Alternative Realities with Atusa Jafari

We’re back with another wonderful artist for our Alternative Realities series. COVID-19 has made these past few months difficult for all of us. Not being able to see or hug our friends, being stuck at home all day, feeling like you need to be productive, and when you’re not, feeling like you have somehow failed. This is a historic, once in a lifetime period where the world has come to a standstill and we all need to adapt to these new circumstances. We asked a diverse group of artists within our TITLE community to put what we all have been feeling to paper and make art out of our current situation.

Atusa Jafari is a 19-year-old artist from Darmstadt who expresses herself mostly through her expressionistic oil paintings. She painted a beautiful painting with pastel chalk for our Alternative Realities concept that you can check out below. Mainly painting the female form in all its abstractions, you can really feel the emotionality and vulnerability in her work. In our interview we talk about her creative process, what inspires her, what she fears and the importance of self-reflection.

1. Please introduce yourself briefly and let us know what you usually work on.

I’m Atusa Jafari and I’m a painter. Normally I work with oil on canvas.

2. Did the pandemic influence you anyhow positive or negative?

The pandemic has influenced me quite a bit. The days seem much longer than normal and therefore there seems to be more time to work. With that comes pressure too though, but I try to stay away from that. Instead of working on my paintings, I’m trying to connect to sketching more. I can’t really determine if this is a bad or good change for me personally.

3. What is your usual creative process, while working on a project?

In my opinion a piece of art can only really be good if it just flows out of you naturally, without outside forces like fear affecting you. That’s why when I’m dealing with a specific topic in my work, I should just let what happens happen and view the resulting painting from the perspective of a spectator.

4. Could you explain how you handled the Alternative Reality project and what went through your mind that leads you to your final piece?

To me, the painting represents exactly that, that you should just lean back sometimes and see what happens. Enjoy the personal progress you make in these strange times. It’s not just important to be aware of what’s happening around you, but also inside of yourself. I would never want to romanticize our current situation, however, we should take advantage of the additional time that we have and make the best of it. Maybe some of you can find meaning in it.

5. What is the difference between your reality and alternatives?

With every decision you make you decide over your reality and alternative realities. You get to choose from various possibilities of reality. So it shows you that these multiple realities are very similar to one another and it just depends on you which alternative you want to choose.

I hope that’s understandable.

6. Would you say you are a realistic person and good at self-reflection?

In my opinion reality is not just what you perceive. You can shape your reality the way you like to if you’re willing to work for it. To do so, it’s crucial to self-reflect and be aware of your actions. I think I’m very self-reflected, I recognize my fears quickly when they come up, but still, recognizing them and fighting them are two very different things. I think I still need to learn to differentiate between what society wants from me and what I want from life in order to get rid of these fears.

7. What inspires you the most, especially during hard times like these?

I think its been conversations I’ve had with people in my circle who are very aware of their inner processes. If you’re there for the people around you, you gain insight into their thought processes and their hidden fears.

8. What is the first thing you will do after the quarantine?

I guess things that everybody would do, party, see my friends and try to get back to a normal day to day life. Obviously with the thought kept in mind that just because we are now allowed “officially” do more things, the problem doesn’t vanish overnight.

9. Is there any advice you could give to people during a hard and confusing time to keep being motivated?

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and give yourself enough time. Human interactions are important for motivation and the creative process. So if you feel like just taking some time for yourself, you should do that.

10. Is there anything you would like to add on your piece for this project, that you think people might not understand?

I think everybody understands as much as they need too 🙂

Thank you Atusa <3 :