Over the years, drawing has been perceived as a costly type of art that needs a lot of materials. However, Aya Hany, a 22 year-old student in the last year of education at Mansoura University’s Faculty of Arts, has decided to destroy this mistaken stereotype.
Recently, Hany gained a wide reputation on social media because of her edible artistic works, in which she uses chocolates, ketchup, tea, vegetables, mint, or any other kind of foodstuffs. Her simple drawing style urged thousands of people to follow her posts and videos on her Facebook page.
“A few years ago, I started drawing portraits of people’s faces using brushes and normal colours. Then, I started wondering why I don’t make use of other available materials such as cloth, food, or metals to create different kinds of artistic works,” she said.
Her passion for arts started when she was a little kid as she was addicted to watching the “Art Attack” show by Neil Buchanan, who used to make fascinating artistic works out of any available materials, including sand, cars, clothes, etc.
“Buchanan had an important quote that significantly influenced my life. He used to say, ‘You don’t have to be a great artist to become a great artist.’ I insist on repeating this sentence in every episode of my online show to grab people’s attention to the power of persistence and simplicity in creating an outstanding artist,” she added.
When she joined the faculty of art education, she contacted Buchanan, who praised her work and her art show.
“Unfortunately, most parents underestimate the talents of their children claiming that arts will never be a good source of living. When I go to public schools, as part of my practical training in the university, I find out that more than 90% of the students are interested in drawing and most of them have a good talent that needs to be improved,” she noted.
However, most of those children are disappointed by their parents’ stance towards their talents. In her opinion, 99% of the audience’s attention goes to singing and acting, while drawing, along with a large number of other arts, is usually marginalised and neglected.
“People need to understand that drawing can be a very profitable career. Drawing portraits, giving courses, making handicrafts, participating in local and international art exhibitions, or having a gallery to sell such artistic works can be a stable source of gaining money and raising a family,” she added.
She believes that people need more awareness that will only come by exposing them to good artistic examples whose role would be bridging the gaps between artists and ordinary people.
“That is why I thought of starting my online artistic show called ‘Akhdar Foshya’ two years ago to teach people how to draw and create handicrafts with the cheapest and easiest materials,” she added.
Currently, Hany is working on a project with blind people aiming to help them get familiar with their own facial features and expressions.
“I draw such portraits using the wax gun to create some protruding lines that can be touched by the blind person to understand the different dimensions of his face,” she added.
However, her dream to employ arts to serve the civil society’s causes will not stop here. “I dream of establishing an academy for teaching people the latest drawing techniques and raise their awareness about the importance of arts in our daily lives,” she concluded.