I sat down with Ibrahim just before he hosted a studio sale (follow him on Instagram to get an invite to the next one), so luckily the space was primed for curious onlookers. Hung in organized grids, we had a chance to get acquainted with a wide range of his work from intimate still life paintings to larger group scenes.
Enjoy exploring a selection of his work and check out the interview below!
Artist: Nicole Eisenman
Art Institution: Albright-Knox
Game: Crazy Eights
Do you remember the first artwork you made or the moment you knew you wanted to pursue art?
I don’t know when I discovered art. But I have a faint childhood memory of drawing a bird and hearing excitement in my mother's voice when she remarked on the drawing. That was the first special moment.
After studying photography, what motivated you to shift to painting?
I secretly always wanted to paint, but I didn’t think I was good enough. After art school I gained more confidence and shifted to painting.
Your painting practice explores a range of themes, where do you get inspiration for your works?
I think I explore a range of themes because it makes sense to me rather than limiting the themes. Life and experience is the inspiration to everything I make.
You’ve painted your beloved ‘Stella’ a number of times, how do you go about approaching the same subject in new ways?
I try not to overthink it. I think I have painted it 3-4 times, each time I just go for it.
You recently took a ceramic class with Julie Moon and also studied photography at OCAD, how does your understanding of other mediums impact your painting practice?
I think taking Julies ceramics class was so inspirational and therapeutic. It was a great escape from my studio life, and I was creating works with no intention other than to create work. Which made it less stressful and more fun. Highly recommended.
Outside of your time in the studio, what does your day to day look like?
If I'm not in the studio it's because I am supporting myself as a freelancer in the commercial photography industry. Which means I'm on set in a studio or on-location. It's a great way of making money, staying creative, and keeping my schedule flexible enough for life as an artist.
Tell us about the art in your home? Are there any themes? How do you collect?
I buy or trade artwork with friends. Also, I purchased a few works from online art auctions (shout out to Cowley Abbot Fine Art). Also I have made a few purchases from G.I.F.C (Got it for cheap), fun concept for selling affordable art. Also having artist friends means getting artworks as gifts.
Why not art?
Ibrahim’s tip for new collectors:
First: don’t look at art as financial investments. Collect work that you love. There are so many talented artists out there, it’s good to know where to look for them. Instagram is an easy starting point. Also artist fairs, grad exhibitions, artist run centres and so on.
Second: Don’t worry about the colour of your sofa and matching it with the artwork, that is a bogus way of thinking about art.
Be sure to check out more of Ibrahim's work at Ibrahimabusitta.com and to follow him on Instagram @ibrahimabusitta.
Thank you for joining us on another In the Studio with!