Born an artist, Suzi has been dabbling with sketches, decorative fonts, and vivid colors from a very young age. With a flare for analyzing colors, textures, and the details of every object around here, she takes pleasure in finding beauty in everything she lays her eyes upon.
Empowered by a deep desire to unleash her creative potential, Suzi went on to become a famed artist recognized worldwide for her breathtaking canvas paintings, groundbreaking abstract art, and stunning digital takes on surrealism. We sat down with Suzi to get an insight into her creative process.
How would you describe your art?
My artistic revelation came when I recognized that I like to observe gazes and expressions of people from different walks of life and recreate paintings that tell their stories and portrays their inner self. I found myself attracted to a particular style with a certain color palette and a specific mood.
Recently, I have started painting a new collection that revolves around nude surrealism, or what I call poetic nudity. I started this collection because I have always admired the sensual and poetic way nudity was portrayed in masterpieces such as The Birth of Venus and La Bella Donna.
Painting surreal nudity gives me the opportunity to tackle the challenge of portraying the collision between the borderline vulgar sexuality of our modern times and the classy sensuality of the Renaissance, which is something that I wholeheartedly enjoy.
Would you say your paintings are complex?
I believe the answer to this question depends entirely on the subject. I always like my paintings to come out smooth and transparent, so I give my subject absolute freedom to portray itself through my artwork. Consequentially, the degree of complexity of my paintings always varies according to the amount of detail I see on the subject.
Why do you prefer working with acrylic?
I find many pros and cons to each medium, but acrylic gives me the freedom to move smoothly between the several stages of a painting because it dries quickly. Oil gives me the ability to reach the particular fusion of color, shadow, and depth that I have in mind and I often use acrylic and oil in the same painting.
The only disadvantage of acrylic is that it does not give me the ability to draw fine lines as smoothly as oil. Otherwise, it is a perfect medium to portray my artworks.
Who would you sight as influences to your paintings?
When I first started painting, I copied the mind-bending artworks of the Salvador Dali. I found myself awed by his art and how he takes the viewer on reality-twisting journeys. As I learned more about other artists and eras of art throughout history, I became also fascinated with the works of Khalil Gibran, Van Gogh, and Egon Schiele.
My fascination with Latino cultures also has a sizeable influence on my paintings. Especially after a trip to Cuba, I realized that I belonged to their world. I started to scour every possible medium for material about their history, and in the process, I fell in love with the art of Frida Kahlo.
Could you walk us through your creative process?
I see art as a magical result of my feelings, emotions, experiences, and beliefs. It is a collective result of what I consciously and subconsciously grasp on a daily basis using all my senses. It is a sophisticated process that can be made simpler when organized. I see it as a blend between realism and surrealism.
Several factors come together to enhance my awareness of particular ideas and enrich my creativity. It is a visit representation that becomes visible to me in the form of enlightenment that later shows up in my paintings.
Do you like to paint in specific conditions?
My studio is Dubai is my comfort zone, but I am used to painting in harsher conditions. In fact, rediscovered painting in Lebanon during the war. The horror of being trapped in a room waiting in fear for the fight to blow out and nothing but candles keeping my company provoked my artistic abilities as I found myself splashing canvas with dark colors.
I am planning on leaving my comfort zone shortly to paint a Mural in Miami. Hopefully, one day I will be able to achieve my dreams of painting a whole city with beautiful colors and building a studio on a beach in Lebanon.
How do you handle creative blocks?
This is a great question.
I call creative blocks “artsy comas.” Being faced with a creative block is like being stuck in space and time. My head screams: “Now what?” while the black canvas stare at me mercilessly in sarcastic silence. Such a phase could go on for days which used to bother until I learned to embrace the fear of inability.
I learned to see this unfortunate phenomenon as an integral part of creation. A struggling artist is still an artist but only on hiatus. With time, our perception grows deeper and broader and at one point it learns to overcome this obstacle. After all, art is life. It has always been about the quality, not the quantity.
How did traveling impact your art?
2016 has been a year full of travel, and I had the chance to intensely experience art on a global scale. My art has been everywhere, so I have been. In the last year, I traveled to Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, Venice, London, Miami, and Lisbon.
I met with great art enthusiasts and curators as I participated in major art fairs and exhibition among esteemed international artists. Every encounter with a foreign culture enriched my experience and broadened my horizon. Sharing ideas and other elements feeds my the very soul of my art and helps to grow my skillset.
Traveling is a magical source of inspiration that never goes dry. It triggers hidden ideas and helps me picture them more vividly. It had an undeniably profound impact on my paintings.
How would you describe success from an artist point of view?
To me, success is looking at a completed painting with satisfaction after enduring the chaotic process of drawing and the sight of a wall covered with my artworks and when I receive an award that I have been nominated to by esteemed names in the art world.
I also feel success when I hear from people who experienced a relatable emotion upon seeing my paintings to the extent that they feel the urge to own and keep it in their homes and show it to their families and loved ones. It feels like my art somehow managed to capture a part of their soul, without even knowing them, which is magnificent.
Was 2016 a good year for you as an artist?
I can say 2016 was a successful year. My art traveled to a lot of important galleries and exhibitions. My participation in Art Basel through Coya Miami was one of the greatest achievement this year. Also, being awarded the Casanova Prize and a Certificate of Excellence with the International Palm Award was a highlight that I am proud of, and I will never forget.
Do you have a message that you would like to sent for the upcoming year?
For the next year, I can say I only have one message: Believe.