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Art & Life with Mushk Rizvi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mushk Rizvi.

Mushk, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. Unlike most artists, I didn’t start drawing until 2009. That is when I, moved to the Bay area to attend the Academy of Arts in San Francisco. As a huge gamer and anime lover, I got into playing video games and comics since childhood. My uncle was a gamer and he would let us play his Nintendo games. I never understood the English back then. It was not my first language but I would keep watching cartoons and observing comics as the drawings would always fascinate me. I always wondered how could someone make something so pretty and intricate. How could they make people feel emotion through an image that is not real. I chose engineering as my major in high school due to my adequate skills in math and physics. High school there (11th and 12th grade) is equal to college level here so you choose your major and carry that over to college/university.

After high school, I decided to take a chance and dive into the unknown and pursue this thing that fascinated me for a while. My parents were a bit concerned however they supported me and we made the BIG move. College life in the US was extremely different and difficult to go through. Due cultural and language barrier, it was difficult making friends. I also realized, I was very slow at learning art and that I was competing against people who have a lot more mileage over me. Things became stressful rather quickly. There were many times I thought I should quit and art and questioned if it were right for me. Followed by regrets of leaving my hometown and seeing the sacrifice my family made, I kept moving forward. I will say things haven’t gotten easy, the struggle still continues but it has gotten a little bit better than before. I met my husband in art school and later made some very genuine and encouraging friends.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I mainly focus in doing concept art and illustrations for video games and films. I work in three main steps: “research/shooting reference”, “iterations” and “executing the final idea/image.” I think this process is what most artist use. All these steps have further steps within them, which I still struggle with, as I keep finding new ways to approach certain things or re-establishing some of my old way I used before. Most of the work I do is commercial. I only have little time to do sketches in my sketchbook. While I do have many ideas in my head, I just don’t have enough time to put them out there. I also never considered myself good enough to execute my own ideas, which also holds me back in some ways. I keep telling myself once I get better, I will I’ll take the initiative but then that time never comes. For now, I aim to make my work fundamentally strong, to communicate the given topic and hope other people are able to see that and hopefully it helps them in some way.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
I believe as an artist, it is very important to humble yourself and not let your victories get to your head. While it is ok to be happy about where you succeed, it is also very important to maintain a level head. I have seen this around me and I have experienced it myself, where you get to caught up in how you think you are the “BIG SHOT” or “oh I have this many followers then I must be good”, these things eventually become your downfall. As an artist it is very important to keep learning and growing. A stagnant artist will eventually fall, compared to the one who keeps getting better and puts effort into it. To me, true success is, when one keeps reassessing them self to become a better version of who they were yesterday. It’s what makes art so cool as a career. It resonates with you as a person, because I believe that is what we should be doing as people too.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Most of my recent portfolio work can be seen on my Art station page. However, I tend to use Instagram more for my daily posts, so you get to see my sketch work and things I do outside of my work there. My Facebook page I use to put up both my portfolio and sketch work. People can support me by following my work on these platforms. I do not have an official shop yet but hopefully soon I can put that up together. 🙂

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gue Yang

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