Simplicity is key with many creatives who have emphasised time and time again that white space, in design or art, should be embraced. 23 year old Bahraini artist Maryam Toorani has, quite literally, illustrated this very important element of contemporary design with her printed framed illustrations. Drawing inspiration her surroundings and the things she loves, her art has caught the attention of the public with her ‘to the point,’ and straight forward illustrations. Sketchbook picked the young artists brain to learn more about her aesthetic and her Less Is More, (LIM for short) project.
How long have you been showcasing your work?
Close to a year now.
How has the public responded to your work?
Not what I expected at all. When I first started, I assumed my target demographic would be very, very narrow. Which was the complete opposite of the reception LIM received. So far, I’ve had customers of all ages, gender and nationalities. The first fair I participated in had my pieces sold out.
Why do you favor the minimalistic approach to your art?
I think it reflects on my approach to everything in general really. If you can get your concept across with as little as possible, why not!
You’ve mentioned in one of your interviews that the white space is not the enemy. Why is white space such an important element in your opinion?
It emphasizes your point. For me, it’s usually one design, one illustration, so white space allows you to structure your piece/idea. Of course, it’s a balancing game, the moment I feel a piece is too empty, I scrap it.
Tell us more about your Less Is More (LIM) art project. How did it come about? What are the main themes?
I started it because I wanted a unique print for a coffee table in my room. I had done a few pieces, framed them and put them up next to some bookshelves. My sister randomly suggested ‘hey I’d buy those’. We got the idea together and everything else just followed suit. LIM Designs are contemporary printed framed illustrations. So far, my collections range from Bahrain inspired pieces to fashion illustrations and some literature.
What is your preferred medium when creating your art and why?
Other than my typographical prints, most of the pieces start out with sketches, but they are all graphic designs. I use a combination of hand drawn and graphic sketches.
Of all the art pieces you’ve produced so far, which are you most proud of, and why?
If I had to choose which ones I’m proud of it has to be a few of the Bahrain pieces, but my favorite three pieces are the Dior Haute Couture inspired collection. The first one I sold of these was to an art critic from New York who had visited the Bab Market in April, she instantly recognised it as the dress Sarah Jessica Parker wore for the 2009 Oscars. That was amazing.
Some artists suffer from a block when they’re drawing a blank on inspiration for their art. Have you ever experienced this? If so, how do you deal with it?
All the time. The only way I know how to deal with a designer’s block is to embrace it! Get off my Macbook and not think about producing anything. Eventually it will come to you and when it does you just have to keep the momentum going.
What are your future plans?
Long term, I do want to establish my self as a reputed illustrator.
If we were to go through your sketchbook, what would we find?
Comic book doodles definitely. I think reading comics as a kid is what sparked my interest in graphics.
To see more LIM Designs follow @lim_designs on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORDS: BADRIYA AL-MAHMEED