About Biography Art has always been a part of my life in some form or another. As a young child in Dhaka, Bangladesh, my parents nurtured my raw talent as a singer and painter and encouraged me to take private lessons. I continued my journey into the world of art studying at the Zia’s Art Institute in Dhaka and learned to channel my country’s rich culture and traditions through my art. Initially, I worked with oil, acrylics, and pastels, using vivid colors to convey my effervescing personality and passion. To me, painting was a creative outlet and a way to communicate. In 1997, as a young adult, I immigrated to the United States. It was exciting and frightening at the same time. As I immersed myself in American culture, I quickly discovered that many Americans keep their feelings and emotions private. This was a stark contrast to my upbringing and left me feeling isolated. But instead of seeing this as an obstacle, it inspired me to create emotionally charged images. As I settled into my new life, what should have been the happiest times were instead my darkest days. Stuck in a difficult situation of life; I lost my joie de vivre. As my paint brushes and canvases collected dust, I lost my connection to the wonderful world of art. After taking a life changing positive step in life in 2010; my art became a form of therapy. I used my paint brush to release all of my pent up emotions. I found myself choosing colors, textures and movement as a dialogue between clarity and confusion. I started taking art classes again and stumbled upon The Encaustic center. Encaustic painting combines beeswax, resin, and pigment into deep, complex layers that capture and reflect life. I found a niche in the encaustic process because it allows me to fluidly move through the emotional landscape that’s played a major role in my life and my art. By pouring hot wax and adding pigment, I can merge the intensity of my emotions with the vibrancy and openness of my culture. Inspiration We all have unique ways to express our emotions, whether you’re a writer putting pen to paper, a cook creating an indulgent delicacy, or teacher molding and guiding students. For me, it’s translating musical chords and melodies into images on canvas. My work as an artist is a convergence of my rich Bangladeshi culture, the emotional landscape I navigated, and my passion and connection with classical music. My work is also multigenerational as I inherited my artistic talent from my beloved mother and I am inspired by my son Arbaaz every day. Before I even touch my paintbrush to the canvas, I connect with the music’s rhythm and tone. This inspiration translates to the textures, colors, and patterns I create—to peak interest and evoke feelings. Music, like emotions, can be complex or simple, outgoing or shy, passionate or detached. The layers of emotions vary, just as the layers of the melody fluctuate. Some tunes are easy to translate and experience, others are not. Loud or soft, fast or slow, fluid or firm, the chords and rhythms of music become the foundation of the painting. And, I know the painting is complete and accomplished when it has a voice and can express its emotions. Artist Statement I believe we are all artists in our own way—we simply express ourselves through different mediums. For me, painting is a form of communication, constantly changing and growing similar to how a conversation can change direction and evolve. Painting is a unified language that has no boundaries and transcends language, culture, and emotions. My initial commitment to the canvas is what matters most. Through this commitment, I embrace and express my feelings. Whether oil, acrylic, pastels or Encaustic, my art is a powerful vehicle to express my feelings and emotions. I want my art to inspire, evoke emotions, and open doors to new ideas. I constantly explore the countless colors found in nature and create my own patterns and rhythms that serve as a catalyst of emotions. If my work can stimulate feelings, I can play a small role in the viewer’s personal development and life journey. That is my dream…to use my art and the sensations it evokes to empower woman to rise above victimization and become their own heroines. I want women to find courage, as I have with each stroke of my paintbrush. If my work can achieve this, I have championed a cause and conquered an emotional terrain. I am a dreamer, live wire. I am Shayema. Education: BAAS | University of North Texas. Major: Applied Science and Arts. Minor: ADR and Business. Human Resource Strategy Certificate | Cornell University. Associations: Member of Plano Art Association Allen Art Alliance Dallas Museum of Art.