An Interview with Zafar Khan
Q: You're entirely self taught. Do you think this has helped
you attain a style that's more personal than most artists?
A: Definitely. And although i might have benefitted from a few art classes concerning certain fundamentals, I'm proud of myself and the way I have managed to learn by observation and a laborious trial and error process.
Q: You told me that you could not afford any art supplies other than a pencil which you sharpened with a knife. Can you tell me a bit more about your early life as an art enthusiast?
A: I was always ineterested in ordinary objects such as bicycles, vases and furniture. I derive pleasure from transposing such objects from the material world onto a piece of paper. Many people don't realise the effort that goes into drawing what seem to be simple things.
Q: You moved to Canada to find better job prospects. Is there a lack of appreciation for artists in Pakistan?
A: There's a lack of financial remuneration. I get Rs 1000 for a full size portrait in Islamabad. But over here I get upto 150$. So it's more financially rewarding for me to work here.
Q: You specialise in portraits of people. But I've seen some of your more experimental work, especially the more impressionistic ones. It seems you can adapt your distinct approach to a variety of different styles....
A: Yes, I am fortunate in that I have a vivid imagination that searches for expression in different mediums and forms. I find impressionism to be a soothing exercise. It's like closing your eyes and letting you brush capture the colors that are harbored in your mind.
Q: Have you ever seen the works of foot and mouth artists?
A: Yes, I have and I must say that I find their passion and penchant for detail to be awe inspiring. I have nothing but admiration and respect for them and their work.
Q: What advice would you give to artists who are going through the same phases as you once did?
A: Never settle for the ordinary. Give your work all that you have and itwill rewardyou in ways that you cannot even begin to fathom.