Different strokes: Saudi artist draws the line at cosmetic waste

1 / 5
Saudi artist Aisha Javid Mir’s project, Artientifique, is drawing praise from around the Middle East and abroad. The painter, 19, has been interested in art ever since she was a toddler. (Photo/Supplied)
2 / 5
Saudi artist Aisha Javid Mir’s project, Artientifique, is drawing praise from around the Middle East and abroad. The painter, 19, has been interested in art ever since she was a toddler. (Photo/Supplied)
3 / 5
Saudi artist Aisha Javid Mir’s project, Artientifique, is drawing praise from around the Middle East and abroad. The painter, 19, has been interested in art ever since she was a toddler. (Photo/Supplied)
4 / 5
Saudi artist Aisha Javid Mir’s project, Artientifique, is drawing praise from around the Middle East and abroad. The painter, 19, has been interested in art ever since she was a toddler. (Photo/Supplied)
5 / 5
Saudi artist Aisha Javid Mir’s project, Artientifique, is drawing praise from around the Middle East and abroad. The painter, 19, has been interested in art ever since she was a toddler. (Photo/Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 15 December 2019

Different strokes: Saudi artist draws the line at cosmetic waste

  • 19-year-old student Aisha Javid Mir produces paintings that are both eye-catching and eco-friendly

JEDDAH: Using a technique all her own, one young Saudi artist is turning out artworks that not only light up a room — but also help save the planet. 

Instead of traditional oils, 19-year-old student Aisha Javid Mir uses discarded makeup and cosmetics to produce paintings that are both eye-catching and eco-friendly.

She describes the process as “beauty created out of beauty.”

Her project, Artientifique, has introduced the concept to a growing audience, drawing praise from around the Middle East and abroad.  

“The idea of using makeup to paint came to me when I was in my school,” Mir told Arab News. “One of my friends bought new cosmetics and changed her set, throwing the old cosmetics stock in the bin.” 

Mir set to work developing new painting techniques using waste cosmetics, inventing tools to help her paint.

“Makeup brushes wouldn’t work on canvas because they are designed for faces and makeup texture is different from traditional paint, so I had to think and work on it,” she said.

The idea of painting using old cosmetics sounds simpler than it was. “I worked for years to figure out how I could make a beautiful, durable, premium-quality paintings for art lovers by using waste,” she said.

“It shouldn’t ever look like it was created from trash.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Aisha Mir has no preferences in terms of makeup products or brands.

• ‘When I collect waste stock, it is a mix of broken, sticky and old things,’ she said.

While practicing Mir introduced the idea to friends in the Middle East, India and abroad, and shared her paintings on social media, gaining positive feedback.

She said waste and poor disposal of cosmetics pose a threat to the planet through harmful chemicals and micro-plastics, with hormone disruption, genetic mutation and possible extinction of marine species among the most pressing concerns.

“I was trying to spread awareness about the harm caused by waste cosmetics. I knew what I was doing was on a small scale, but when people applauded, I realized what I was doing was great and beneficial. It motivated me to work harder,” Mir said.

The painter has been interested in art ever since she was a toddler. “I don’t remember a single day I came home in a clean uniform,” she said.

Now word of Mir’s work is spreading. She was featured in this year’s Misk Global Forum and has also collaborated with Maitreya Art, one of India’s best-known galleries.

Artientifique is helping to raise environmental awareness by allowing art lovers to buy paintings and support the initiative.

Mir said that in future she hopes to collaborate with art galleries, conduct makeup painting exhibitions and work with cosmetics brands to “convert waste into something exclusive.”


New show ‘Ahlan Simsim’ set to introduce kids to two new Arab muppets

Each episode of “Ahlan Simsim” will follow Basma and Jad as they explore their world alongside adults. (Supplied)
Updated 47 min 42 sec ago

New show ‘Ahlan Simsim’ set to introduce kids to two new Arab muppets

DUBAI: The creators of children’s show “Iftah Ya Simsim,” the Arab world’s answer to “Sesame Street,” are set to release a new kid’s TV show “Ahlan Simsim,” which will premiere on Feb. 2 on MBC3, YouTube and local broadcast channels across the Middle East.

Designed for children aged 3-8, “Ahlan Simsim” features familiar Muppet friends Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Grover, as well as two new characters.

Basma, an almost-six-year-old purple Muppet, is a born performer who has a special ability to create music and sound effects, which comes in handy when she can’t quite express herself in words. She will be joined by a yellow muppet named Jad, who recently arrived in the neighborhood and is an art afficionado.

Each episode of “Ahlan Simsim” will follow Basma and Jad as they explore their world alongside adults, and animated characters, and friends like a mischievous baby goat named Ma’zooza, who eats everything in sight.