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Stepping into the Canvas with Samia & Yasir

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We got in touch with this beautiful artist Samia Yasir and talked about her paintings, passion and years of mastery. The conversation was definitely a great analysis of her years of experience and overview of art.

  1. Can you describe what or who influenced you to become an artist? 

    My journey of art started from my home because I was born to the family where art was cherished already and still enjoyed, practiced and encouraged with passion. Fortunately, nobody forced me to become a doctor or engineer. My first and greatest influence were my parents. They both are versatile. My mother practiced homeopathy for years but she is a landscape artist as well. She continued two almost opposite practices together, later, she quit homeopathy and completely focused on painting until now, she is busy creating masterpieces. She is from the family of famous painter of Pakistan, Ustaad Allah Bakhsh. My father, who basically is a businessman, but art remained his hobby ever since he was a young boy. His field of study was Law and Political Science but he created beautifully masterly sketches in pencil and pen and ink. The beautiful idea behind creating any artwork is that my father does the sketching and my mother paints it. Every single piece of art is a result of their collective effort. All those years of my childhood and adolescence, I got a lot of inspiration and motivation. My Grandfather used to write beautiful scripts of Calligraphy, in fonts like Naskh and Nastaleeq. Therefore I absorbed immense talent and versatility. 

  2. How did the journey of art get started in your life? 

    My passion for art sparked off at the age of 6 years when I was in school. Observing my parents while drawing and painting, I tried creating little wonders on plain drawing copy. Later, with time, especially during my adolescence, I started painting on dried leaves, wasted wooden sheets, antique furniture, eggshells, bamboos, etc. It was the time my father suggested that I should become an artist and choose this subject for specialization. I gladly accepted this offer. My early career actually began when I was in intermediate, my first achievement was the gold medal in B.A fine arts. During my MFA, I already started to earn. My miniatures mostly were achieved by high officials like General Pervaiz Musharraf, Ex-Governor Khalid Maqbool while he was governor of Lahore, Ex-PM Shaukat Aziz while he was PM of Pakistan and I really felt honored.

  3. What is your perception about painting and which medium and subject do you enjoy painting the most?
    Every artist is recognized by a specific style. He/She has as a theme of his/her painting. But in my case, I enjoy painting almost all styles and subjects of art. I cannot stick to one style or subject like abstract, realism, cubism, impressionism, symbolism, etc. or watercolor, oil colors, gouache technique, acrylics, etc. It depends on what I feel like painting. I love painting still life, figures, landscapes, calligraphy with Qalam, Calligraphic Art, miniatures, floral art, abstracts without any shapes or forms only, the play of colors, Murals, fresco techniques, and ceramics. There is a long list of artists who are my inspiration, practicing or practiced their individual style. My teachers played a vital role to encourage my style and thoughts that I can never forget. My art was polished by their sincere efforts.

  4. Can you describe two or three important projects that you have completed? 

    I like to paint cultural and traditional art the most, especially from Cholistani Culture. One of my paintings with female figures is an example of it; girls wearing Cholistani dresses holding pitchers on the foreground is gharwanj which is a pitcher stand. The background is filled with specific motifs. The use of color palette is in accordance with the typical colors from respective cultures all done in oil colors, earthy tones. Another example is a floral painting. This subject really freshens up my mood as the use of red and maroons gives it a romantic look. One of my painting is named yellow leaves. It is a landscape showing trees with yellow leaves. I have used gold leaf paper on the leaves to show the sunlight reflection. I have painted it in acrylics with gold leaf paper. Apart from these, the gouache technique for miniatures is also my favorite medium. I have painted miniatures on Vasili portraying Mughal culture and for the patronage of Mughal Art as well. One of the examples is Mughal court scene. Few paintings are done in a realistic style and I have chosen Badshahi Masjid as a subject. In my view, the process of getting inspired and motivated always stays with an artist from beginning to end, because there isn’t one thing that can appeal to you. There are so many factors, features or things around you that can push you to paint. Sometimes, it’s intuitive. The process of learning goes on. 

  5. What is the role of art in our society? how it can positively influence us?

    Life is a path where you decide your own destiny. It requires struggle. Every successful person has a story. My story isn’t smooth either but Allah always blesses you if you are honest and sincere. Before marriage and until now to remain consistent with my field, my parents’ back remains with me (Alhamdulilah). One of the unfortunate factors is that women of Pakistan are mostly directed towards one ultimate goal which is marriage and raising kids. I am not discouraging to get married or having kids. But, I feel disappointed for most of the women’s population who are extremely talented and highly educated but they are unable to show their talent and remain covered for the whole life after getting married. It is compulsory to be a good wife and mother because we are responsible for raising a sensible generation, it is a task given to us by Allah that must be fulfilled sincerely, but there has to be an opportunity to continue their professional field or advance studies. 

  6. Tell us about the trajectory of your career up to this point? 

    Now, I am going to mention the best part of my journey, a twist in my life, the utmost part of my success and the strongest person behind my success is my husband (Alhamdulilah and Masha Allah). Born to a family of artists and got married to the family of artists, that is the reason why I am still managing to practice visual. He has a deep aesthetic sense for arts that he has inherited from his father. He is an awesome art critic which helps me a lot in rectifying weak areas of paintings. My father-in-law graduated from NCA during the time when it was called Mayo School of Arts in the apprenticeship of Ustad Allah Buksh. He admires and encourages me a lot. I would like to add up an interesting incident here. While doing my marriage preparations, I had a deal with the designer who was preparing my wedding dress that I am going to paint her a painting of her choice and she’ll prepare my Barat dress at the same cost. So basically we exchanged our required products at the same cost. An element of struggle added as well, because, with the time, Allah was blessing me with the kids as well. I have four kids Alhamdulilah, therefore, I had four C-sections, my kids are beautiful addition Into my life and I believe that having more kids cannot make you poor I have seen isolated single person sleeping on footpaths, homeless and unemployed. I was once mocked by a person that woman is not strong enough to continue their professional fields after marriage and kids, somehow it is also true as bigger amount of money is spent on their education but after marriage willingly or unwillingly they quit progressing. Anyway, I replied to that mockery with “you’ll see I am going to bring a change.” During my third maternity condition, I was doing a job as an art teacher at a private school. I got weak. But it was the only way to continue my children’s school but sadly I was called in the office that we need a hundred percent performance and you are not fit enough to do that so go home and take rest. I was devastated of course because my husband was covering kitchen and bills expenses and I was doing my children’s education expense. It was an edge to edge without any extra income or condition of saving money. Faculty was calling it sympathy, it wasn’t. I got fired politely. I was not given any leave to take rest. This is what happens in our society when you try to progress or move forward. After a couple of months, my husband and I managed to grab a big project on order with huge canvases. I remember, all of a sudden, I had Complication. I had C-section 15 days earlier than estimated date of delivery. I was so upset about my project. It was about commitment. All my planning went down to the drains again. I wasn’t given a break to take rest so I had to complete everything with the bandage on, stitches, severe pain and nursing a baby with two toddlers. My husband used to help me with the areas where I could not bend or reach upwards. 

  7.  What do you think you contributed to the culture of Arts? 

    I faced a tough time with the attitude of people towards art and the ability to understand what is the value of any piece of art that is not created in ordinary circumstances or with a normal set up. It is something beyond the barriers in its own way, it is intuitive and is created with emotions and intense feelings. I’ll literally call it the dark ages of art because people are not aesthetically aware of what actually a masterpiece is. We have rare institutions that are serving the right purpose of educating different fields of art. There is a need of deciding the correct talent on merit. You cannot become an artist by holding a pencil or paintbrush in your hands. Artists are born with the talent to some extent it can be learned but it blooms on its peak when comes out of a person with inborn abilities. There is a need for promoting original and fresh talent. There is a strict need of letting transgender people have a chance to get educated and get jobs like all of us. They are part of our society as we are part of it. There has to be an open opportunity for them to learn art. Because they are loud, full of life. They are bright and they have two spirits, they are masculine as well as feminine, therefore, it makes them more talented and versatile. If they can dance and sing then why can’t they paint. I have a dream to run an institution where I’ll certainly give them a chance on merit to get enrolled and study whatever they wish to learn.

  8. Do you want to give any message? 

    I have an appeal to Prime Minister as well that negative sort of defaming and discouragement should be cut down. There must be equal rights for transgender people as well. No leader is going to change our lives and motivate us, we are our own leaders and we should start from our homes and within ourselves. I never blame leaders for corruption, it’s the nation who has to be educated enough to bring a sincere leader. As parents and elders, we are responsible for raising a generation that can change the fate of our country rather than spoiling them by giving them an opportunity to waste their precious youth on spending time and money on gadgets and unhealthy lifestyles. Lastly, I would request you to promote my art page and artwork and to spread the word, that is going to help the struggling artist to reach the destination, in all these circumstances to make the advance studies possible as it is my dream to achieve PhD degree in the same project. 

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International Luxury Brand Spa Ceylon Opens its 98th store in Karachi

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The world’s largest Ayurveda Wellness chain opened its 98th international store with the opening of an exclusive Wellness Boutique at Defense Housing Society’s Bukhari Commercial Area located in the heart of the city of Karachi.

Speaking at the sumptuous launch, master franchisee and Spa Ceylon Pakistan’s CEO Saeeda Mandviwalla, said, It gives me great pleasure to be able to bring Spa Ceylon to Pakistan because for me it is more than just a brand; it is a brand affiliated with my heritage & identity. Being from Sri Lanka originally, it is with pride that I bring a piece from my birthplace to my current home; and the benefits of this brand will be felt by all age groups of the population.”

Spa Ceylon now produces over 500 all-natural Ayurveda inspired personal care, wellness, make-up and home aroma products. The complete range comprises prestige skin, body, bath, scalp and hair care preparations, oils, balms and potions, colour cosmetics, home aroma blends, candles, diffusers, incense, herbal infusions and gourmet teas, handmade stoneware, bath accessories and a range of tropical resort wear.

Attending the opening, the co-founder director Shalin Balasuriya explained, “The continued growth of the international wellness market to over US$ 4.2 trillion signals a strong shift in consumer preferences towards wellness. Spa Ceylon occupies a unique lifestyle space where personal care meets wellness. Given its brand attributes of high-performance authentic formulations, Ayurveda origins, environmental activism and ethical sourcing, it will continue to resonate with the modern consumer to drive further growth. I have spent the past few days in Karachi meeting industry professionals, media & consumers that reviewed the range & am delighted by their overall response to Spa Ceylon, from packaging to product quality & functionality, giving us confidence that the store roll-out in Pakistan will be a great success.”

 

Also attending the glamorous event was H.E. Mr. Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Pakistan. “There is a great sense of pride in seeing this esteemed Sri Lankan brand bring its presence to Pakistan, and through its success, we can only see strengthened trade relations between the two nations.”

 

Noor Mandviwalla, the young Executive Director of Spa Ceylon, Pakistan, said, “Spa Ceylon’s brand philosophy greatly resonates with me because of its unique emphasis on natural beauty & wellness. Beauty is no longer focused on making people meet a particular standard of the way one should look; rather, it now looks towards highlighting one’s natural beauty, on the outside as well as within. This is why I feel that this brand is truly revolutionary in its take on beauty care and wellness; using the principles of Ayurveda to live a fuller & healthier life.”

Spa Ceylon captures the romance of old Ceylon combined with ancient Ayurveda wisdom to create their range of majestic spa rituals and Royal spa formulae designed to soothe, calm and relax the body, mind and soul. The Spa Ceylon Flagship Store in Karachi opened its doors with a wide selection of the master wellness and beauty ranges to cater to all moods, seasons and needs. Whether you want to Detox, De-stress, find Peace, Comfort, Sun Care or Sleep, Spa Ceylon has a range of enticing ingredients like Pink Lotus Almond, White Jasmine, Aloe Mint, White Tuberose, Water Lily, Cardomon Rose, Neem and Tea Tree, Virgin Coconut, Neroli Jasmine, Margosa Lime, Sandalwood Vetiver and Sandalwood Spice, Lemongrass and Lavender Neroli that will cater to every mood and occasion.

 

 

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This Fun-packed Actor’s YouTube Channel will Give you Endless laughs!

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Gone are the days when celebrities were hard to reach out to, with their personal lives being a mystery for their fans. With the onset of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, audiences can now feel more connected to their favorite stars.

Recently, Pakistani celebs are turning to YouTube, branching out beyond their traditional jobs and exploring their craft in a new space. So if you want to get a closer look at their lives, find out about their hobbies, or hear them talk about their favorite things; you can catch them on their YouTube channels. Interesting, isn’t it?

Currently featured in the fan-favorite “Alif”, the rising young star Yashma Gill is a powerhouse of talent. The very bubbly and cute actress has also recently launched her own YouTube channel. Her channel showcases videos – from personal adventures and experiences to experiments, fan moments, and her everyday anecdotes.

Her journey of vlogging is exciting enough to hook you up on her YouTube channel for hours. Her captivating personality and her natural flair for casual talk instantly grabs the audience’s attention.

Here are all the funniest moments from Yashma Gill Vlog to get your inner kid some carefree laughs!

When Yashma Gill becomes Friends with 75 Snakes:

The Vlog where she can be seen holding snakes in Biryani boxes, half puzzled and half appalled when Azlan Shah puts that snake on her palm. We couldn’t stop laughing at her cute expressions. The content of vlog is so different from the usual content on other celebrities’ Vlog.

When Yashma accepted the Challenge of “Do What They Can’t Do”

Her entertaining Vlog where she roamed around the streets of Lahore sipping local lemonade from street stalls and visited Lahore Zoological garden to take pictures with the elephant.  The climax of the vlog was when she came to know that Suzzi Elephant has died. Did she fulfill the challenge or not? Watch out her vlog to find out more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGZCHEeFqFo

When Yashma Gill tried making Gol Roti

So this Vlog is all about her gol roti struggles when her domestic help was on leave. Was she able to make Gol roti for herself or she had to order food in the end? Watch out her gol roti struggles!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGWdXzV04yk

When Yashma Gill visited Bakra Mandi

This vlog was all about her visit to Bakra Mandi in a black abaya and veil and asking random questions to the vendors. Her energy is unmatchable when it comes to this vlog, from buying cotton candies to bargaining, the Vlog will get you hooked to her channel. Don’t believe? Here is the link to full-time entertainment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dMxeUmiheQ

When Yashma Gill tried stitching her Eid Dress

So by now, you must have realized that this girl is unpredictable and you can expect anything from her. In her quest to do things in an unusual way, she learned from her tailor how to stitch a dress! Do watch to see her on-spot comments and real efforts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXDtoJJA6NQ

So the list doesn’t end here, and I bet that once you start following her YouTube channel, you will not want to do anything else but watch her vlogs. If you haven’t subscribed to her channel, go and subscribe to find out what next challenge she is going to accept next!

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TEDxLahoreWomen Pulls Off Another Brilliantly Mind Striking Event!

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LAHORE, December 8, 2019: TEDxLahore celebrated its 10th year with yet another series of compelling talks at its TEDxLahoreWomen event held at the British Council Library.

Speakers included Dr. Aneela Darbar, the first US trained female neurosurgeon of Pakistan; Soufia Siddiqui, an education research and strategy advisor; Amna Zamir, an Additional Districts and Sessions Judge in Gilgit Baltistan; Maheen Rahman, an investment banker with an impressive portfolio; Maheen Gul, founder of the Lahore Autism Centre; Fareeda Batool, an independent artist who explores Pakistan’s political upheavals and tumultuous history; and Masuma Anwar, a pediatric doctor and musician. Lakeer ke Fakeer, a husband-wife duo of “singing poets”, also performed at the event.

These “Bold + Brilliant” women shared their profound insights and exciting stories about a remarkable number of issues, ranging from the education of boys in the public sector to the careful mapping of the brain before neurosurgery. The audience comprised over 350 individuals, including young entrepreneurs, educators, doctors, lawyers, and students. Audience members also received a chance to interact with speakers during networking breaks.

“TEDxLahoreWomen brought some powerful women together this year,” said Areej Mehdi, the event’s co-curator. “These women have advocated and opened doors for other women, and changed lives with their groundbreaking work and ideas. We’re excited to share their talks today.” said Irteza Ubaid, TEDx Ambassador – Pakistan. The event was presented in partnership with British Council, Nestle Everyday Lite, MINT PR, Uber, Daftarkhwan, FM 91 and Poet Restaurant.

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