Interview with Painter, Jihane Mossalim

How did you get started doing what you do?
I studied the Fine Arts at Dawson College as a means of perfecting my skills to become a special effects make-up artist, something I wanted to do since the age of 12. After graduation I started working in the media industry for a few years, both as a SFX and beauty make-up artist. When my first child was born in 2009 I took some time off from the make-up world to try and concentrate on my paintings. Ever since I’ve never looked back and painting became my profession.

What’s your inspiration?
My first love was movies; I’m a movie addict. And a big horror movie fan. I’m greatly inspired by them and their directors; Tarantino, Cronenberg, Del Toro, Scorsese, Craven, Carpenter, Kubrick just to name a few… Some authors as well. When I paint I listen to some of their interviews. Hearing about their creative process, the way they do things and why they do this and that, that’s what inspires me the most.

Interview with Painter, Jihane Mossalim on Jung Katz
Interview with Painter, Jihane Mossalim on Jung Katz

What does your typical day look like?
When I’m not in college teaching art classes; I get up, bring my oldest child to school, take care of my 4 year old, do some house work, go to the basement and paint when I get a chance. I get most of my painting done at night when everyone is asleep.

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to painting; I like to get it done fast or I lose interest. The most I can handle for a big painting is about 2 weeks. I prefer to get it done in a few days.

Interview with Painter, Jihane Mossalim on Jung Katz
Interview with Painter, Jihane Mossalim on Jung Katz

How do you keep motivated?
When I don’t paint or draw for a few days I get moody. It sounds strange but painting helps me get out whatever’s stuck inside. I can’t find a better explanation. I guess it’s very much like therapy. I’m the happiest when I finish a piece. So I try to always be in the process of ”finishing” a piece.

How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
I do what I do now because of my kids; they are the reason I went back to painting. Working on sets, doing crazy hours was not how I wanted to live my life with a family. I chose to stop and went back to painting because I wanted more time with my children. And yes, kids are very often the main subject of my works; I find them so strange and fascinating.

How have others reacted to your work?
When I exhibit my work more often than not I get the: ”This looks great! But I wouldn’t want it in my living room…”

Interview with Painter, Jihane Mossalim on Jung Katz
Interview with Painter, Jihane Mossalim on Jung Katz

What do you want others to take away from your work?
Like any other artist I want my work to create a reaction, to evoke an emotion. I hope to avoid indifference.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
An art teacher once told me to ”Never stop painting.” It really stuck with me.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Don’t do it for the wrong reasons, do it because you love it, because life wouldn’t be the same without it. Put it out there, take criticism; watch, read, listen to art in its many forms;, and most importantly: practice, practice, practice every day.

Interview with Painter, Jihane Mossalim on Jung Katz

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I’m now working on paintings involving insects; the special relationship kids entertain with bugs. When I was a child I wanted to be an entomologist; it’s a lot of fun revisiting this old passion with my current work as a painter.

What’s your dream project?
I have many! Having my new series being shown in a scientific setting would be one. Working on some kind of art project in collaboration with directors I love and admire would be a dream come true.

Follow Jihane Mossalim on Facebook.


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