“Whenever I am painting or drawing I am able to shut out the world and be at peace in that moment, only focusing on the next line or stroke of paint that I am about to add to my work”
Gelila Mesfin is the name behind the Instagram name @Thick_east _african_girl. Her art is amazing and visionary, creating drawings like you’ve never seen before. This is what Gelila had to say when we sat down with her for an exclusive interview-
What made you decide to go into artistry?
I have always liked doodling and designing cloth but I never thought I would pursue art as a career or even be called an artist. When I was attending university of Rhode Island I took a couple of elective art classes which reignited the passion I once had for art. By my junior year I decided to make studio art my minor. Through the support and encouragement provided by my professors, fellow students and family, I decided to pursue art.
What makes art special to you?
It is a way for me to vent, meditate, and express myself. Whenever I am painting or drawing I am able to shut out the world and be at peace in that moment, only focusing on the next line or stroke of paint that I am about to add to my work. It also makes me feel beautiful to create authentic and stimulating imagery because the concept was generated from my mind and thought process, which is unique.
How was studying at LIM College? Were there any people there who motivated your current art?
I went to a LIM College to get my masters in visual merchandising which has some artistic elements to it but was a totally different experience.
What is a digital drawing? How did you learn how to do this?
Digital drawing is basically drawing using a digital program. It wasn’t necessarily a learning processes but more of an experiment. Often times artist use different mediums to elevate their work which is basically what I did with my digital drawing. I used fundamental skills that I have gained through painting/drawing and applied it to a different medium.
You also do drawings, which are gorgeous! Is there an art method you prefer?
I like to use a lot of patterns as well as line work to make them detailed to create movement, flow and depth.
You stick to the theme of African Art. What about this kind of art inspires you?
As an African artist it is important for me to represent the culture and people in my work. It is a part of my heritage and identity so it only right that I embrace and share it with the world.
Where do you see your art in the future?
God willing, I will own my own studio and do art shows all around the world, while meeting and connecting with with other artists and individuals.