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Meet the author: Hashim Akib

Hashim Akib was encouraged to paint as a child. He attended art college and has worked as an illustrator for newspapers and design firms. In 2009 he won the SAA Artist of the Year competition.

An Interview with Hashim

Where were you born?

Leigh on sea, Essex, to a Malaysian father and English mother.

What is your educational background?

Diploma from Southend college and I went on to gain a Higher Diploma but the real education began when I pounded the streets of London with my portfolio.

What first got you interested in art?

Difficult thinking that far back because I have always drawn and painted. When I was really young I loved plasticine and clay model making but the images I made or drew were more exciting then anything I could buy.

How long have you been painting?

Ditto! From a very, very early age. We didn't have computer games or hundreds of television channels to choose from so drawing and painting provided hours of entertainment.

Where do you get your materials?

From the lovely people at Daler Rowney or from art shops or art websites.

How/Where did Search Press discover you?

One of the editors saw me demonstrate Acrylic painting at the Society for All Artist show 'It's All About Art' in Islington and signed me up by lunch time.

What were your first thoughts when asked to write a book?

Finally! not quite, I was absolutely stunned, shocked, delirious and over the moon. When it did sink in I realized the amount of work involved but thankfully I was guided through the entire process by the very capable pros at Search Press.

Has publishing a book changed your life in any way?

I get more emails and more comments on Facebook. The higher profile that comes from being a published artist is a great calling card and more recognition means more people see your work which leads to more sales. My father has now stopped insisting I get a proper job and has something substantial to show the relatives back in Malaysia.

Any tips for beginners?

Take every opportunity with open arms as experience can be priceless. One really useful observation was try not to follow a market or the latest trends but do what comes naturally for you. 

What is your favourite art tool?

I love Acrylics, it is a tougher medium to crack but when used to it's full potential the payoff is greater. It is more comtemporary, not having the baggage of older mediums such as Oil or Watercolour.

Have you travelled for your art?

Absolutely, I demonstrate Acrylic painting art techniques all over the UK. Three years ago I could count the number on one hand, this year I have 46 ranging from Devon to Manchester to Bristol to Sussex. I even did a spell demonstrating once a month for a shopping channel, thankfully I have now retired from the bright lights and very early mornings. I also have a number of galleries country wide that represent my work.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Everywhere, from the dullest street corner, a stormy sky, busy market, people I meet or a quiet stream. Experiences both good and bad go some way in motivating me into the studio to get everything on canvas.

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