Tehzeeb Hassan remembers drawing for as far back as he can recall. For him, art is not the mere culmination of creativity and perception, but a form of communication and pure joy. “I found it extremely easy and useful to express my feelings and ideas. I was encouraged by my teachers to pursue this field. The art field is very competitive but I haven’t found anything quite like it,” Tehzeeb spoke passionately about what art truly meant to him. It wouldn’t be wrong to go as far as saying that for Tehzeeb, his art is his lifestyle. Despite the competition that exists, Tehzeeb remains dedicated and as a result, work keeps pouring in. “My work has been highly appreciated and liked by national and international artists and celebrities including Amin Guljee, Imran Qureshi, Steven Gerard, Jeffery Bruma etc. I’ve received commission work from Irfan Hassan, highly known artist and Daniele Garozzo, an Italian foil fencer. On Portugal Day, the Portuguese embassy arranged an exhibition at Serena Hotel in Islamabad where my work was displayed. Using Collagraph technique I showed a scene which depicts people standing in front of the television and hooting for the football match, as Portugal is renowned for their football fandom. My digital work has also been published in the weekend magazine,” his eyes brightened as he spoke these words, exuding a light bright enough to light the path that lies ahead for him. Tehzeeb, as an artist, knows how to push beyond his limits. “Nowadays I’m working on digital art, trying to get comfortable with different softwares,” Tehzeeb tells me. What most interested me about Tehzeeb’s work was his thesis “A Sequential Crowd”. Using paints and prints, he made about 470 paintings and 2300 prints, of which only 170 prints and 150 paintings were displayed. The idea behind his work was the process and struggle of finding one’s individual identity within a crowd. His technique was to pixilate the portraits of familiar and influential people, thereby identifying their blurred yet defining presence within a large crowd. “I’ve used various printmaking techniques including Aquatint, etching, Reduction method, Linocut,” he further elaborated. His sense of aesthetics is both traditional and contemporary. “I believe that my signature style is bold and patchy. The use of thick layers of paint on the canvas. The duo of traditional and bold makes my work contemporary,” he explained. Despite all the complex, introspective art that he has created, his personal favourites are his quick sketches because of their bold nature, especially using ink on paper. Like all great minds, his creative process does experience a few obstacles every now and then, but he never lets that slow him down. “For an artist, an artistic block can be quite discouraging and career damaging as you mostly rely on your creative side to build a reputation and earn a living. But I generally overcome it by changing mediums, changing my working space, or visiting a garden because nature inspires me,” Tehzeeb Hassan responds candidly. However, it isn’t just nature that inspires this young artist. He finds inspiration in the most mundane, neglected aspects of life. “When I look outside I feel content and motivated by the beauty of the nature around me. Another place was my college; it has provided me with a very homely environment. The energy and optimism of the students and the faculty members inspires me,” explained Tehzeeb as he almost drifted away speaking freely about his sources of inspiration. As far as viewing other artists as inspiration goes, Tehzeeb Hassan has a remarkable list. “One of my favorite artists is Andrew Salgado, who’s a Canadian artist and is known for his figurative paintings. He uses thick layers of paints on his canvases to create portraits, and his work also has this abstract element which I completely love. Another one is Tai-Shan, an English portrait painter. He uses different textures and densities to create emotions. On a similar note, Calin Davidson, an Irish artist, who is known for his portraits and unique colour palette also helps inspire my sense of aesthetics,” he says. Interestingly enough, when I asked Tehzeeb who he would love to make a portrait of, his choice was Che Guevara. Che, being a revolutionary, physician as well as a military leader, has so much depth to his character that Tehzeeb dreams of capturing the essence of his personality on canvas someday. Tehzeeb hopes to experience different cultures in order to learn more about their traditional art and techniques, in order to hone his own skills. Working with international artists as well as some group and solo shows is also on his list. With his dedication, talent and vision, I envision some great things coming his way.