Stephenie Bushra Khan – Art and Cake

June 8, 2024 - Art

Stephenie Bushra Khan
Age 66

What keeps you excited in the studio?
Art is very therapeutic for me. It gives me purpose in my life and makes me feel alive. I enjoy doing very small detail work and express deep emotions which is difficult to express in every day in life. I am also a writer and poet. Art is my form of worship. I feel every moment I work is like a prayer that gives me connection to my spirituality and nature. I also work out deep traumas and other psychological difficulties that I wish to convey to others suffering within the same situations as a way of being empathetic and for justice and how to help others

Looking back at your trajectory as an artist, how would you say your work has developed?
My work has improved with skill and expression. I did not do artwork for many years. I was a stay at home mother and a child with learning disabilities. I suffered myself with depression. I married in to a different culture where I was told artwork was not valid. I did what was expected of me. Finally after the death of my father I realized I did not have to live by what others expected and my art and writing blossomed and I was able to publish my work internationally in magazines and to exhibit locally

What role do you think the artist has in today’s society?
I feel art is a mirror to what is going in society. It should tell a story it should speak out to integrity and justice. Art should bring out our highest ideals and not be something decadent kitch or base. It should not be used to just match the sofa or something trite or sentimental. It should bring out the deepest emotions that people cannot express. It should be the highest standard of beauty that one can express. Even within the most ugliest moments in society like say Gaza or the holocaust. There is still beauty strength and something to hope and live for

What’s the most important advice you could give to an aspiring artist?
Just keep doing it. Even with small kids my kids complained I used to write poetry on their homework while cooking. Put down the cell phone and create. Don’t waste your time. Don’t compete or compare yourself to others. Don’t listen to others to those who feel art is a waste of time. Work hard but don’t kill your health. If you are at a job or taking care of a family. Keep a journal close by which you can write and draw out ideas. Keep it next to you
at night. I would even get up at night and paint because I could not do it during the day. I dream I am writing or painting. My best ideas come from dreams

Does age matter in art? Why or why not?
I have been writing since I have been 6 and 7 yrs old. Art is like eating sleeping and sex to me. It is in my blood it’s a way of life. I feel ageless. Artists never get old. I don’t feel my age. I am a mentor to several young artists and writers. They see me as their African mostly a writer and poet now and plan always to do illustration work to enhance my writing. Writing is art

What can we look forward to from you next?
I plan to do more illustrative artwork that conveys a message that is urgent in society, to bring attention to situations that really matter.

Is there anything else you would like to share about being an artist later in life?
Keep doing art until your death. Go out with a bang. Live your life


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