Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Raheleh Sarbazih.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Sade Prisila. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have battled with mental illness all my life and as a result, I have always been looking for outlets to release my emotions positively. As a teenager in high school, naturally, I experimented with makeup. It soon became a way to express myself and individuality. When I felt happy and optimistic, I played around with bright colors and glitter. When I held more a serious tone, I created darker, somber looks. I have since created looks expressing me best and worst emotions. It’s all about taking the strongest emotions and speaking them aloud with art.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t always been easy, nor do I expect to ever wake up one day and not feel the dread that comes when trying to come up with a concept that thoroughly speaks what I’m trying to express. At times, I find my art pretentious and empty. I am my worst critic and try to hold myself to the highest standard. If I could have any piece of advice for anyone interested in what I do, it would be to not scrutinize ourselves as harshly as we do all our lives. The world is full of people, especially people on the internet, who will do that for you. As much as we love to be our biggest enemy, we have to remember that we are also our greatest friend. Never shrink yourself down for anyone or anything, no one in this world will speak for us so we must use the voice we have and scream what we feel and who we are from the rooftops! Be strong, wipe off the dirt and pick yourself up. Never stop standing up no matter how many times you are pushed down.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I never really know how to explain what I ‘do’, especially when asked by strangers. Art is subjective, not everyone may think what I do is art but to me its the greatest form of expression. I create pieces based on my emotions on myself using makeup. It’s like having a second voice. I use the colors and textures to paint how I’m feeling. I am proud of the connections people have made with my pieces. I often feel very alone and isolated, so when I get comments and messages from others who have similar experiences to mine, it helps remind me that maybe I’m not so alone in the world and my emotions and thoughts are valid.
Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
Growing up in such a loud and beautiful culture had its ups and down. Sadly, I see that in most Hispanic cultures, mental health is not really talked about and often times have hidden under the rug for fear of embarrassment and looking weak when were are meant to be people of bravery. I believe that growing up holding down my deepest emotions has awakened the creativity in me to be as open and loud as I see fit. I will never allow myself to be silenced or to be scared of being who I am or speaking up. Life is too short to live a dim light.
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Sade Prisila Preciado (@edoloremagnagloria)