"It can be easy to fall into despair, but for me, these tough times have taught me to channel my energy into self-discovery and exploration of the mind and soul," says the famed contemporary artist
Suzi Fadel Nassif’s celebrated works, featuring both abstract impressionism and surrealism, often explore the interconnectedness of people from different walks of life, cultural diversity and semblance of emotions. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to force a state of Stay Home and social distancing, the Lebanese born, Dubai-based artist tells MOJEH how she channels crisis into creativity.
As an artist and creative, how have you remained motivated during this period of Stay Home and social distancing?
Our world has been hit by a global pandemic that has drowned people all over the world with a tsunami of change; a change that has forced us out of our comfort zones and pushed us toward innovation. It can be easy to fall into despair, but for me, these tough times have taught me to channel my energy into self-discovery and exploration of the mind and soul in those quiet moments that we’ve been forced into. Isolation triggers different emotions in people, for me it’s countless ideas waiting to be realized in colour and form; it’s all about creation.
Where do you now go to seek inspiration?
My artistic journey has been realized through conveying emotions of life stories I cross paths with, today I can only read those stories through the eyes of confusion and fear of the unknown. I have chosen to lead a personal path of self-discovery where I’ve started to go on my own little adventures every evening, biking by the beach, learning foreign languages, pushing the extents of creativity through experimenting in different artistic fields which in itself harvested a positive aura of creativity and inspiration. I advise everyone to seek inspiration through self-discovery, it could be life changing!
What have you discovered about yourself as an artist in recent weeks?
Self-discovery is a never-ending road, the more I walk forward through this life the more I unlock doors of new ventures. As an artist, I grow with experience and time; I travel and discover new cultures and I keep discovering myself along the way. I can share that this pandemic taught me how to channel my energy into innovation.
Has your artwork taken on any new forms?
As mentioned before, I have been strolling down new interesting creative paths that has pushed my creative boundaries in beautiful ways. I have recently released a capsule collection of kimonos that carry an array of Suzi Fadel Nassif paintings in different textures and colours. The great feedback I have received lead to the creation of a new line of exclusive hand painted wardrobes that will see light very soon.
What personal discoveries have you made?
I started embracing more “me” time. I spend my time exercising, cooking, reflecting in my studio, and spending time with my family and dogs. I realized that I have the freedom to recreate myself on different levels.
What positive changes have you made to your daily life?
Maintaining positive vibes carried me through this confusing time, it was definitely a learning curve of realizing how fast life was before Covid-19, and how little we indulged in ‘time’. I learned to organize my day with a healthy lifestyle of daily exercise and scheduled meals, meanwhile I continue working on my new project alongside learning a fourth language which is Spanish. “Viva la Vida. Viva el Amor”!
How have you been able to immerse yourself in Spanish from your living room?
While learning Spanish, I have been engaged with it on all levels to grasp the essence of the language through amazing Latin music as well as watching shows on Netflix. My personal favourites have been El Dragon and Casa De Papel as well as various documentaries and the casual pleasure of reading a good book.
Family means a great deal to you, who have you missed most due to the travel restrictions?
I have to say I’ve missed my brother the most, he currently lives back home in Lebanon and I used to constantly travel back to see him and my close friends, travel restrictions are keeping me away and this is the longest I have gone without seeing him. Hopefully we arrive to brighter days and back to normalcy where everyone will get to reunite with their loved ones.
On a more positive note, who have you been able to spend more time with?
My boys! I have two beautiful sons that have kept me sane and content during this period. I’m learning so many new things from them every single day.
What is your standard Stay Home outfit?
When I scroll through different social media platforms, I come across people rocking the comfy Stay Home, loungewear style. However, I’m quite the opposite, I wake up early and put on a whole outfit that changes throughout the day depending on the activity – whether I am swimming, exercising or even relaxing with my family – I keep myself refreshed throughout the day. A brand I’ve been loving right now is Off-White, I pair their t-shirts with jeans and my Off-White sneakers and I’m ready to conquer another day at home!
Where is the first place that you plan to travel to post-lockdown?
Lebanon Lebanon Lebanon! They say home is where the heart is, well my heart is in my village back home, where the troubles are far away, the air is pure and life is beautiful. After that, who knows. The world is my oyster!