Hi, I’m Amira—a passionate abstract artist on a mission to make the world a more colorful place.
Art for me was always a hobby, my escape from the pressures of school, from other people, a cathartic exercise I’d do when I needed to get away. It wasn’t something I even considered when it came to picking a college major or a career. Instead, I studied for law school, fell in love with sociology, and painted when I needed a reprieve.
In truth, it wasn’t until I watched The Art of Getting By that I realized I was an artist not using my talent. The realization hit me hard—I felt like I’d wasted 23 years of my life and that I had to hurry up and get to artist status fast. I started painting every day, modeling my work after some of my favorite realist painters, Van Gogh, Picasso and Impressionist painters.
And though I was fairly good at realism, I couldn’t get it to the expressive qualities I wanted. I was too tight, or technically good, as they say.
Fortunately, I took some advice and gave abstract art—i.e. painting my emotions—a try. I took an old beach scene I’d done and added crazy colors to it. I called it Heat Wave, and almost as soon as I shared it, four people asked to buy it—it was the start of my career.
Since then, I’ve learned to trust the process. I’ve slowed down. I’ve taken breaks. And what keeps me coming back is this human desire to be seen, to expose my innermost self and share her with others. Painting is my way of honoring my time on earth. It’s my way of paying homage to the human experience. And it’s a process that moves me every day.
Paint with Me—the Process
For me, painting is as much intuitive as it is technical. It’s a combination of who I am—the artist and the teacher-researcher. Most days, I spend the morning immersed in my materials, wrapped in a cocoon of incredible hues and bright color schemes. Occasionally, I’ll listen to a podcast on marketing or business, but for the most part, I embrace the stillness, the blank canvas, the colors waiting to co-mingle. It’s meditative, hypnotizing, and the best way for me to express the human experience.
Would You Have Guessed?—the Fun Bits
My first commissioned piece was a bright, 4-foot-tall parrot. I created it for a pet shop in Pennsylvania when I was in high school … and yes, it’s still there.
There’s one painting I keep just for me—I really love it as a viewer, not as the artist. ;) Plus, my mom always encouraged me to “Keep a part of myself for myself.” So I have.
I once lived in Abu Dhabi, and it was a trying time for me, so my use of color is very personal—it was a way for me to raise my energy and vibe.
Despite my intense color palette, I wear mostly all black. And my home-décor is neutral and white. I guess you could say, “I save the colors for the canvas.”
I am semi-fluent in Portuguese. “Oi! Tudo bem?”
Mar 2016 U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE (Solo Show)
Jan 2016 The Fig House, Los Angeles, California (Artist in Residence)
Sept 2015 The Hilton, Abu Dhabi, UAE (Solo Exhibition)
June 2015 Wanna Read Private Art Exhibition, Abu Dhabi, UAE (Group Show)
Oct 2014 Brighton College, Abu Dhabi, UAE (Solo Exhibition)
Sept 2013 Affordable Art Exhibition, Abu Dhabi Art Hub, UAE (Group Show)
5ivePillars - Apparel collaboration, Global
Loka Loka - Exclusive Amira Rahim Bag Collection 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE