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Meet Taif Albarainkani

Today we’d like to introduce you to Taif Albarainkani.

Taif, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As human beings with growing emotions, we all go through life events and experiences that shapes our souls. My interest in art was sparked in my heart since childhood, and as the years passed that spark grew to a fire of love, a love that takes me to places where bounders don’t exist, a place where the voices of the unheard are heard. It is a love that helps me project the unseen world of human emotion and struggles through paintings and figure drawings.

What influences me to make art is the series of life events that I have experienced such as, wars, refuge to many countries, and the longing to have a home that is not built on broken pieces of history. I am influenced by the struggles and the pain I have seen in people due to wars, lose, and broken hearts. I make art to become one with those who struggle and still find hope in life. I make art to become one with those who want to have their voices heard, not by talking loudly, but with a stroke of a paintbrush that represents their agony, love, and hope.

Since my arrival in the United States, I have built myself artistically and produced many paintings that reflected all I wanted to say. The discovery and the making process increased my passion and interest in Art to the extent that I am always thirsty to make more and to release more. The complexity of finding home and recreating the memories as it is slowly being erased from my mind has been a life-changing experience that made physically and emotionally connected to every aspect of the pieces.

Witnessing the reaction of the receivers also reassured the great purpose of making art as I’ve observed them connect to the overwhelming large sized pieces and the depiction of the art of war. With every chapter in life, the direction of my work seems to increase its layers and process. The recent undergraduate experience at UCLA taught me to paint with all my senses, emotions, and even use any physical capabilities to create work that leads me to home. I recently graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

Now I’m working at the Getty Villa, at the same time working on new ideas for the business I’m planning to create which is also related to Art making.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Ever since I was a child, my intended major was art. That seems like an overstated statement, however, it is how I’ve felt my entire childhood and now my adulthood. Like all children, as a child I have felt the need and the drive to discover my surroundings, the ever-lasting thirst to create began at an early age, it continues now, and it will last forever. My love for art began when I took my first art class in Baghdad, Iraq.

I discovered as a child that the lines I drew on my sketchbook were lines that represented my path, a path that was filled with art, color, and creativity. The class has sparked a passion in my heart that traveled with me around the world. My interest in art developed when I was ten years old and all I drew represented the discovery that was lead by a child’s curiosity. I admired everything around me, and I wanted to reflect the beauty of the world and make it last eternally.

My love for art traveled with me from Iraq to Turkey to Egypt and finally the United States. In 2011, after years of witnessing destruction, losing a country, living in an oppressive society and seeing the colors in my life slowly fading, we finally moved to the United States. After moving to California, the colors of my life became more vivid, and my journey towards art began with a determination to create and express everything inside me and reflected it in my art.

My first drawing class that I took during the fall semester of 2012 was the most challenging because I felt that I was weak and everyone around had more talent and skills than I did. I felt that I had so much to learn so all I did was sketch and paint endlessly.

The encouragement of my teacher made me more ambitious and determined to grow artistically, it helped me explore art through my hands like I’ve never had.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I’m a local artist, I specialize in painting. I’m very proud with everything I have achieved since I started my journey. I had no hope of anything back when I was younger and in the stage of moving from place to place.

I worked very hard to reach what I have now, and I’m going to work harder to achieve more Goals. My determination and my love for art making and exploring all the possibilities is what makes me want to keep going.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think success depends on two things, first is the mindset. The way we think about certain things or goals we want to achieve, it really depends on how we think. The second thing is the will how are you willing to achieve those goals?

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