In this artist interview, landscape painter Mo Arman shares with us his artistic process, ideas, and inspiration. To see more of his work, please visit: www.armansart.artweb.com
Being a painter
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
Hello, my name is Mo Arman and I’m a painter. I am a young man, having just finished college, aspiring to become a real artist. In my landscape paintings, I try to convey the wonderful aspects of nature.
How and when did you start out as a painter?
I was always fascinated by the concept of being able to create art on a surface, and constantly drew pictures as a child. Eventually I decided to take a step further and began to paint with watercolours, and soon enough I started to use acrylics.
What training did you have?
I’ve been painting for about five years, and am mostly self taught. I think even through just observation and experimentation, as well as passion, anyone can learn. Also, I did do a course on GCSE Art, during which I learned many concepts on how one can use sources and influences to create a composition. I was happy to achieve an A* in the subject.
What has been your best creative achievement so far?
I think my greatest creative achievement was the decision to pursue the goal of becoming a real artist. People may think it doesn’t really count, but why shouldn’t it? The beginning should be a success in itself, one that carries the highest reward.
What’s your favourite quote?
‘An artist cannot fail, it is a success to be one.’ – Charles Horton Cooley. The reason I love this quote is because it reminds me that there are no such thing as failures – rather, there are only accidents that will only help me to become a better artist. I think the value of being an artist in itself should never be belittled, and this quote represents that strongly.
Who is your favourite artist?
My favorite artist is Claude Monet. The way he defied the long followed art traditions at a time to pursue a life-long obsession of capturing light, color and nature on canvas is truly inspiring. His water lily paintings are some of his most interesting landscapes in my opinion. Such works have made me become fascinated by reflections, which is why I repeatedly incorporate this wonder in my paintings.
What are you aiming for?
I am not aiming absolutely huge at the moment, I am just aiming to successfully sell my first collection of paintings, and of course also to gain some recognition for my artwork. Even though such a goal isn’t the most courageously optimistic, the simple moment of when someone wishes to buy my artwork has been and will be utterly gratifying.
How will you get there?
I am hoping that with the help of this website, I can start selling my paintings via the internet since its a simple, fast way to get seen by a considerable amount of people. For further recognition, I’ve also tried to display artworks on a few creative websites, and I have been delighted by some of the wonderful positive feedback I have received.
Is anything holding you back?
I think the vastness of the internet may make little emerging artists such as myself remote to those who could be interested in my artwork. Because of the internet’s enormousness, I feel that it is a intimidatingly difficult thing to start selling work online with no prior experience. Although the internet does give the opportunity to gain a substantial amount of recognition, this opportunity does demand considerable effort and patience. I’m hoping that upon reading this, people may give me some of this recognition I long to receive! And for that, I thank you in advance!
You and painting
What sort of reactions do you get to your work? are you ever surprised?
I am grateful that most of the comments and reactions towards my landscape paintings are on the whole positive and attentive, and this has helped me gain confidence in my ability. Although these people are not authoritative individuals like art critics – they are mostly family and friends – I do value their opinions. The kind of negative criticism directed towards my work often goes along the line that my landscape artwork is quite safe, as if I am trying to conform to what is aesthetically ‘nice’ rather than going for things more daring. I’m not surprised I receive these opposing but still reasonable views, and my defense for this is that it is possible to be individualistic and unique without trying to make work overwhelmingly obscure and unusual – in fact a sense of familiarity and comfort is part of what I want the observer to feel.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
It usually takes me about one to two hours to complete my work. I usually try to finish a painting in a single sitting. This is because upon starting a painting, instantly an initial vision begins to shape in my head and feelings of excitement and tenacity begin to emerge; I want to preserve these feelings from start to finish.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
I don’t listen to music as such – instead I listen to easing sounds of nature, such as rain, waves at a seashore, and the rustling of leaves. Such sounds relax me, and shift my thoughts to a nature associated state of mind that aid me when painting natural landscapes.
What is next in the pipeline for you? Any new directions or shows coming up?
In the future, my plan is to simply create another body of paintings. These paintings, inspired by plein air sketches, will have more of an interest in the effects of light,shadow and broken brushwork; in this way its going towards the direction of impressionism.
Being inspired by painting
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
All of those great landscape painters such as Turner, Monet, Van Gogh and others, who in their tradition defying pursuit of landscape painting created extraordinary masterpieces, all inspire me to become a better artist.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as a painter?
Constantly I am fascinated by nature, from the rustling of leaves in the breeze to floating ripples on tranquil water. These fascinations are what I try to convey in my paintings, they are the creative propellant for my landscapes.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
My favorite work that I’ve produced is Sunset at a River. I like how the strong contrast between the yellow and purple gives a dramatic aspect to the scene, and has a powerful visual exertion on the viewer.
a painter’s advice
Have you got any advice for those starting out as a painter?
Well I am also starting of as a painter! I suppose some advice I can give is to believe in yourself, and be passionate for your art.