A couple of months ago I started following Habiba on twitter. Her face was full of art. There was art in the way she looks, the way she dresses, and the spark her pictures revealed. I knew right away that she was a bright artist; it was as if her face was screaming “art.” I’ve been thrilled to interview her and find out the story behind her art. Habiba Hany El Kholy is a 19 year old local Egyptian artist who started selling her artwork in quarantine, and I personally admire her work. Habiba says “we all needed quarantine more that we thought, and despite the pandemic, it was beautiful.” To admire her work even more and bring her art work to the light, I interviewed her.
What scintillated your passion to art?
2015, I held the brush that one night because I haven’t been able to sleep and I felt something I never felt before and that scared me. It took me two years to hold the brush again. In those two years I became a whole new person with so many new emotions. There was a lot of pain inside me, a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of unknown feelings, and a lot of voices in my head. It was all new and sudden and I didn’t know what to do and i lost myself. I entered a black void, all alone, so alone I didn’t think I was even there. as time passes everything inside me grew bigger and everything around me grew on me and it didn’t get any better.
When and how did the thought of “I want to be an artist” creep into your mind?
2017 was a rock-bottom, or so I thought. I wanted to change everything, I wanted all these feelings to go away and all these voices to shut up but I didn’t know how and I didn’t try and I was scared to. One day I was walking around and I came across this guy who sell books on a bike, they all looked the same to me, colorless and meaningless expect this one book that turned out to be journal. From the moment I laid my eyes on it I got the same feeling of holding the brush for the first time and as beautiful as it was it scared me but something inside me was stronger than that fear that it made me buy it instantly and I went home and held the brush again. I knew I don’t want to stop.
How does your art express you?
My art reflects who I am and what I’m feeling and what I’m thinking, I try my best to express myself through my art. I know when people see my art, they say yes this feels like Habiba’s art and that means a lot to me. I get inspired by nature and music and other artists. I get inspired more when I’m not in a good mental state honestly because when I’m not okay or when I’m bottling up comes a point where i just bare the pain anymore so I let it all out in the art if you don’t see it I know between me and myself that this certain piece is made from pain.
What’s the aim of your art?
I want to help people through my art
I want them to feel connected to it
I want them to relate
I want them understand themselves and the world they live in
I want to inspire them to do whatever they want
What did you want people to think when they look at this piece of art?
” I wanted people to see is that nude art is okay, and is just like any other art. More important, that all body shapes are beautiful” -Habiba
If one of your art work was a person who would it be?
This was an attempted self portrait, that turned into self reflection kind of thing. It represents me, what I’m connected to and what I love, what feels like me. The artist in me and I are the same person, I have become the artist in me. The more I do art and share it I become a part of it and it becomes a part of me.
This is some of Habiba’s art work and the meanings they hold
-Women in their comfort zones
-This is to my and your inner child, to my and your younger self, everything will be okay.
-Modern Icarus (gouache acrylic on canvas)
You can find Habiba’s art work on her Instagram account habibamakesart_