We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariam Choudry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mariam, why did you pursue a creative career?
From a young age, I’ve always loved being creative and making things by hand. However, I didn’t fully pursue painting until my thirties. I took time off from my IT profession to raise my children and it was during that time I began painting as a hobby. I rediscovered a joy that comes with the creative process and the stillness and peace it brings. It’s a very meditative experience, as it brings your awareness to the present moment. You’re alert but still and have time to become aware of your inner life and that’s exactly what I needed. Modern day life is very fast-paced, with many distractions and stresses and painting is a sanctuary. Also, there was the discovery of this excitement that comes every time a new painting comes to life. Rather than consuming, you’re producing something that inspires and brings joy and that seems very purposeful. Painting also helps me connect to my inner child in a sense. It feels like playtime when I’m in my Studio. Painting is my passion and profession and I’ve never looked back since. I like to paint various subjects, as I find inspiration in so many things. The Whirling Dervishes symbolize our inner search for Truth and connection to the Divine. The Florals and Landscapes point to the beauty in God’s creation. I also love playing with textures and materials for my Abstract Artwork.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
While working in the IT field, my creative side was always calling. However, I never found the time to delve deeper. I needed more courage and maturity to follow my inner voice and dreams. While taking a career break to raise my children, I began painting as a hobby. It opened a new door in my life. Creating art became love, expression, meditation, purpose, a journey to self-awareness and so much more. It became a practice in presence and brought me much peace and joy. There is an endorphin rush when you create something with your own hands, that keeps you creating further. I found a place of peace, stillness and reflection. It felt like a sanctuary where I could take a break from my fast-paced life.
My painting practice increased and after a few years, I decided to follow my true passion and started painting as a professional. I took a plunge into a career change, knowing that it was going to be less predictable, however, it has brought such meaning to my life that I’ve never looked back. It’s about enjoying the journey and process, while putting in a dedicated daily effort and having faith that the divine will lead you in the right direction.
Inspiration for my artwork comes from nature and spirituality. I enjoy reflecting on Rumi poetry, that inspired me to paint Whirling Dervishes, who practice a meditative dance, bringing them closer to the Divine. These paintings symbolize our search for inner truth, our true spirit and out thirst to connect to our maker. I also feel inspired by the beauty of nature around me and like to paint Florals and Landscapes. I love the challenge that the variety of subjects brings and it keeps my creativity flowing.
I feel pursuing a creative endeavor can absolutely change our lives for the better.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There’s so many fun places to see in San Diego. My favorite one is Balboa Park. So let’s start there. On:
Mon: Balboa Park. See the Japenese gardens there and visit the Art Museum. Eat lunch at the ‘Prado Restaurant’.
Tue: Relax at Seagrove Park, which has a beautiful beach. Try awesome tacos at ‘The Taco Stand’ in Encinitas. Check out the amazing ocean views at the Encinitas Meditation Gardens.
Wed: Stroll through the San Diego Botanical Gardens and have lunch at ‘Bushfire Kitchen’. They have very yummy Empanadas.
Thurs: Visit Downtown San Diego Pier walk and have lunch at ‘Bud and Rob’s’, which has authentic New Orleans cusine.
Fri: Visit Carlsbad Village and explore the arts and crafts shops.
Sat: Walk along the La Jolla shores and visit La Jolla Cove. Finish the day with authentic Paksitani cusine from Casa Lahori.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m so thankful to have a supportive network of family and friends who’ve always cheered me on to keep creating. I’m especially thankful to my Husband for always being there to encourage and support me. I’m also thankful to all my fellow artists, past and present, whose life and work have inspired me to keep creating and find my path.
Instagram: @mariamchoudryart and @mariamcartist