Artists have the innate ability to take what’s otherwise boring and transform it into beauty without bounds. These creative artists will sometimes just scratch the surface or envision their masterpieces in the deepest depths of their mind, either way, they are able to craft very unique art forms. Kokab has done just that and has taken her form to the most creative of digital art niches.
About The artist: Kokab Zohoori-Dossa
The Jamaican born has been a freelance illustrator since she graduated from university with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Fine Art. Her interest in art developed from a tender age, growing up finger painting as a child which evolved into the artist she is today.
“When I first started, I was BAD. Most children love to draw, but actual God-given, savant talent is very rare. I had none of that, but what was important was that I loved it and stuck with it.” – Kokab in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
After graduating from high school, she made the conscious decision to study art, and after finishing her studies in college, she realized that she needed to hone her skills more and learn and grow in the process.
“I don’t want the attention if I don’t have anything to show when I have it. That’s lame. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned so far on my journey: do the work, practice, get good. People will see. And that has been the case.” – Kokab in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
Like most youth, hobbies include reading, watching television shows, anime and drawing, and the occasional anxiety of future plans. She has had times where she uses art as an outlet to cope and has escaped from reality through her artistic expression. Often, she finds herself transcending to a place where she is completely focused while she is creating.
“Especially if you’re a person who finds it hard to express yourself through words or other means. ‘ART’ can mean various different things to different people and that allows for it to be so inclusive.” – Kokab
Her support system
Kokab was raised in an Iranian and West Indian household and had the unwavering support and encouragement of her parents and her family. It was instilled in her household to follow dreams and love what you do with a passion. Her mother paints and both her parents like art even though they have chosen professions in business and science.
“They’ve been constant sources of support and inspiration. I think something else that’s always as important, because most of the time creating is a very individual and lonely task, is that they help me remember it’s okay to relax and not be so hard on myself.”- Kokab
Her Artistic Style
She started out with a graphics tablet which gave her the flexibility to create without limitation of finding resources and mediums to create traditionally. Through this medium, she had the ability to hone her talent and experiment so much more without having to buy materials, and that has been something she has truly grown from as a digital artist. She has also created artwork in the form of murals and her goal is to draw great black art.
Kokab is inspired by writers, artists, and musicians in various ways and finds inspiration from black woman and nature; she also does extensive research on what she would describe as weird, sci-fi, fantasy, mythology, anime, and cartoon art. As a result, her artistic style embraces a unique fusion of “neon love demon, sassy black girl, nature chic”.
The tendency for people to put all black artists into one melting pot and to label her style as “Afrofuturism” or “Afropunk art” is something she never wanted to be associated with, especially since she has made the distinction.
“We are all different and painting artists with broad labels and expecting them to create art like another black artist you happen to like is destructive and dismissive.”- Kokab
The 23-year-old, nonetheless, has been promoting her art through online platforms, namely Instagram and Tumblr and rarely does self-promotion unless it is related to commissions and prints.
Some creatives who have a unique flair to the way they exhibit their art, have gotten great responses from their audience. Kokab has been in awe of the feedback she has gotten thus far; whether it is someone buying her prints or just supporting her online, she is very grateful for the shower of support.
“I receive a lot of love, and it’s really great seeing people relate and identify with my characters because that’s what it’s all about – representation…. I hope I can bring a little magic to your lives; it’s so hard out here for many of us, so just showing and receiving love is so important. Thanks!”- Kokab
Her highlights for this year were just basking in the happiness and excitement of seeing her dear friends achieve, grow and get recognition for their work. She has also been excited about her own growth throughout the year since she embarked on the exploration of both self-development and traveling to new places; she has unlocked new perspectives as an outcome.
In the future, she desires to collaborate with black artists like N-K, Jemisin or Tomi Adeyemi. These artists have been breaking the internet with the representation of people of color and amazing things which put women at the core of sci-fi or fantasy art. She would love to partner with either one of them to work on a comic or short novel series.
Dreaming big isn’t new to Kokab, and she has worked hard to get where she is today. Down the yellow brick road, Kokab believes that continued happiness and opportunities for creating beautifully, without fear and pressure, is written in her journey pages as she continues to create masterpieces.
Her artwork typically sells in her shop on Big Cartel. Also, inquiries and prospective buyers can also contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As long as you can create, with anything you have: pencil and paper, chalk, paint, crayons, start with that. Even if you don’t have the support of family or friends, there will always be someone out there who will appreciate your art. Use the internet, it’s an invaluable resource. Start sharing and networking. The most important thing is to just practice and try to be as consistent as possible. You can’t be an artist if you’re not making art.” – Kokab
By Alexandra Daley