Creations with a touch of the Middle East!

Cardiff, Wales | 15 Sales


Creations with a touch of the Middle East!

Cardiff, Wales 15 Sales On Etsy since 2013

5 out of 5 stars (5)
Mitra Maheri

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Mitra Maheri


Personalised art with a touch of the Middle East

Hi everyone and Salam!

I'm Mitra, a half Welsh, half Iranian illustrator living and working in South Wales. I was born in Britain but when I was nine months old we moved to Iran and, apart from long summer holidays spent visiting my grandma in Lampeter, I lived out my childhood there. I truly feel blessed with the best of both worlds. Inspired by the vivid, vibrant and ornate patterns surrounding me in Iran, I started to create art early on in my life. I would watch my Maman Jan (Iranian grandma) sew incredibly intricate table clothes traditional to Kerman province (Patteh) and I wanted to make them too. This ingrained in me the idea of patience and the value of small intricacies that made up the bigger picture. Many everyday items in my life were decorated with such opulence and abundance, a source of constant inspiration.

In contrast, my Welsh Grandma would buy me a “Magic” water colouring book, the sort that all you need to do is splash water on it with your paint brush to reveal beautiful colours, and this gave me equal pleasure to my experiences in Iran. My Grandma would take me to visit book shops and I would pore over modern western art that seemed so exotic to me. From these experiences I realised that beauty also lies in an expressive splash of colour or some well-placed negative space; that a simple sketch could express as much as an ornate one. These contrasting ideas and methods have formed part of my working style today and I love sitting in the middle ground between the two cultures.

Moving back to Britain in 2007 I continued to learn about the history of western art, devouring any documentary available on the subject. However, still in a “sensible” Middle Eastern mind-set, I chose maths and physics at A-levels and applied to do engineering at university. My creativity was confined to my spare time, yet the desire to make remained strong in me and I continued to make personalised gifts for friends and family (this was one thing I learned here, the joy of having something personalised and I have run with it ever since!).

After graduation, a bit miffed with where I was going with my “sensible” choice, I decided to go to Art College. They accepted me as a wild card and I am so grateful that they did. It meant a lot that they saw potential in my work despite not having so much as a GCSE in the subject. That year I learned a lot about using new techniques and media but most importantly, I developed my own aesthetic and style. I left college with a Merit and the realisation that I wanted to do what I loved as my job, art! After coming to this realisation, I have spent my time developing my technique further while working as a maths tutor and teaching assistant.

Recently I had my first baby and wanted personalised art and toys for her. Etsy was a great source for many of these things yet not everything I wanted was available, so I decided to make them myself! I was flooded with inspiration; I wanted to make her everything I could think of from both sides of my culture. When friends and family saw my new creations they couldn’t wait for me to make one for their kids. This gave me the confidence to take a leap of faith and open a shop. If there is anything I have learned from my daughter it is that time is precious and there is no time like the present, so here goes!
The items I have listed are what I first created for my daughter, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have loved making them for you, and maybe one day with your help, I will realise my dream of being a full-time artist.
Much love

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