Written by: Rowan Flood
*Edited for length and clarity*
Farirai Dhumbura is an artist who lives in Scarborough, Ont. A dream or a painting is what first pushed her into creating. From there, the inspiration has kept coming, and so has the art. From how she feels to what she sees and experiences around her, Dhumbara creates colourful and textured works that ignite joy in her friends and allow her to express herself. Despite never thinking she would be an artist, she instructs those thinking about it to “follow your heart.”
Dhumbara spoke with me over the phone about her art and her journey within it.
Can you tell me about one of your first memories with art? Either doing it or seeing/experiencing it?
This is a very recent thing. I don’t think I ever saw myself being an artist. I always appreciated art. I just had an inspiration- actually it was a dream. I saw this really beautiful art piece in it. I was like I like this and I wanted to replicate it. The one with the gold bow. After that I kept getting inspiration to do more.
Why do you do art?
For me, it’s really therapeutic. Whenever I’m at it I find that I’m at peace. It helps me express something in my mind. Maybe I’m anxious or worried- it can be an outlet for me. I can express that in my art.
Your pieces use a lot of texture and multimedia elements. Can you walk me through your use of objects and paint together?
I love having different textures and mediums in one art piece. I feel that when it all comes together – you have more beauty. It makes it a lot more.
Do you have a process when it comes to your work? What helps you work?
Sometimes I actually think about it. There is one I haven’t fully executed – I’ve thought about it and I’ve sketched it out but I haven’t executed it yet. Sometimes I think about it and in the middle of it I realize it’s not going to work and I have to regroup. Then I start to think Okay what can I do with this? I’ll play music, it gives me more inspiration.
What influences or impacts your work?
Sometimes my emotions, how I am feeling at that time. The one with the beads all over, I was like this is the moment when you go outside and go under a starry night. The way you feel then. Also, inspiration from things around me- like the things in my purse. It depends on how I’m feeling or what is around me.
What would you say to someone who is interested in getting into making art or becoming an artist?
Follow your heart. If it’s something you feel you really have the urge to do I would absolutely say follow your heart. Sometimes it won’t end up being a commercial thing but it can become a good outlet for you to express yourself.
Do you think about how you want your art to impact others when they see it?
Definitely. This is the one thing I always think about- I want to be able to put a smile on someone’s face. I remember a time- I think it was the first time I showed someone my art- and they were like “Oh my! I love this! This is so nice!.”. If I can bring joy to someone – I would feel I’ve done a good job.