Self-taught Kashmiri artist’s journey: Inking her heart’s art

Iqra, who hails from the Muqam area of Kupwara, had been drawing right from her childhood and then decided to take it forward and make sketches during the lockdown.

Iqra is self-taught. She disbelieves in copying pieces from the Internet, but she does go through med books when she feels stuck. It’s easier, she says, if you take inspiration from something you have seen and work on it by adding your own elements.

From passing Class 12 in medical subjects to preparing for NEET and now being a visual artist, Iqra has truly come a long way.

Ask Iqra how it felt like growing up in the house of a middle-class family and pat comes the reply: “I spent my childhood walking in and out like a usual child, but after Covid lockdown, which forced everyone to stay at home I too spent time only inside my home. The memories of colours and brushes started remaining deeply etched on my mind.”

Art is a form of creativity and expression, something Iqra enjoys immersing herself in. During the Covid lockdown too, Iqra was seen enjoying sketching, and looks like her love for the same has only increased.

Iqra said that so far the journey had been pretty smooth. “When you develop interest in something it gets highly enjoyable. I have made it my hobby now and with each passing day I elevate my skills and get more passionate towards my art,” she said, adding, “I don’t think while I draw. And I believe that my paintings connect easily with people. Also, they make it loud and clear to the viewer: you’re not at the centre.”

“I was passionate about drawing sketches and writing Quranic verses in calligraphy form, but now people come up with their demands and I try to live up to their expectations. I feel privileged whatever they ask me to sketch. Modern generation is too good at knowing their strengths and weaknesses and they should keep moulding themselves until their skills reach perfection,” she added.

As an artist, Iqra is inspired by everything she sees, consciously seeking patterns. Her artistic quest is bringing it to vibrancy and life on the canvas.

According to Iqra, feelings seep into her paintings. She loves layering and mix-matching to capture the essence of the story. Though she’s a self-taught artist, she is interested in attending a programme that will help her to make it further strong, and powerful.

Iqra wasn’t comfortable with uploading her work on the Internet initially and showed some reluctance towards that. However, a budding social media influencer revealed her talent to the masses.

“I started making sketches as well as calligraphy, but never thought of uploading my work on the Internet. Whatever I used to draw, I used to keep it to myself. But it was only when a young influencer uploaded it on social media. It grabbed the attention of the public and got responses for my work which further encouraged me,” she said.

Iqra emphasized the youth to come forward to ensure overall development of the UT, saying that youth in Jammu and Kashmir has a great potential, dedication, and can do wonders in any field.


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