Creative expression comes in many forms, with one of the most well-known being painting and artwork. From the prehistoric days of cave paintings to the mesmerising artwork found in the renaissance era, each art form has its way of showcasing an individual’s creativity.
Even in today’s world filled with the whims of modern technology, there is still an avenue for people to showcase creativity through painting on a physical canvas.
These were some of the highlights of the Creative Art Expo at the Belait Sixth Form Centre (PTEB) that provided an opportunity for students to showcase their artistry and creativity in using well-defined genres of painting and making their own renditions.
I spoke to some aspiring artists who had their art works on display, with many still at school. Siti Nurzahirah binti Abdul Zabar, 19, shared how she turned her hobby into opportunities not only for her to express her creativity, but also for others to enjoy and be inspired to be creative themselves.
“It started when I was at St Margaret’s School, where I took art as an additional subject at first. It was then I realised that I like drawing and enjoy it. So I decided to take it as a subject at PTEB.”
Like any hobby, there are challenges artists can face when drawing, Siti Nurzahirah said.
She pointed out how one major challenge is art block, where an artist is faced with a period where no inspiration or idea can be formed.
“So I when face an art block, I find that going back to my old hobby and taking a break can help, such as reading, or knitting. I can use this to find inspiration, such as looking at the colours of the yarn.”
Similarly, 19-year-old Nurul ‘Effatul’ Aqilah binti Abdullah Sulaiman shared how she started painting during her childhood days.
“I watched a lot of anime and cartoons and got inspired to copy the art styles.”
Ever since she entered the sixth form, she noted that her skills as an artist have continued to improve, with painting and art being an avenue for her to relieve stress and express herself.
During the global pandemic, Siti Nurzahirah said she was less inspired and was falling behind in her work as she tried the balance between her studies and her hobbies. Siti Nurzahirah said, “I would sometimes just do simple sketches. Even if it was not a complete piece of art, it would at least help me maintain my skills.”
With the movement restrictions, Siti Nurzahirah said it negatively impacted her ability to find inspiration, noting that “usually we go outside to look for inspiration”.
Meanwhile, Nurul ‘Effatul’ Aqilah said the movement restrictions had been a boon in terms of the time spent on improving her skill.
Meanwhile, Siti Nurzahirah said, “Because there is still a transition towards an endemic phase, there is a noticeable change in how people get into art, especially with many having realised during the height of the pandemic that art became their hobby, and how it expanded the number of people involved in the art community in Brunei.”
Similarly, she is still eager to improve her skills and continue to make artwork.
“Especially with an art expo such as this, it is easy to find sources of inspiration from others as well as be one to inspire others.”
Having made strides in creating their works of art, Siti Nurzahirah and Nurul ‘Effatul’ Aqilah voiced their interest in continuing to hone their artistic skills as a passion to pursue.
Nurul ‘Effatul’ Aqilah hopes that the artwork she has created will help inspire and showcase the creativity that can be expressed in the various genres of art.
She highlighted that she wants those viewing the artwork “to be more confident with themselves and that anyone can make art. Hopefully, in the future, I can also continue to exhibit and showcase my artwork as part of my hobby while also introducing the different styles of art to people”.
Siti Nurzahirah said, “I am planning on continuing to create artwork and exhibit them, because I know there are still people who are shy in showcasing their creativity.”
“I hope that in displaying the artworks made by me and my friends, we can help to inspire others to start their piece of art, no matter if it might be good or amateurish, as art is in the eye of the beholder,” she added.