses, are a way to initiate a dialogue with the viewers, “The mesmerizing philosophy of Rumi and Quranic Scriptures on gold and silver leaf remain part of my signature work. The purpose of my art is to engage the viewer. I use texts and poetry to spark a conversation, debate or perhaps just appreciation.”

She also manages to add a touch of surrealism in her paintings by including speech bubbles which evoke debate and appreciation within the onlooker. The speech bubble also gives her the freedom of conveying frivolous and fun messages along with her poignant thoughts. She says her thoughts are a direct outcome of her experience. Her life in the UK had great impact on her paintings, “The influence of living in the UK was that it taught me the beauty of tolerance. The society allows respectful co existence of all cultures. If you delve into history the English and the French have fought many battles. Similarly with the Germans and yet today they are part of the European Union, sharing common currencies and common laws. Should not the sub continent learn from this maturity? If the politicians fail to display this maturity, should they be nudged into this direction by a mere artist? ... We live in Hope...”

Sheikh thinks that though art is feast for eyes but it is supposed to deliver a message as well, “As Picasso says above that unless art has a message be it social or political, if is not art. That's the beauty of Art.”

She also thinks that artists must look beyond boundaries. They have obligation to synthesize from opposing elements, “As an artist you have to explore beyond conventional boundaries. This is a humble attempt to combine opposing ends of the spectrum.”

She adds, “I continue to experiment and explore on a blank canvas without limits and without boundaries.”

Faiza has reached the pinnacle of fame through her graphic and soulful paintings. And the onlooker may be able to extrapolate her success into the art world by noting that Ayyam Gallery (Dubai) is currently doing an auction for few of her works in April along with a Saudi action for her work next year.

Two of her paintings are at Canvas gallery (UK) for the display. And an online gallery by the name of, Bridgeman Art Library is stocking her work alongside various other artists from all over the world. The Bridgeman art library sells her art imprinted on prints, mugs, fridge magnets etc.

Faiza’s work is also widely used on book covers. And until now, Faiza has exhibited her art-work Dubai, India, UK and Pakistan. Recently she exhibited her sufi-music themed collection in Islamabad and her upcoming collection featuring philosophy, magisterial sufi thoughts, truck art, and pop art in Lahore.