This Dentist From Islamabad Turns Boring Pictures Into Mind-Bending Psychedelic Art

By Haadia Paracha | 4 Nov, 2016

As a new form of science incorporated into art and fashion, surrealist and psychedelic art has taken Pakistani creatives hostage, much like the West. Artists have dedicated their lives to conjuring the awe and wonder of bending reality. Fashion icons have experimented with kitsch and quirky designs and hobbyists Today, everything from product placement in advertisements to parties themed with luxe outfits, surrealism is a whole new art form. And, Pakistan has also caught on.

This one Islamabadi girl’s discovery of psychedelic art transcended her career choice.

 

Sara Shakeel, student of Frontier Medical College Abbottabad pursuing a degree in dentistry feels a strong affinity with collage art despite her career choice.

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“My art usually revolves around a mix of everyday objects, brands and neons to make vibrant art that pops out. I like to dress up images to make them look pretty – this is my personal aesthetic. I’m constantly amused by the outcome, whether it is a cigarette or a batch of lipsticks, I love experimenting with crystals and a burst of color to see what I end up with”, Sara says.

Her instagram reads, “each picture heals a part of me and I hope it heals a part of you too” boasting over 800 posts and a whopping 35.4k followers on Instagram.

 

Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

 

Sara’s gallery on Instagram is a tasteful combination of flowers, crystals and colors where they don’t usually belong.

shakeel-1

“It all started with my craze for notepads and a natural artistic inclination. I’m a dentist by profession and can’t paint to save my life but I’ve always had a particular aesthetic that later proved to be a subject of appreciation by many. One day, I was going through international art curators like AXD magazine, watts.on and old magnet. I had always followed these pages and admired them but never considered that I could be capable of creating something similar. Impulse claimed the best of me and I decided to play around with cellphone applications. Picsart and Pixabay were one of the firsts, later traded for Photoshop”, says Sara.

“These applications were fairly easy to use and have a vast library of copyrights free images for creatives to use. I also dug deeper into Pinterest. I distinctly remember using one image by Jamie Nelson, fashion and beauty photographer for Vogue magazine. ”

 

The image was copyrights protected but the photographer lauded Sara for her artistic take.

And that’s how it became part of Sara’s portfolio.

Source: @jamienelson6 Edit by: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

“It often baffles me how my journey took off. It started with one image that I posted that earned me 24 likes and I was pretty overwhelmed with that number, too. This led to working on 7 to 8 pictures a day, slowly increasing my fanbase from 300 to 400 to 500”

 

Two of Sara’s pieces were especially well-received.

“Digital crying” was shared by Old Magnet, an Istanbul based digital publication & influencer.

Source: Hasse Nielsem Edit by: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

 

Another piece, “Crystal lipsticks” made Sara “instafamous” overnight, eventually reaching famed “Sex And The City” actress, Sarah Jessica Parker.

Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

The collage and juxtaposition art served as Sara’s hero, helping her overcome many academic, business and personal hurdles. She was formerly involved in  “The Retro Works”, a business that started off with a Facebook page later to open a small store at Centaurus mall in Islamabad.

“It was a place for artists, now that I look back. We used to create art from junk, creating funky clothing and retro vintage pieces. There was artsy cool items including t-shirts, cellphone covers, bags and the like. Many were imported from China and Turkey. At the time, I wasn’t aware of my own capabilities”, she says.

The store was unfortunately closed, which was a huge blow to Sara.

“…It was a mess. A museum of artistic mess.”

 

Sara continues to create art and collaborates with international businesses that pay royalties on her designs being featured on fashion pieces and accessories:

Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

 

Here are some of the mind-bending psychedelic collage art Sara has created:

Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

 

Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

 

Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

 

Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

 

Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

 

Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram
Source: @sarashakeel Via: Instagram

 

We’re, for sure, lusting over, work. Are you?

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