Farahzada Elshihy: “Colors can make people happy!”

Art has taken many different forms in the past, and is now taking a whole new form with the young and talented Artist Farahzada El-Shihy. At the young age of 20, Farahzada has progressed her love of all-things-spiritual, music and creativity into beautiful art pieces. We had a little chat with the Artist-in-the-making to find out all about her personality, aspirations, and inspirations.


When did you first know you wanted to become an artist? What made you want to become one?

Well I’ve always loved art, but didn’t know how to contribute to the art world since I’m not your average classical Artist. I think I found my style back in 2009 when I used to doodle in class.

Are you pursuing a career in painting or are you expanding your horizons to more unconventional art forms?

I have no idea. I think both are in the cards for me. I won’t stop painting and I’m thinking about opening my own art business. As for unconventional art, does doodling on paper coffee cups count?

What is a typical day like for you?

I can’t think of any typical day, but my day always consists of a little bit of drawing right before I sleep.

When you’re working, are there any specific environments you prefer to be in or rituals you must do to boost creativity?

Music, music and more music! (laughs)

What do you think are the best and worst things about being an independent artist in Egypt?

The best thing is I can express my feelings freely, but the worst thing is the fact that the majority of the Egyptian society doesn’t appreciate art at all. And when they do, they appreciate classical art: a perfectly drawn oil portrait. The culture isn’t fully prepared for untraditional forms of art yet.

What do you think are the traits required to being successful?

Always be ambitious. Be humble but bold, take risks and always believe in your talent because there will always be people or even circumstance trying to bring you down. Also, believe that your art will make a change, no matter how small. It might affect one person in ways you can’t imagine, and it can affect generations to come.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

My mom always told me that the secret to success is to do what you’re passionate about. This is one of the reasons that made me want to become an artist; If my parents hadn’t encouraged, my priority would’ve been searching for a job that pays well, like most people nowadays.

Who do you aspire to be as successful as? 

I aspire to be myself: I want to be successful in my style and in the movement that I’m trying to establish. I want to set an example to everyone to break the rules; I want to be an inspiration!

You’re spiritual and into positive energy, is that where you get inspiration from?

Yes! I try to communicate this positive energy in my drawings mostly with colors. I truly believe that colors can make people happy, and my art pieces at 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital prove this. I got several compliments that the kids loved the colors and the happy creatures I drew. This honestly meant the world to me!

What’s the most memorable reaction you’ve had to one of your art pieces?

The most memorable reaction I’ve had was about a typography project I have made with two of my close friends. We drew Egyptian Actress Yousra – one of my favorite actresses of all time – using Arabic calligraphy, and as usual I posted the project on Instagram. Later that day someone contacted me to tell me she showed Yousra our project and that she absolutely loved it and wanted to get in touch. I couldn’t believe it at first but I gave her my number anyway and she actually called to tell us that she was flattered and thought it was beautiful!

Tell us something little known about you.

Three letters; OCD. (laughs) My brain actually hurst when the volume indicator is at 23 or 24. It has to be on 20 or 25 or a “proper number”; if such a thing even exists!

Where will you be in 5 years?  

I’m just playing it by ear for now. I have no plan, but what I know is that my life in 5 years will surely consist a lot of art and a lot of colors, so stay tuned.

Name 3 artists in Egypt you would like to work with.

I have a lot of names on my mind! Among the young artists would be Dina and Noha bahr, Ahmed Abi, Ahmed Hayman, Hakam Dwairi and many more. And I’d of course one of my all time inspirations, Azza Fahmy.


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