Art has always been my life’s journey and each creative path that I have taken has lead me to find more truth about myself and the world around me. For me art is more than just a painting, design or an image, it’s an expression of the artist and how they view the world.
A living documentation of their own experiences, both good and bad, shared with the world in order to inspire, connect and bring us closer together. Let’s start from the beginning of my story.
I was born in Kabul Afghanistan in 1984 during the height of the Soviet War. My parents were lucky enough to find sponsors and fled the country a year later in the hopes of a better life for my younger brother and I. We arrived in Hayward California and resided there for most of my childhood.
Growing up wasn’t easy. I was considered the weird kid in school. So much so that I would often get teased. Mainly because I played with Barbie’s and liked to dress up. But I didn’t let it get to me. It was in those moments when I day dreamt of magical worlds that I had the most fun. Probably because reality at home wasn’t so bright.
My household was a broken one. My mother, younger brother and I experienced a lot of physical and emotional abuse from my father. It was a very rough chapter that I think of as the dark period. But also the period in which art played the most important role in my life.
Anytime there would be chaos I would run straight to my room, lock the door and just draw. I’d create images of these fantasy worlds filled with beauty and color and just escape into them. Nothing existed there except happiness, safety and love. It was the one refuge I had in a world filled with so much pain and despair. Without that outlet I don’t know where I would be today.
My mother was also a beacon of light for me. She was my hero. One who always supported my choices and loved me just the way I am. Her teachings of strength, courage and faith were things I always held on to. And her constant displays of support and warmth created a space in my heart in which she would always reside, helping me through any obstacle in life.
Eventually she divorced my dad and enjoyed a few years of happiness until she passed away in a tragic car accident. It was the most difficult thing that I’ve ever had to go through.
I felt so lost and hurt. Crying myself to sleep for weeks, not driven to do anything. Until one morning when I felt the sun shine on my face through my window and I swear I smelled her perfume. I paused. It was such a surreal moment. So I reached into my drawer, pulled out my sketch book and started to draw.
I drew pictures of her. Hundreds of them. Day after day I would draw more and more until I felt like myself again. With each color, texture and brush stroke I found strength and finally got the motivation to carry on and fight for my life.
In my later years as an adult I experimented in various fields of art and dipped my paintbrush into every medium I could. Constantly challenging myself to become bigger and better.
Through years of practice and hard work I’ve achieved great heights as a painter, makeup/special effects artist, and have even launched my own clothing line, The Stained Canvas Collection. My work has been featured in music videos, television and various magazines including Makeup Artist’s Magazine, Candy and Rolling Stone.
I currently work as a freelance artist between SF, NY and LA and continue to create every day. It is still my main passion in life and one that gives me a voice. Art was my first language after all. It brought me out of the darkest of times and continues to be the driving force that wakes me up each and every day.
My dream is to one day open up an art school that’s free to the public. A retreat for artists to gather, share, create and learn from one another. And to further share my story through art and inspire as many people as possible. I want to give as much eye catching, jaw dropping, life changing art to the world until I have nothing left.
My name is Suliman Nawid and I am an artist.
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