my friends & me } thuraya lynn

stuck in cat’s hair

thuraya lynn

I have never met Thuraya Lynn. At least not in person. But through her works, I have fallen in love with this elfin artist. Thuraya Lynn is ‘Kuwaiti’ by name but she appears to be anything but. I follow her on Instagram and she seems to belong to a coterie of young, life-loving misfits (and I mean ‘misfits’ in a good way). But one thing sets her apart from her friends: her crazy talent and childlike imagination. Her drawings and paintings exhibit a fearlessness possessed only by seasoned painters. And possibly every child on this planet. In her drawings Thuraya leaves her miniature frame on her bedroom floor to become this giant, drawing like a master in the mind of an innocent child.

heaven is on my face

Thuraya, how do you start painting? Are you intimidated by a white sheet of paper? Most of the time I start with words. I have notes upon notes filled with titles and short haikus. In that sense the canvas turns into a visual poem. Listening to music, usually indie rock, Japanese pop or 60s jazz helps too. If I’m ever stuck, I go to the library and start flipping through historical books. I have a sick-admiration/fetish for China during the 1970s Cultural Revolution.

And no, [a blank sheet of paper] doesn’t scare me as much as it did when I was in my teens. I suppose it comes with havin’ more self-confidence in my own visions.

a story of girl meets cat

What is your favorite pen, the one you’d go nuts if it went missing? I like using Staedtler pencils, Foray ball pens and Yoken pens. I pretty much lose my pens on a regular basis. I go nuts when I lose my sharpeners though. It’s quite a hassle doing pencil lines when the lead turns chubby!

You draw like a child-that’s a compliment-and recently you played around with crayons. Is drawing with crayons a reminder of a simpler time in your life, when you were a child? Haha! Thank you! I certainly do enjoy the naive aspects of drawing.

You know, it didn’t occur to me to color as a kid. For one, growing up I had to shoulder some adult responsibilities. I couldn’t run around selfishly whining for things. Living with a single foreign parent I would always be scared of wasting our budget, so I never asked mum to get me these sorts of ‘luxuries’: crayons, markers and whatso. But life is better and more comfy now.

Also, colors were/are too noisy to me. I never really adventured in colors except for those mandatory assignments in art class. Personal projects, everything was in black and white. I was really more into shadows and layering, especially lines.

It’s pretty scary using crayons. I really get worried that I’d mess up and boy do I! But I suppose, deep down inside I’m eager to experiment with different mediums outside my comfort zone.

lunch } a collaboration } ghadah on thuraya

too close

I’ve seen some of your sketches accompanied by words. Is there a graphic novel in the works? Yup, but it won’t be anywhere near as fancy as most graphic novels. I’m planning to do a webcomic of random nothings, of my daily happenings. But as I said before, I use words as an inspiration for my work in general. Most of the time I just leave whatever wording or poems I made on the drawings to give it more depth, and sometimes the words give the drawing a dry humor feel that I so enjoy.

What color can you not do without? Gray. I really love how powerful it is.

i am wolf i am woman

If you had one superpower as an artist, what would it be? Goo mimicry! Wouldn’t it be cool if I could liquify and throw myself onto the canvas? The paintings produced would look like physical attacks-a living organ!

she was the mountain, she took their houses } a collaboration } thuraya on ghadah

What is your favorite TV cartoon show? I used to be addicted to Pokemon and The Simpsons. They’re pretty fun and adventurous.

If you were a guest at a dinner party for four, who would you want the other three guests to be? Nara Yoshitomo, a modern Japanese artist and American photographer Patrick Tsai. I couldn’t decide between Nakata, a character in Haruki Murakami’s book and Pinocchio. I bet the night would be a mixture of good food, artsy chattery, scary pauses and kiddie lies.

When was the last time you cried? A couple of minutes ago.

If you could be a fly on someone’s wall, whose would it be? Wouldn’t I die in five minutes while snooping around in my special someone’s room? What a sad state.

my five favorite things in my room top l-r: ‘kafka on the shore’ by haruki murakami. this book changed me-for the better and for the worse. I used to read this in my university’s park and used fallen leaves as bookmarks. must have read it over thirty times. i totally recommend it! ‘oh! my god! i miss you.’ postcard set and ‘a to z artbook by nara yoshitomo. anything created by this artist never fails to amaze me. my best friend-and occasional painter-bedour khalid got the artbook for me on my birthday last year. the postcard set was given to me by artist friend mohammed al muhanna sometime last february. both collections are inspiring and juicy. they make me hungry for pencil and paper! ‘the tao of poo and the te of piglet’ by benjamin hoffman. after reading a friend’s copy, I had to get my own! it’s a beautiful work of prose and play on the classic ‘winnie the pooh’ story. and yeh, you could assume that i’m very much attached to the teachings of taoism. second row l-r: polaroids. mostly of my friends and me. we’re a noisy bunch! fluff animals. been with me through the hard times as a kid. i can’t let go of old friends

Visit Thuraya Lynn’s website for a comprehensive look at this young artist’s collection of works: Thuraya Lynn.

4 Comments on “my friends & me } thuraya lynn”

  1. What a fascinating elfin artist (although, when I first saw it I read it as ‘effin artist’, I must get my prescription checked darling). Will you do more collaborations like this? I do hope so. I don’t think I would have known of Miss Lynn if it hadn’t been for you dear.

    • I have a story about Thuraya Lynn. I have this professor friend whose opinions I hold in high regard. She called me one day and asked me for some advice to give this brilliant artist student at her university. At the same time, I was raving about this young artist I’d met some time ago through through one social network or another. Unbeknownst to either one of us, we were both talking about the same person!

      • ‘unbeknownst’ – ahh. Lovely. It’s lovely to read an underused word these days. Most people used a familiar, and uninspiring, lexicon.

        • Thuraiya Lynn is my niece and I have only on word “EXTRAORDINARY”. Talent like that should be shared with the world and you have chosen the right medium to expose your talent. Your Aunt – Amalia Arsua Mitchell

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