The man behind the murals

Rameen Pasha in conversation with the man who has painted the town


Q.1. How did you start making art?

If I’m being honest, I have no idea how it all started. What I do know is that I wasn’t good at it in the beginning. I still remember failing my coloring exam in Pre School for whatever reason and I had to re take the exam to pass. However, I do believe practice is very important and there is always room for one to learn and improve. I had the honor of learning from the masters; the different techniques, how to observe and focus on the details, and all that. There is always an opportunity available, a ladder to climb. One starts from the bottom and step by step can achieve their goals and this applies universally. There can be no success without failure or struggle.

Q.2. Was your family supportive of your choice of career?

The choice of career in my family has always been one’s own but being an artist was certainly not the priority at all. Though my father wanted me to become an Engineer and it eventually led to me taking a gap year. This, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. But if my family hadn’t believed in me or supported me I definitely would have been a miserable Engineer stuck in a 9 to 5 job. Not that being an engineer is bad, it just isn’t for me.

Q.3. Who are your biggest influences?

My biggest influencers are my Father and my teacher Sir. Saeed Akhtar.

Q.4.Which medium/technique do you like working the most with?

The mediums that I work with are very diverse from paints to threadwork to paper. Out of all the mediums, my most favorite medium is graphite. That is what I started this journey with, making portraits. The amount of freedom that you have while drawing with a pencil does not compare to any other medium.

Q.5. What is the biggest challenge you faced as a young artist?  

The biggest challenge that all young artists face is being exploited in the market, but I think one learns a lot from that. Because once you’ve seen and been through all of it you know what to do and what not to do.

Q.6. Why did you choose to paint murals and work on large scale?

I have always had an itch of doing something big, big enough to leave an impact. I guess that is why I stated working on a large scale. You’re not sure until the end if its going to look right not but to see your work finished and up there on the wall is the satisfaction I crave for. Apart from murals you’ll see me working on a large scale in all my projects, to make something bigger and impactful is what satisfies that itch.

Q.7. How long does a mural usually take to complete?

There is no definite time, It depends on the Scale, Content and the type of Surface being painted on. I’ve painted murals over night and some I’ve completed in  3-4 days as well.

Q.8. How have you evolved as an artist?(Personally and professionally)

I feel like it’s an ongoing process. you learn from every experience wether it is small or big. to be honest ,i have evolved considerably over the course of five years. in the past it wasn’t easy for me to get the client to agree with me. it took me a lot of time to understand and learn how the system works. I made a lot of mistakes in the start. i fell, learned from my mistakes and came back stronger. what i’ve learned is to always be confident and sure about what you’re talking about. to be true to your self and do the right thing even if it’s not in your favour. three believe in yourself and nothing will be impossible.

Q.9. What do you think is the role of an artist in society?

the role of an artist in society is very crucial but sadly in our society art is a luxury instead of being something that is highlighted, educated, or something that provokes the mind. this is why artists in our society do not get the proper attention or respect they deserve. however, recently i have seen such events like the biennale and other similar festivals have started to bring artists under the spotlight.

Q.10.Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I’m not sure. i am pursuing architecture but 10 years down the lane i see my self doing a lot of things. one thing i know for sure is that i don’t want to get stuck in the 9-5 job cycle. whatever i do i’m sure i’ll give it my 100%

Q.11. A piece of advice for young Pakistani artists?

only one keep your eyes on your aims you and only are in control of how things are going to fall out. there is no shortcut to anything.

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