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An interview with Walid K. (name changed). The young Afghan artist talks about painting, creativity and inspiration. He explains why he likes the colour blue, in what kind of mood he can paint the best and why he prefers to paint people and buildings.


Since when do you paint?

 „Oh, I‘ve always painted and I´ve always had a huge fantasy. I started painting when I was a young child. Fortunately, my mother noticed that I was seriously interested in art and furthermore that I had a talent for painting. Therefore, she sent me to a painting course in an Afghan school. This school offered me the possibility to develop and improve my skills. We started learning how to use pencil and coal and later we learned to make our watercolours perfect. Then me and my family we had to leave Afghanistan. But here in Germany I visit another painting course, it is specialized in watercolours and takes place in the adult aducation center here in Hamburg once a week. It´s a kind of funny, I´m the youngest participant, the other are much more older than me, about 40 years or even older.“


The next question you´ve already answered, but I would like to ask it once more. Where have you learned how to handle paintbrush and colours?

„Oh, ok. In the painting school in Afghanistan. I visited this school for one year and two months and I really learned a lot there. I´m very thankfull to my mother, that she offered me the possibility to go there.“


Where do you get your ideas?

„When I want to paint something, it has to be unique and it has to be something new. I don´t like just to copy from other artists or to steal their ideas. So I always try to create something new, something special which is different from the mainstream. Often I paint nature. I have to do this because of the painting course in the adult education center. Me myself, I prefer painting buildings or portraits.“


We need to look closer to the last question: What is inspiring you? Are it people, encounters or even music?

„Oh, music rather less. Often I find myself in the situation that I go to bed in the evening and then, suddenly, I have the idea for a new picture in my head. Therefore I always take a little notebook with me where I can note my ideas. People are inspiring me.“


Are you always able to paint or do you need to be in a certain mood?

„No, to paint always, that doesn´t work. Sometimes I´m to tired or to sad for painting. It goes better when I´m in a thoughtful mood.“


Do you have a favourite colour?

„Yes. In the past it was black. But when I started to join the painting course in the Afghan school I learned and deeply understood that in nature a black colour doesn´t really exist, because black is always a mixture of different other colours. Since about nearly one year I haven´t used black. Now my favourite colour is blue.“


Why blue?

„Oh, I like this light blue of the sky and the calming effect this colour has.“


Can you tell us your favourite technique?

„I like using the pencil the most.“



 „Working with the pencil is easy for me, because I can control what I want to paint. Furthermore it is very precise. When I make a mistake I can easily correct it with a rubber. This doesn´t work with watercolours. But I have to admit that I like watercolours as well because of the diversity of colours.“


Who are your favourite artists?

„I really like Leonardo Da Vinci and Picasso.“


So now we come to our last question: What does art mean to you?

 „Art has to be crazy. And unique. Everything we see is art. We need our eyes to notice this omnipresent art. You just have to look closely. For me, not only painting belongs to art but rather music, literature and films as well. Art has to be individual, needs to stay authentic. Singularity. That´s art for me.“


This interview was conducted by Sophie Martin

(pictures: pixabay)

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