"It was only when I lost someone significant in my life that I realised life is too short for me to work a 9-5 type of job."
- Raman Aso
Get to know Raman Aso, a painter and illustrator based in London. Her creative process revolves around contemporary figurative painting, whilst exploring mood, tone and themes of existentialism juxtaposed with ideas of fragile beauty. We asked her a few questions about her work...
You’re a conceptual painter and illustrator with work that contains enormous depth and emotion. But what’s it like being Raman Aso, the human not just the artist? I’d say I’m a reserved but emotional person - I feel everything, and I think a lot. Sometimes too much. Most of the time I prefer to observe and think rather than speak. I put a lot of my own emotions into my work, and try to translate my own experiences onto the canvas when I’m creating. I feel I have experienced a great deal of loss and healing already in my life, and painting is one of the ways I’m allowed to express this part of me instead of doing it verbally which can be difficult.
When were you captivated and gripped by the world of creating artwork? And what was it about art that enticed you? I’ve always enjoyed painting and drawing since I was young, but I never really saw the possibility of having a career in this field. It was only when I lost someone significant in my life that I realised life is too short for me to work a 9-5 type of job if I wasn’t crazy passionate about it. I loved everything about art and the emotion it evokes out of people, and I know I wanted people to be grabbed by my own work. This was the dream. At the end of everything I want to look back at my life and see I had no regrets and that I had evolved in something that I loved.
If you could change anything about the art world, what would it be? I would change how other cultures viewed art as a whole. In my culture and my home country you would be laughed at for even thinking about doing art as a sustainable job. I want those cultures to appreciate the beauty of art and how it helps people. I would also like to see more representation of women of colour artists. I didn’t have many WOC artists to look up to in the beginning stages of developing my craft, and I would like to see more not only for myself but for people searching for a role model. We women are beautiful and strong and I would like to appreciate more of them.
What are your biggest influences in life or your art? My biggest influence in my life is probably my dad, he has always taught me that life is an experience. Everything you do is an experience, and the mark you leave behind should always be positive and good. No matter who hurts you, always remain good hearted. In art, I’d probably say all my creative friends around me, I am surrounded by like-minded motivated people and it pushes me to grow further. Surrounding yourselves with hard working people will rub off on you.
What was the last thing that inspired you? My last exhibition. It was the second one I’ve had and it reminded me of why I still love what I do. There have been countless days where I’ve wanted to just do something more financially rewarding but these exhibitions are more mentally rewarding. You get an opportunity and a brief and the response. It reminds me why I should keep going.
Your aspirations as an artist? To enjoy what I do and not be broke at the same time. The dream is to have exhibitions internationally. And something you love about humans? That we feed off relationships, and I mean human connection not romantic relationships. At the end of it all, we can’t cope with loneliness and isolation. Even though some people can’t reach out due to fear, we as humans need to share love with one another and ourselves in order to grow. Love and human connection is key.
Finally, having you got any messages or words of wisdom for the people reading this? Think of your happiness and mental health first.