A three-dimensional splash of the sea. The milky way on a table top. A web of jewels in the core of a tray. There are many things you can make using resin – the polymer can be used to colour and coat, as adhesive or to create models. Three UAE-based artists decided to use it as a medium of expression – and to create beautiful things.
Egyptian Kariman Ahmed Ali, owner of Galerie Kariman, is an art student who graduated from the faculty of Fine Art, Alexandria University, Egypt. For her, the difficulty of using the medium was also the draw. “Resin is a very interesting medium and watching its chemical reaction when the resin is mixed with the hardner was one of the main hooks for me, it made me want to experiment more and incorporate a wide range of mediums into resin and get to know and learn that each medium has a different effect. It’s an infinite world of creativity for me,” she explains.
She admits that her first run-in with resin culminated in a sticky result. “My first experience with resin wasn't very successful but it fulfilled my soul and fed my curiosity. And although I went out of it with sticky hands and a messy table; however, it has also awakened the very eager and passionate artist in me.”
The artist, who decided to dedicate herself to resin back in October of 2020, explains that currently her focus is on mixing resin with engraved wood and creating wall art and standout furniture pieces. She says: “I’m having fun experimenting to achieve this beautiful mix is my goal at the moment. I am also looking forward to explore participating in exhibitions and get to meet different artists.”
As for advice for other people, she exclaims: “If you are really passionate about resin, my advice would be, do it NOW, don’t waste time thinking. I would like to also say that you will need to be very patient and keep on experimenting until you reach your goal. Every trial and error is the key behind achieving your signature art work.”
Mum-of-three Fathima Aijaz says she’s always loved painting, arts and crafts. “When I heard about resin I wanted to give it a go.
“It was during the COVID-19 imposed restrictions that I really got into resin work – I took an online workshop to show me what to do. And I loved it,” explains the Indian expat.
Her business plans – she now sells resin work – came after some research online. “I saw online that a lot of people were making money with this style of art and to just kick things off I took a workshop myself – I just posted on Facebook and about 13 people showed up for the class. This gave me a lot of confidence,” she recalls.
I have three kids and my eldest helps me from time to time – it has helped us bond.
And so she launched Resin by fa – an endeavor she stresses helped her bond with her older child. “I have three kids and my eldest helps me from time to time – it has helped us bond,” she explains.
“For all those wanting to get into resin work, I’d suggest patience. Don’t give up too easily, because often what you are aiming for and what the end result is, is quite different. But if you stay the course things will definitely get better,” she adds.
Another mum-entrepreneur is 32-year-old Niousha Alizadeh, who creates custom pieces. The Iranian’s love of resin draws from the fact that she wanted to make ‘practical art pieces and bring touch of art to everyone’s home’. “We moved to Dubai on 2017 and I started to learn more and more about abstract and resin art and on 2018 made my first resin art piece. Since then the only time I was not practicing resin art was during my pregnancy, she explains.
For Alizadeh, like for Aijaz, resin was an expression of art, a hobby. But with some encouragement from friends Alizadeh began to dream bigger. She began to participate in local art markets such as Ripe and Arte.
She’s inspired by nature and been fascinated by natural elements that make up our earth. “That’s why through my art I’m trying to combine abstract flow of paints with stones/crystals and other elements to create agates, ocean , sky looks and more.”
While learning, Alizadeh had to contend with allergies. “I was a self-taught artist and had to learn everything the hard way and practice so much until I came up with what made me satisfied and of course in this time I found out that I have severe allergy to this material and had to visit hospital and take injections couple of times,” she says.
“Managing 24/7 motherhood job and my art business was actually a miracle for me because after I gave birth last October I never thought I could go back to work but with the support of my husband and good planning I could come back to my dream job and even move to my very first studio (before that I was working from home). It’s not easy at all but I truly enjoy what I do and sacrifice so much to do what I love,” she adds.
Alizadeh says: “My advice to all my students and the beginners is try to be yourself and don’t be scared of trying new things, learn this art from masters or online by watching videos but then try to create a new style and make it your signature.”