28 March 2016

you all are welcome to my plant's funeral

This might be the most dramatic and tragedic event of my life, dressing up, burying my cactus and be poetic about it. Remember Asi? My most beautiful cactus? Well it died. People think nazr e badd (evil eye) killed it but I'm sure Thatta did. The ghost town couldn't bear its beauty. It was alright a few days ago but started turning yellow and was never okay. 

I didn't wear black, it's not a sad color for me. Dark green is. Who wouldn't want a funeral that has a fashion code of metallic tattoos and South Asian attire? You all are here to say the final goodbye to it as well. Asi was an angel baby and is finally gone a royal way. 

Here are the most beautiful photos of Asi I took over the time we were together.




best family photo ever

My family thinks cactus are plants from hell but still they make a cute decoration and we don't need to be emotionally attached to something so sharp it might hurt. We also have a family code for unbearable people: we call them cactus of the family, specially grown in hell for us.

 Me & James Patrick March junior went to say the last goodbye. My silsila ye chahat ka moment.


DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANTS? TAKE CARE OF THEM XOXO


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26 March 2016

An open letter to Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik keeps releasing new songs and it keeps breaking internet because it's Zayn and his glorious voice. At one point I was annoyed by how I wanted to keep listening to pillowtalk and it was stuck in my head and I was both happy and angry about it. But he recently released a part of his another song INTERMISSION: fLoWer and people, let me cry with happiness first.

He's singing in Urdu. Can you BELIEVE THIS? It's Pakistan's national language and he finally sung something that goes back to his roots. People might be saying BUT HE CAN'T SING IN URDU but I highly respect the fact he is at least doing it. 

Dear Zayn,
Here's me, a big fan of yours from Pakistan. And I want to thank you for the little twist you played in your album, the Urdu lyrics in fLoWer and you singing it makes it worth it to listen to it for a thousand times. I've played it for at least 100 times today because I can't get enough of it. People maybe saying that you can't sing in Urdu but I'm extremely proud that you did. 

You've always been the guy who never backed down and you finally took a risk of mixing a totally different language into one of your songs and you must have an idea how people would be talking against you for this but MANNN YOU DID IT I'm truly happy for that. In fact, I AM INSANELY PROUD OF YOU. You're making people feel good about their backgrounds no matter where they're from. 

I've had always thought that you weren't proud of your roots that go back to Pakistan. I was always worried you would never acknowledge it. You might have talked about it before and all of us had an idea that you are completely familiar with your Pakistani culture but all of us were afraid. Now you just showed to the world and people like me that you're proud of the Urdu language and HOLY CRAP YOU SANG IN IT.

It's a moment of proud for your desi fan, you sang something that's for non-white people and it means a hell lot to us. You were my favorite and you always will be. 

xoxo,
Areeba

IMPORTANT NOTE: People are having hard time accepting the fact that this song is in URDU not in Persian, Hindi or Arabic. Not a single big magazine have acknowledged it as an Urdu song and it irritates me. Thanks Rolling Stone for NOT accepting the fact that it's in URDU. 


But hey let's celebrate the moment and cherish it with some fanart *THROWS CONFETTI*


Here's the song if you wanna hear

*all the fanart is 100% made by me*

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25 March 2016

be a part of the love club

Be a part of the love club.

Love Club is actually a Lorde song and I had been trying to find an excuse to use the song in any of my posts. I finally found one. And it's bookish.

I was given a book a few days ago by a friend. It was a romantic Urdu one, too much sweetness, I was sure it was a wrong pick. But there was one more thing, the female protagonist seemed to be extremely desparate after the male protagonist and the love affair between them. Things turned a little humliating for her but she was true to her love, she stuck to him and later, they married. Well, such happy ending. That pissed me off. 

I like my female protagonists desparate, not after a man but after better things like sky, desparate to find out more about the world around them. I want to see more sides of a female fictional character other than being killed or being loved. I want to see the evilness or goodness through her. I want to see her creating things, bringing changes, finding things out, keeping secrets, taking revenge, having problems she tries to solve & having her world turned upside down so she can get creative with how to restart her life.

This is why I love Gillian Flynn books most. She writes her female characters like they're a character and not just women. They can be evil, soft, creative and not just pretty. Her characters are badass women who can make things possible. People accuse Flynn for evil female characters but what's wrong with a female psychopath? A psychopath doesn't need a gender.

Same goes for Sidney Sheldon. He makes me feel so proud of his female protagonists. If Tomorrow Comes has to be my MOST favorite book by him. Tracy Whitney and her adventures. His fictional women make mistakes, learn from them and change their world. His writings are something I can always trust when it comes to a good read and a strong female character.

Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns was another hit for me. The book portrays the struggle of Afghani women. It isn't romanticized. It isn't sugar coated. It simply portrays how 2 Afghani women learned life. It's raw and a pile of bitter truths. It's a rough book but beautiful. It shows the darkness of a culture which is true and not true at the same time.

This is what my love club consists of: my favorite female fictional women. There's Amazing Amy from Gone Girl, Tracey Whitney from If Tomorrow Comes, Nancy Drew from Nancy Drew series, Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, Asya from The Bastard Of The Istanbul. 

I was imagining a meet up with my love club ladies and what would I say to them if we ever gathered on the same table, staring at each other, our faces curious. They'd think of me as a stranger at first because I'm the one with no story. And I'd look at them like they are family because I've known them for too long. I'll apologize for not being a young woman with a story worth telling but I'd promise I will have one soon. There'd be a hell lot of energy around us. The world would be staring at the crazy creative army of women, fictional but insanely powerful. I'd tell them that I took one thing from all of you when I was reading their books but I won't tell what. They'd have to guess it through my me.


Go get punched for the love club


Who'd be the member of your love club?

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23 March 2016

turning family disappointments into art

One can never be sure about family, it's a complicated subject. Bet you can't write poetry about family unless you're so normal or you're not normal at all. I have a thing of every insulting remark anyone from family has ever said to me (I'm the girl who never forgets) So instead of inhaling any kind of negative into my body, I've decided to make art about it. And when it comes to family issues, art or drugs are the best options. I'm with art, don't worry.

How we talk about marriage most of the time.

The title of daughter from hell is so rock punk.



Use internet well.

It means YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE A NICE COOK.

I'm extremely happy how well they turned out. So whenever you feel like your family is getting  little too hard on you, don't worry make art about it.


\\ a brown girl on missions always make art //

Clip art from Rookie Mag & Punk Rose and images made 100% by me.

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21 March 2016

Art Journal: World Poetry Day

Today, on World Poetry Day, I want to talk about most important poems in my life. The power of words, it's strong & beautiful and I always let myself flow with words: good words bad words, words that mean something and sometimes even those words that make no sense. 

Back in 2014, I discovered Erin Hanson. Her poetry is not just beautiful but magical. And most importantly, it has healing powers. 
The thing about Erin is her words are simple but heavy with their meanings. If you could objectify someone's words, Erin's would be wild flowers, spread into vines across a forest. Her poetry reminds me of sky, 

Last year I got her book as a treat to myself because her words inspire me on difficult times whenever I feel trapped or I couldn't feel the sky above my head. Her poetry is stars and night sky and wild roots under the earth and smell of fresh breeze. I'm insanely in love with her words and she's one of the best things internet brought me.

Jo rukay to koh-e-garan thay hum, Jo chalay to jan se guzar gaye 
One of my most favorite Urdu sha'air by Faiz Ahmed Fiaz. It can be described as: We were like a big mountain when we stayed. When we left, we didn't care about life.

And, Sylvia Plath.

I read her The Bell Jar in winter and I fell in love with the idea of madness and Plath. She digs her way to the heart with her words. Women artists, especially the one who possess the power of words are treasure for me. 
 I've read her Ariel, The Colossus & Crossing The Water. Mirror is one of my absolute favorite poems of hers and it's from Crossing The Water.

Happy Poetry Day to all of you!


Who's your favorite poet/poetess?


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20 March 2016

The grown up - GILLIAN FLYNN

 The grown up is the latest Gillian Flynn book (a book I was dying to get my hands on) It's a short story and reading it meant that I will be done with all of her books. And being the crazy Flynn fan that I am, it was important. Gillian has a v special place in my heart for all the crazy evil powerful fictional women she has given to the book world. 

The story is about an almost former sex worker working as a fake psychic. One day she meets Susan Burke who was having some trouble with her new house, her 15 years old step son etc. And when she starts working for her, things change.

Our protagonist, the fake psychic, has a disturbing past. Disturbing not to her, she was kind of cool with it, it was disturbing for me because IT WAS DISTURBING. Oh and she loves reading books. How cool is that, book-loving protagonists are my fave.

Susan's house is haunting her. Things are twisted. Susan's stepson is troubled. Is the house haunted? The house is breathing on miseries from its past. Susan's stepson's black spidery eyes might be the door to house's history.

It's a v short story, took me an hour to finish it. But still so much happened in just an hour and in just 67 pages. It's horror, disgust, darkness mixed together. All I would say to warn you is that get ready for many plot twists in just 5 minutes. The story will screw your mind like any other Flynn book casually does.

Did I like it? I LOVED IT! It was a little weird that the book ended so quick obviously it was a short story but I'm used to Flynn's long dark novels. I need more of her books!
My handmade bookmark.
I got the book from Kaymu. It's an online store with a variety of stuff available on it. It was my second time getting something from a Pakistani online store. I have never gotten a book online before because it always scares me WHAT IF THE MAIL HURTS THE BOOK, I'm quite sensitive for my paperbacks. But gladly, the book arrived in perfect condition. 
Have you read it? Or any other Flynn book?
*I was sent the book by Kaymu for a review.
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17 March 2016

dreams 2010

Growing up, I was obsessed with my aunt (I'm afraid I still am) I was her fan because there was no young lady fierce like her, creative like her, confident like her, smart like her. There was no one like her. And I wanted to be like her, hard task because my 2010-self was in troubles for so many reasons and couldn't stand for hard responsibilities like being her second copy. 

I loved everything she did. Obv because I was obsessed with the idea of her. I loved her stuff, sometimes I used it without permission (spraying her perfumes all over me, putting on her lipsticks before I was stuck with dermatitis) and she would be pissed off at me. She has always been a person who's usually mad at me for different reasons. But I can guarantee I have always been her favorite trouble/niece. 
She got a diary for 2010-2011 and I was like GODDAMMIT THE QUOTES PRINTED IN IT ARE SO ARTSY I'LL CUT THEM DOWN AND PASTE IN MY DIARIES. And she was like DON'T YOU DARE LOOKING AT THEM THAT WAY AREEBA SIDDIQUE. And I didn't. I really didn't try to steal them because she was going to notice the missing parts and she'd get be so mad at me I wouldn't actually dare to do that. But I always had dreams cutting her diary into pieces and cutting out all the quotes and fancy words and pasting them into one of my journals.

And now, 6 years later. She's married and away at another country and I recently dug into old stuff at my nanna's house and found that diary. THAT DIARY. It was half.empty and I had those quotes all to myself. Proudly presenting an art journal page of those quotes that might have gotten me into trouble if I hadn't been patient. I waited for 6 years for these. 



These are my newest fave pages because isn't it obvious? 

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14 March 2016

#unfairandlovely - a fight

I first came across this hashtag 3 days ago when reclaim the bindi moment was on its peak on twitter.  8th to 14th March is both rctb and #unfairandlovely moment week. Being a South Asian, I know being dark skinned is a common problem for our young women. I'm pale brown, slightly fairer than dark skin so I couldn't be a part of it but it's such a powerful campaign that I wanted to talk about it, on my blog, on twitter and even in real life (calling my aunts & amma to let them know about this) I find darker shades of brown skin to be more beautiful than any other skin color. It's a skin color of beauty mixed with grace. 

It's weird that a big part of Pakistani population is made up of people with darker skin and yet people with darker skin are targeted, especially young women. I've grown up seen family members being mocked for being dark, called with names that aren't funny. It's never funny to target someone because of their appearance, it's inappropriate. When I was a kid, many people told me not to drink chai because it would darken my skin. Whenever I think about it, I realize it was the first step that society took to inject "dark is bad" in our minds. Women with dark skins are told that nobody wants to marry them or they need to use beauty creams to be fair skinned because dark skins are unwanted. Well sweetheart, they are not. It's just something we're told for years and years. It's 2016, time to grow up.

Dark isn't bad or good, it's how someone looks like. And I'm not here to defend skin of colors because there shouldn't be a 'reason' to respect someone's look. 

When I saw #unfairandlovely (mainly hitting a popular facial cream Fair & Lovely for a light colored skin) I LOVED the concept, it's a mission started by 3 students of University of Texas. The main idea of campaign is to ask dark-skinned people to upload their photos on social media, tweet about it, instagram it, celebrate their skins. It's not just a campaign, it's a fight to claim their beauty.

Take a moment and break all the stereotypes we have grown up with. You don't need a skin cream to have a fair skin and look nice. There are no beauty standards. There's no problem with how someone looks. We're not given a choice how we look like but we can be powerful to embrace our features and beauty our own way. All you need is to stand up for yourself once and the rest of courage will come up to you.

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11 March 2016

#areebamakesthings - Newest Creative Adventure

#areebamakesthing - It's one of my most favorite hashtag which I use on instagram to show off my newest creations, be it a handmade pillowcase or notebooks. I love creating stuff, I think it's my superpower because creation is an ultimate gift for women by nature and I'm always too curious about what can I create with my powers mixed with creativity. 

I've been into blogging for 4 years now, I used to design blogs back in past but I took a break from it and concentrated only on blogging. But I am coming back at it with a few twists, I'll be making illustrations and other fab things for online people as well. It's mainly because I've been posting my illustrations on instagram and twitter and so many people asked me if I took custom illustrations order - And I thought IT'S A SIGN & that was it. I will finally be playing the role of young struggling artist online with art to make and a future to a glorious art school. 

#areebamakesthings is a start of how I want to shape my future as an art kid. I want to fill my present and coming years with art, creativity, power of creation and making beautiful things. 


Here are a few of my most recent and favorite illustrations.

We all are witches at some point. Aren't we? 

My type of fun, please.

Want it? Get it.

I'm a plant mama, 4ever!
It's a start of a beautiful and long journey so wish me luck and send me virtual hugs because I'm going to need that. And if you're in need of a blog design or a custom illustration, check out my Design Service page and find all important info and my portfolio there. And if there's something you want to talk about, just shoot me an email
Have you started any creative project this month too? If yes, link me up because I'd love to see how it is going and if there's something we can work out together. Here's to Women Power!
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10 March 2016

Is too girly too bad?

My life revolves around Gillian Flynn's books, dark lipsticks, twisted fiction a lot of black color. I have a pale brown skin so dark lipsticks go with it v well, I love pastels when I'm in a mood of light colors. But a few days ago when I chopped my hair too short, someone told me to be more girly because cutting my hair wasn't girly to him. It was confusing because a few years ago, a person from family had told me that I was too girly with all that drawings, glitter on my face and too many crushes in my head. And I forgot to ask what's wrong with too girly.

And it suddenly felt too confusing to handle.

Cutting my hair short isn't girly? WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GIRLY?
Here are Noor's top 2 masterpieces: Me & her color palette which I took because it fits "too girly" criteria.  

Now let me have an important talk with you all. I think I'm too girly because I was born like this; a girl. My organs are girly, my skin is girly, my hair is girly because goddammit I'm a girl. Associating colors and themes with a gender and using it against it is senseless. If anyone thinks that too much pink is too girly, let me correct that it's just a choice. Wearing dark lipsticks isn't not-girly. You won't tell a guy who's playing his video games that it's too boyish to play video games all day long so it's better to let girls draw or put on make up and just be girls not TOO GIRLY.

Anyway, meet my most fave towel in the world. My amma gave it to me and I've been emotionally attached with it since. Pink isn't one of my top favorites but it's nice to be surrounded with such a lovely color. 


What's your theory of too girly?

PS: THERE'S A BIG PROJECT COMING TO BLOG TOMORROW AND I'M HELLA EXCITED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU GUYS. IT'S ABOUT CREATIVITY & DESIGN. STAY TUNED! ILYASM!

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