What makes me laugh the most, is when people think being an artist is a luxury job.

You have to understand, not being an artist is not a choice. Being an artist is a treacherous hell of mind fudge. You are constantly peeling layers of your skin; you are skinning yourself into whatever form of art you create.

Gusts of wind travel from my window and it echoes into my empty easel. My easel is my lifelong friend who kept me company during many lonely nights. Buried between books and notes about subjects that were far away from any sort of creativity. Why did I want so bad to know how things happened at the cellular level in a living being? Why did I care so much?

What was I trying to piece together? Which puzzle?

Let me tell you after all the years of rigorous scientific studies, only one fact was proven: the present moment. Living in the present moment with the 38 ATP molecules produced and with or without long telomeres. We can still be killed in a car crash. Nothing in this life is certain only the present moment is certain.

So, there are the depressive dilemmas I encounter as an artist. When I paint am I in a trance state or am I in a meditative state? Will there ever be a limit to the questions I can ask through my art? Subjects I invoke?

Life held me, hostage, in an empty room with an easel. The easel is a doorway to a dark place, as I walk through it, I find myself going down a dark corridor leading to a dark musty room. In this room one wooden couch sits, the air is humid, still,

Graphite 0.5 drawing by Hiba Jameel 2020
Aphrodite in love - Graphite on paper

and cool. The light is faint and I see a person sitting hunched over on the couch. I only see their back. As I step closer to them my hand reaches out to the person’s shoulder. She turns her head after I tap her shoulder and it’s me. Except I am 8 or 7 years old and I look very tired and sleepy.

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A Zen Wounded Warrioress

As a child, I liked art because I felt I can ask hard questions, I was a curious and inquisitive one thrown in the middle of a war-torn country. Art allowed me to contemplate the answers and not have to speak to anyone. I can just go through it all while I create and draw something with emotion, precision, and vivid colors. It was a creative, contemplative process. Through many trials and errors, through many failed attempts I never once stopped trying to improve my artistic skills and understanding. I never wanted this precious thing called art, to turn into a black hole I run away from. Yet that is exactly what happened to me a few months ago.

The last painting, I finished was November 2019 Since then, my arms have not been able to see me through anything. You see I had lots of questions. I was flying like a leaf inside the tornado of life, I had little control and wanted a way out. When I found my way out I experienced a freefall so drastic that it crippled me and just now started learning to walk again, spiritually speaking.

I questioned everything, my beliefs, existence, purpose, relationships, I asked many whys, I asked many whys until I can no longer answer or ask why anymore.

You stop sometimes and examine yourself from afar, and you ask it, where, why and when?

What is acceptance, what do we have to accept exactly? accept ourselves, our flaws? Accept our mistakes? our impatience? accept that we were blind?

But now you see, you see clearly, the blindfold has been lifted, and you have a choice.

A choice to truly examine the value of things, the value of the true treasures in our world.

While we all have different worldly endeavors, we all are products of our environments and upbringing, wounded children in adult forms walking around looking for safety.

We are all ultimately searching for safety, in the form of money, a lover, possessions, making big families, having lots of friends, and many other unexplained behaviors.

You see, if humans had recognized that source dwells within, then humans can utilize this power to harness their true heart desires. We are what we think. We become what we think about most.

We are made of light; we allow our wounds to dim this light and cloud our way. Traumas bring gifts. We can sit with our hurts, and wounds have tea and a conversation. However, just like a thoughtful guest, they must eventually leave after we receive the lesson.

Everything happens for a reason, scientists haven’t figured out our souls yet but mystics, gurus, spiritual teachers who have walked this earth had a deep insight. Believe or don’t believe in a god. Believe or don’t believe in an entity. You can’t argue we are created or made by something much bigger than us, with higher intelligence, something we can’t comprehend. Yet, humans are smart, and many have figured out the connection we have to the spiritual world. The contrast in our experience forces us to choose, between numbing that nagging call inside our cynical being to connect with the source or sit still, dwell and go on a painful journey filled with (why's) inward and experience source energy.


But wait! Don’t we need the contrast? Don’t we need conflict? So, we can know what it is that we want and what is it that we don’t want?

Some of us, have the courage to walk away after first having the courage to immerse themselves in a drastic conflicted experience or a life choice. A situation where you experience things in contrast and opposite to what your core beliefs are. This allows you to truly and confidently decide which road to take. The less walked, longer, harder road with eyes wide open and a clear conscious. Or take the short road, blindfolded and inner self-tied?

I personally enjoy long walks, I enjoy the views, so I want my eyes open, I want a stable ground and I am at peace and full acceptance of my inner self.

Oh, and I will paint again soon, only death will stop me from painting, this was just a little blip in the humor of my humble existence.

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I was asked if my artwork is realism or imaginary. My answer was a realm in between. What does that mean exactly? And how can a realm exist in between?

In this reality, imagination has more power. In this realm, the reality is distorted and looked at from many different points of view. In this realm, societal rules and structures are deconstructed, examined,

and evaluated. This is where I question my values and their origin, this is where I revisit humanity centuries ago and observe its natural process. In this purgatory land of non-essentialism, we decompose our values, and beliefs that were bred into us from a young age, and ask the question, what makes something a reality or imagination?

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