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Sara Khan

Sara Khan

Meet artist from Pakistan and Canada, Sara Khan.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Lahore, Pakistan in a big family. Like all children I loved to draw and paint and luckily everyone around me, especially my parents were very encouraging, they pushed me to go to art school for undergrad and pursue a career in the arts.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

I got married in 2014 and moved to Vancouver which is where I live now. It’s one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been in. It’s extremely outdoorsy, you can go snowboarding and skiing in the winter, or the beach in the summer, both spots only requiring a 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver.

 

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best thing about Vancouver is probably its natural beauty, how green and scenic it is. Most people probably get annoyed by the amount of rain it gets, but it could never be this clean and green if it didn’t. For me the worse thing about Vancouver is how far it is from my family home in Pakistan.

 

The best thing about Vancouver is probably its natural beauty, how green and scenic it is.

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Exciting, Encouraging, Diverse

 

How did you start your career in art?

A curator from a gallery in Karachi, Pakistan, came to our degree show and bought two of my paintings in 2008. A few years later, once I’d built a new body of work I got in touch with her and she gave me my first show at her gallery. After that I’ve continued to show my work in galleries around Pakistan, and now in Vancouver. I even had the pleasure of painting a mural at the Vancouver Mural Festival in 2018.

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

My family was always extremely encouraging. My father pushed all of us to make our hobbies our work so we would enjoy it.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I’ve realised more and more that as exciting as it is to show your work in galleries, win accolades or be appreciated for you work, it is more satisfying to just continue discovering new ways of making, and enjoying the process. As much as I would love to have a show in a museum someday, or land in a history book, my larger goal or ambition is to continue working for as long as I live. My work evolving and developing is where my contentment lies.

 

I’ve realised more and more that as exciting as it is to show your work in galleries, win accolades or be appreciated for you work, it is more satisfying to just continue discovering new ways of making, and enjoying the process.

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

Hayao Miyazaki

 

How would you describe the women around you?

The person I admire the most in my life is my mother, she’s a strong woman with a kind heart who does not get fazed out by much. I get so much strength from her, even though she’s quite far from me now. Most of the women I tend to gravitate toward are similar to my mother, perhaps some a bit more eccentric, others a little more sensitive but mostly quite stable and self-assured.

 

The person I admire the most in my life is my mother, she’s a strong woman with a kind heart who does not get fazed out by much.

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

I looked up to one of my older cousins who did her BFA in textile design and was working full time for herself by the time I was around twelve. She had two little kids so her workshop/studio was in her house where she would hand paint and block print cushion covers, blinds, stoles, and saris and sold them through exhibits.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

I don’t know if the challenges I’ve come across are specific to being a female, I think perhaps all artists face them. Things like not getting paid on time, being asked to do work for free, finding time to promote your own work, or applying for grants are some of the many challenges of our industry.

 

Be honest when expressing yourselves, the truer your story the more it’ll resonate with others and the more effective and successful your work will be.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Be honest when expressing yourselves, the truer your story the more it’ll resonate with others and the more effective and successful your work will be.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Sara Khan and Laara Cerman.

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