A FUSION OF ART - BAEMISAAL
Baemisaal is an entrepreneur, an illustrator, an artist and the list goes on. She has always been an inspiration for everyone to try out different looks and inspire her followers to focus on other things than just bodies. She helps all the young girls to feel comfortable in their own bodies and much more. In an exclusive interview with her, she talks about her career, breaking stereotypes, and much more. Read on...
We are so glad to have you here, before we dig into your professional life as an artist, tell us a bit about your background, family, childhood etc.
I am an only child. I know most people will read this and already assume things about me, they’re all true (laughs). I have a single parent; she is my best friend and yes I am spoiled.
I grew up in Lahore, studied at LGS and then later moved abroad for Film Studies. Switched my undergraduate degree thrice and finally landed in heaven at BNU’s Liberal Arts department. Shoutout to all my mentors.
You have a very beautiful and unique name, what does it mean? Who named you that? Can you tell us the story behind your name?
Bihamaal quite literally means ‘Baemisaal’. It’s a Persian word my mom liked when I was born. She’d been researching names that would resonate with her and picked Bihamaal. The only time I’ve ever heard that name being spoken is in one of the Algerian singer Khaled’s song and I was like wow it does exist and you didn’t just make it up (laughs).
You have tapped into different sectors – you’re an entrepreneur, a digital artist, and a makeup artist too. From all of them, what do you like to do most?
I think me tapping into so many realms of art is literally my need to learn more all the time
or to not get bored with one thing. I still don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. I just like knowing I can do more than one thing. I’ve loved doing all of it. It brings out a different part of me and allows me to shift my perspective and tackle a new scenario every time.
You’ve killed a lot of stereotypes by getting tattoos, piercings and trying out different fun hair colours, is your family supportive of your decisions?
It’s my body/hair, it’s really at the end of it all, my choice. My mom is the most supportive and really that’s all that matters to me personally. But I don’t think it’s important for anyone to support you if you feel like doing something that makes you feel good and isn’t actually hurting anyone.
You change your hair colour every few days, how do you take care of your bleached hair, any tips for our readers?
I don’t change my hair colour so often (laughs). I’ve yet to figure out why people say this about me. I used to change my hair colour every six months a while back but I’ve had brown/blonde hair for a while now. I don’t bleach every time. I just keep dying on top of the already-dyed hair.
Your art is very different from all the other artists, from where do you find inspiration?
I don’t think my art is that different.
I think there are so many underground artists at this point, all doing something unique. Their work unfortunately hasn’t been brought into the mainstream because people still prefer landscapes and traditional works of art over contemporary fusion or modern art
My work was rejected from a major mobile brand because it was too out there. It was literally just doodled art which essentially has become my signature art style now. They knew this too.
My inspiration comes from a lot of things. From Tim Burton, Salvador Dali (obviously), our very own Imran Salman Zia (my big brother), my mom, everyday conversations and situations, and children’s books growing up. Anything fantastical and otherworldly will always catch my eye and I’d want to create work that reflects that.
Being in your field, keeping up to date is very important. How do you keep yourself up to date with the latest trends?
I’ve never been too bothered about what’s the latest trend. That requires tons of money. Money, which I don’t have (laughs). But if there’s anything I’ve learnt over the years. Money can’t buy taste, personality or common decency. I read that once and so far it’s been true.
I’ve always made the most of what I’ve been given. That’s what my mom taught me and that’s what I continue to do
I think I’ve always just wanted to wear and do what I want to, not what other people want from me, both personally and globally.
Did you always dream about being an artist? If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
OMG! An astronaut or a surgeon. I am obsessed with human anatomy (I blame ‘Grey’s Anatomy’) and space. If math wasn’t involved, I’d be on a rocket by now.
I think being an artist was almost passed down to me. I couldn’t escape it. My mom’s an artist too. I think even when I don’t make art for a while, I always find myself coming back to it in some form or another. It’s my home.
You try out different looks and share them with your followers, one look very close to your heart that you’ll never get tired of recreating?
I think the rainbow looks probably. They’re just so fun to keep redoing and push myself every time. To me, they represent diversity and inclusivity and just magic. And my rhinestone looks, can’t ever get enough of those. I wish I could walk around like that all the time. I actually did once at the Khaadi opening in Karachi (laughs).
Netizens are never happy and are always ready to criticise everything; how do you deal with all the critics on social media?
There’re more supporters than haters. I hope it always stays that way. But in the off-chance it doesn’t, no one can tell me who I am except myself and the people I hold most dear. I find it pointless caring about those who know nothing about me when I can focus on people who tell me that they stopped hating themselves or hurting themselves just by looking at me. Or how moms tell me they’re glad that I exist so their daughters can grow up having me as a role model. That gets me every time and no form of hate can ever dim that light. I love my audience. Especially the people who’ve been there since day one and send me love every time I need it most. I think as much as people think I do for them is how much they do for me too.
What is your earliest memory of playing with makeup and trying out your first look?
(Laughs) Oh, God! I don’t think I remember the first time I put makeup on. But I remember when my mom dressed me up for Halloween every year. She made the coolest costumes; I was a duck, a goldfish, the devil, a fortune teller. I think that flare for dress-up definitely comes from these memories. Thanks, mama!
Apart from being a phenomenal artist, what are your hobbies?
Thank you! I watch too much Netflix. I don’t know if that’s a hobby but it feels like one. I love reading, I play the PlayStation sometimes too much. I once played ‘Assassin’s Creed’ for nine hours straight. I like cooking and trying out random recipes, secretly. Also skincare, nailcare and haircare should probably have been mentioned first, I’m religiously devoted to those.
Where do we see Bihamaal next? What’s in your pipeline?
I have this big idea in my head and I hope I’m able to execute it. Still struggling between can I do this? And of course I can! Hint: ‘Think UNHhhhh’ by Trixie and Katya. If you know, you know!
INTERVIEW: MARYAM ZUBERI
HAIR, MAKEUP, STYLING & PHOTOGRAPHY: BAEMISAAL