To mark the second birthday of my blog, PrettyGreenBullet, I’m having a one-night exhibition at the Dar Al-Funoon Gallery on December 5th. In addition to being a means for instant artistic gratification, I regard my blog as a gathering place for immediate and direct interaction with my visitors. So I thought: who better to interview me for bazaar than my PrettyGreensters? Of course being the creative bunch that they are (some of whom would have probably loved to see me squirm-but I am not fazed easily), I was spoiled for choice when it came to the questions. Read on.
Miti Aiello: Please share with us the concept of ‘Drawing as an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’.
I was explaining to my daughter, who draws the same way I do- habitually- how I used to draw eyes over and over and over again in the margins of my school notebooks. I’m sure it’s not clinically OCD but I couldn’t stop. The same way it was a habit to bite my nails as a child. I get itchy when my hands have nothing to do.
Miti Aiello: If you were not an artist, could you live?
If I weren’t an artist I’d most certainly have an easier life. I wouldn’t know what I was missing, would I? If I were an artist but for some reason banned from ever creating, then I think I would eventually wilt.
Mrs. Daffodil: You sometimes mention your children. One of the big problems for women here in North America (I live in Canada) is finding time for art when they have young children. Was this a problem for you?
In terms of family planning vis-a-vis my career, I had a good plan: have my kids in the shortest time span possible. In five years I had all three of my children. That way I was more or less on hiatus from painting for the least time possible. I never stopped drawing though. And I had a regular job. AND my mom was a big help in baby-sitting.
Ethel Cooper: What most frustrates you about being an artist in Kuwait?
I like that you phrased it ‘artist in Kuwait’ and not ‘Kuwaiti artist’. I’d like to think that my work transcends any sort of citizenship. Now that that’s out of the way, what most frustrates me is the lack of a structured system by which an artist has formal representation, artwork prices are assessed- not slapped on willy-nilly, and in which we have the proper media with expert critics to give an educated evaluation of the works exhibited.
Ethel Cooper: What is the best thing about being an artist in Kuwait?
If there is no good, how can there be a best?
Miti Aiello: If you had a Manifesto, what would be its tenets?
Have fun, don’t get into a formulaic rut , and don’t take yourself too seriously. That’s just the mission statement.
Miti Aiello: A day in the life of 80-year-old Ghadah.
There’s a scary thought. I imagine myself- actually I know it- being a grumpy old lady giving a good telling off to whoever approaches my door, arms flailing. An Isograph pen in one hand and a sketchbook in the other.
Ahmed El Adly: Have you considered doing a line of ‘scratch and sniff’ artworks? If so, what scents would you go for?
This question makes me laugh because my mind immediately goes to the scatological. But seriously, if you’ve ever smelled those scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers, they all smell the same. If I could truly create scented paintings, I’d choose lavender. I want my girls to smell like lavender.
Ethel Cooper: What is your favorite fish? And why?
Mermaids, because they’re pretty and have tails.
Ahmed El Adly: Given the appropriate instruments, would you consider chopping off a body part a la Van Gogh?
When you say ‘appropriate instruments’ do you mean anesthetics, doctors and a proper operating room, or merely a razor sharp scalpel? In the true spirit of Mr. Van Gogh, it would have to be my left love handle.
Miti Aiello: Have you ever sucked your pens?
Yes. It’s a terrible (and messy) habit. Not all pens are suck-friendly.
Ethel Cooper: Online is immediate, worldwide and direct. But as a full-time artist do you never feel, and regret, that you are giving your work away for free like this?
I never think of it as giving my work away for free. It’s sharing. Like in Kindergarten.
Stacy Ward: Was there a moment in time when you understood your destiny as an artist?
I don’t remember ever not being the girl who drew all the time. And in school, you are immediately compartmentalized; so that was the box I was placed in. I enjoyed being in that box. I still do.
Miti Aiello: Is your blog more important than the life of a small animal?
This question is very difficult. Would I sacrifice my blog for a small animal? How small? An ant? No. A rat? No. A kitten? I’m going to have to say yes. But it’ll probably kill me to do so.
GhadahAlkandari: Do you think you are as good an artist as you think you are?
Sometimes I wonder, so perhaps no. But most of the time I think yes, why shouldn’t I be? The surest thing is that what I do is a natural part of who I am; it’s another tick, a habit, an extension and a love.
Visit www.PrettyGreenBullet.com for more details about the show.