15 July 2016

I was water

I went to Kenjhar lake with my family yesterday. And water waves drive me crazy.

A few years ago, an astrologer asked me what my birth date was, who named me, what my mother's name was. And I told him because I was fascinated by all the things he knew about everyone. In return, he told me that I was water by nature. Easily flowed, always taking shapes that make no sense. And in the end, he categorized me as "emotional". And it made me so furious. HOW DARE HE TAGS ME AS AN EMOTIONAL YOUNG GIRL WHAT'S WRONG WITH MEN OF THIS COUNTRY? You see.

I tried not to be emotional. I tried not be water. But what's wrong with being the overly emotional one, the one always flowing with the sentiments and unable to hide what's going on inside. I have always romanticized the hearts of steel but it was hard for me to accept a heart I owned and which was made up of waves and the sea.

We, Water people, grow up fearing that if we're soft enough, people will shape us as THEY like and we'll lose the originality we were born with. It's hard to accept that we're water and we don't have a permanent shape. We flow fast, lose our current position even faster, we don't stay, even in the places we like. We have to flow away. 

But water doesn't mean weak. Turn ice when you need to, cold enough to be strong. But be water again, soft enough to flow in the places you're supposed to go, be someone you're supposed to be. Be water.

I took my art journal with me because I knew I'd feel things and water waves would make me wanna do something creative. I wrote a poem there. I don't want to be afraid of being water. 

 I also took a book with me, THIS HAS THE PRETTIEST COVER. Yellow makes me so happy. It's a story about twins so I had to get it. I have a twin and I'd totally write a book about twins if I ever got a chance.


 Are you water? Or fire? Or earth? Or air?

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11 July 2016

bright thing

I bought my first ever make up highlighter a few days ago. My obsession with all things shiny is still strong. I've always loved the idea of being a bright bright bright thing, visible, relieved that I can prove I exist. 

I was reading a book, thx to Katie, and it tore me apart and also helped me in stitching my open skin back, named The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. My favorite part that summed up my whole existence:

"And there I was, thirty-two years old, at a yoga retreat, desperately trying to find myself, and realizing that everything I'd been doing in my life, artistically, could be summed up like this: 


And I sat there and laughed and laughed. 
And cried. And laughed At myself. 
It was so embarrassing."

Thanks Amanda, YOU QUEEN!
 But really, it's hard to prove that you EXIST. Even to yourself. You see, it takes efforts to be more than alive, to exist, to be enough, to be a shiny thing. My biggest fear was that one day I'm going to take someone from shoulders and shake that person and shout LOOK AT ME I'M HERE. And being afraid that the wouldn't even look me in the eyes and approve my existence. It's the scariest thing, you know, to know that you're nowhere but you are.

But being someone who makes art reduces the fear of not being visible and alive. I know if I'm not there, something that I created years ago will be. If people can't see me, they definitely can look at the art I created. I'm more visible with things that I've created and words that I've written. I know that I'll be there even when I'm not.

My art will always be my BELIEVE ME I'M REAL cry. It's me, it has always been me, trying to be a shiny thing I've always wanted to be, a star, even a broken ones would work. But I want to be here because I know that I AM.

I want to "BE" and stay here and keep doing something I've always loved while having an existence no one can deny. Not even the voice in my head which is mean at times, even to me. 

I'm here and I'm staying.

Is there any book that turned you upside down?


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3 July 2016

#OhJournalEtc - July

How crazy is that it's almost July and I'll be 19 this August and I survived college and Ramadan is ending in 2 days and I'm fully prepared for eid on time for the first time ever. 

June went almost smoothly, almost smoothly because I had to go through the worst work anxiety and I thought I'd lose my mind but gladly I didn't. Quite an accomplishment. And June was also perfect for my art. Some important things happened: I BOUGHT A NEW + PROPER ART JOURNAL (thx ebay baby) & I'm working on more illustrations and commissioned work so the dream of being young struggling artist is finally a reality. Thanks, internet.

#OhJournalEtc reached 300+ posts on instagram (yAY) & here are the prompts for July:

Week 1: Celebration 

Draw an event, your eid experience, a birthday you can't forget etc, the worst wedding event you've been to etc etc.

Week 2: Dreams

LET US SEE WHAT WENT INSIDE YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU WERE SLEEPING. I think this one is the most interesting one so far. Let's get dreamy and shit.

Week 3: Red 

"You were red, you liked me because I was blue"

"Loving him was red"

Okay fine, add whatever you want with this colored theme I was just leaving my favorite lyrics and hints. Add red paint strokes or roses or lipsticks.

Week 4: Florals

It's mainly to celebrate a spring I've never experienced. Not to complain but I've never seen ~real spring~ in Sindh so I would just add flowers in my art journal. Let's celebrate nature and flowers. 

And here's a throwback to June's #ohjournaletc!


A photo posted by Areeba Siddique (@ohareeba) on

A photo posted by Areeba Siddique (@ohareeba) on

A photo posted by Areeba Siddique (@ohareeba) on
Do you keep an art journal?

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30 June 2016

Ramadan: how/why

Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims. Many people who don't normally pray would pray in Ramadan, we'd avoid lying, pray even more, talk nicely, share our food, most of us become the humblest and the finest version of ourselves during this month. This is why I love the month of Ramadan, it makes me feel pure and more connected to Islam. And then there's food and random people coming as guests and bringing us gifts. GOD I REALLY LOVE IT.

Sometimes on internet, people ask me questions about Islam and especially about Ramadan when it's around. The most asked question is: HOW??? DON'T YOU GET HUNGRY?

But the thing is, it doesn't matter. Us Muslims who fast, we do it for our Creator, Allah. Ramadan is our chance to be clean again, to be pure again and we try to redeem the most of it. I don't think hunger or thirst matter when the reward is bigger than food and water. 

Second question.

Well, nope.

BUT when the fast ends and we can eat again at the end of the day, we really treat ourselves well. From samosas, pakoray and the chilled drinks, the food is glorious. I've been obsessed with samosay and rooh-afza (one the most famous sherbets in Pakistan) since I was a kid. 

Here's a chart.
And most importantly, we share our food with people who don't have enough. Because this is what Ramadan teaches, to share and care for people who aren't privileged enough and feel what they might go through everyday.

And I'm fortunate enough to be a part of Telenor Pakistan's campaign #TweetAMeal. The main idea is to tweet our meal pictures and in return, Telenor Pakistan will donate an actual meal to someone in need. WHAT WOULD BE BETTER THAN TO SHARE MY FOOD WITH SOMEONE THROUGH JUST ONE CLICK? So I was all in.

I've been tweeting my own sehri and iftaari pictures and I want to invite you all to do the same. You might be able to help someone in need by tweeting one single picture. You don't have to go out, you don't have to make an effort but to tweet something you are eating and it's going to feed someone. It's Ramadan, babies! Share some goodness.

Let's be good.

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26 June 2016

fake it till you make it

Last week I gave someone on twitter the best advice ever & then I realized GODDAMN IT, WASN'T IT THE SECRET OF MY LIFE? and then I told myself: not anymore, Areeba.

I told him the magical words, fake it till you make it. It's a small sentence until you ~feel~ what it's actually trying to say. It's trying to tell you "FOOL YOURSELF & GO THROUGH THIS SHIT SWIFTLY you're gonna be almost safe."

And this is the sentence that changed the way I lived.
Let's keep the negative connotations aside, it's not asking you to "fake" a personality you do not have or try to be a person you're not supposed to be just to make it. It's directly related to confidence, and in my case, art too.

What it means, at least to me, is that it's an open invitation to fool your anxiety and fears, risk everything you have build emotionally and just jump in something that might wreck you. Like DON'T TALK TO THAT PERSON YOU'LL MESS THIS UP to the first hi with a wicked grin. To DO NOT SEND THIS EMAIL PLEASE DO NOT SEND THIS EMAIL to email sent. Fool yourself, babies, until you make it. Faking to be a braver version of yourself usually turns out to be in your favor. But it's not magical, you see, there are always chances of falling. I fell, too many times and I even once swear I won't try this ~fake it till you make it thing because it sucks~ but I did again and again and it made me the person I am today. It was worth it.
And when it comes to art, ask yourself how you can fake it? IS IT POSSIBLE? IS IT RIGHT? Well, yep.

Like confidence, you can totally fool yourself and trick yourself into thinking you too can make art. And be art. And create a life you wanted to live, sometimes on paper, sometimes in your head and finally in reality. It's not hard, fool yourself and start something artsy. Be a "fake artist" who just makes a mess until you don't make a mess anymore and you don't have you tag yourself a fake artist anymore. It's that easy, babies!

Let's fake it till we make it!
PS: If you haven't watched my latest vlog on channel, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Check it out (It's about my art journal) 

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