Educator and painter Eiman Yousif draws artistic inspiration from her cultural experiences in Africa and UAE. Her work is colorful and abstract with a focus on feminism. Eiman’s artwork is on display at the Corinth branch until December 21, 2022.
Introduce yourself and talk about the work on view.
My name is Eiman Yousif; I am a single mother of 4 adult children, one teenager and a 6 year old adopted son. I have a Masters degree in education and I am a teacher by profession. I am a self-taught artist who started to paint five years ago. My art is mainly abstract and it represents Feminism, Africanism and Arabic and Sudanese cultures. My work is a result of my upbringing in Africa, in the deep-rooted Sudanese culture, as well as my life journey in the United States and the UAE.
How has your artwork and process changed since you began painting?
I started my journey in the art world a few years ago without any background in art so I was painting for fun, and I had fear of colors and how to blend them together but I allowed myself to be free and just have fun. I started painting African art. Soon after I started expressing myself and the different stages of the life and emotions that I was going through, especially as a woman raised in a society that did not give women a lot of freedom. Many times I was criticized for my style or for the lack of perfection and symmetry in my work, which hindered my progress for few years, but I discovered that this is my style and art does not have to be perfect.
How does your experience as an educator influence your art work?
Actually, art influenced my work as an educator. As an educator I was working long hours under a lot of stress. Initially I wanted to paint to destress after work. However, art actually changed my whole perspective in life and gave me more energy and purpose. My students admired my work and started to share their hobbies with me and I encouraged them to use art to express themselves in class. Art showed me that regardless of your age, you can still be productive and creative. It made me believe in myself and to have more confidence and self-esteem.
What areas of your work or personal development are you hoping to explore further?
Currently in my art I am experiencing landscape painting. The beauty of Kansas has influenced my last few paintings. On a personal level I am trying to stay focused, positive and mindful.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
The most important art tool is the first brush I used to paint my first painting. Also, I like to use a set of knives to add dimensions to my paintings.
What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?
I like to listen to self-improvement videos from YouTube when I am painting and Sudanese music.