Two siblings from north Kashmir’s Baramulla district are exploring social media to promote their unique artwork and have decided to continue their passion.
Soliha Bashir and Ifrah Bashir hail from the Ferozpora Rafiabad area of the Baramulla district who started their journey during the Covid19 pandemic.
“We were always inclined towards art from our childhood but had never got time to express it. During the pandemic, we got a good time and we both started making random things on paper,” Soliha told Rising Kashmir.
22 years old embroidery artist, Soliha Bashir is one among the artists who are taking interest in this ancient art. While her sister, Ifrah is doing abstract portraits, sketches, and paintings.
While growing up, both siblings used to see their cousins practicing the art which drew them towards it. After some time they showed their work to relatives and friends, and they were amazed to see this unique art.
Being good at painting and calligraphy, Soliha came up with the idea of doing the same with the help of a needle and started her needle art.
“With the help of my sister Ifrah who is also an artist, I got in touch with various professional artists of the valley like Waseem Jagroo who helped me after seeing my work and gave me an idea of showcasing my work to people,” she said.
Soliha says that they were amazed to see the love and response of the people toward the art. They had never thought that they would get such a response after seeing all the love from the people.
“It inspired me to work more in a professional manner. Firstly we used to make things free for the people. Then eventually many people texted us and asked for the prices of our work and later Jagroo Sir guided us to start a business and earn from it,” she said.
Soliha started her page on Instagram with the name, Sonzal meaning rainbow, and kept on exploring her potential for creative self-expression.
With her hoop embroidery, she makes car hangings, key chains, jewelry, wall hangings and any customized hoop crafts for special purposes.
For the craft, a wooden hoop is required to make intricate designs and fill them with different colors.
“I used to post my work initially on social media and suddenly I received texts from many people asking me to make the same for them and at that time I realized I can make Sonzal a brand and started taking orders,” she said.
Soilha said that people really love her art and in a span of 2 years, she has received over 2000 orders.
She pursues studies in Humanities and working on the orders consumes most of her free time. She has also received love from people living outside Kashmir and was listed in top 100 artists at the international level in 2021.
“There are no shortcuts to success. It is time-consuming but being a creative person, I don’t rush with it and take a good time to flow my creativity,” she said.
She further said, “At first I used to get orders from Kashmir only but now I get orders from all over India even from countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Canada, and Dubai."
Ifra is currently studying Fine Arts at the University of Kashmir and at the same time she is also taking orders. Her focus is mainly on doing abstract portraits, sketches and paintings.
She said art is a form of communication that has the ability to promote the challenges concerning our society. Providing an aesthetic message can often convey awareness or understanding, Ifrah said.
“Being from a village area, we have always received support from our parents as they never stopped us from doing our work,” she said.
About message for aspiring art lovers, the siblings said Art is a lie that makes us realize truth. We should not stop or think negative about it.
“Art is the beautiful things which make you and people around you happy. Be bold enough to showcase your art,” they said.