From dentist to digital artist, Sara Shakeel makes artwork to heal using glitter, collages, and a whole lot of babes. Her stretch mark series sees her take images of what some may criticise by transforming them into symbols of self-love and acceptance. We had a quickie recently and managed to exchange a few words in between.
How do you take your coffee?
Cold and “Super” concentrated espresso.
I love your Instagram so much I used your images on mine. How did you get your creative start?
That was very kind of you to say <3 Well, honestly I was always drawn towards collage art, but knew nothing about it. When I failed my last year of dental school, that’s when I started to create collages for myself and my soul. It helped me divert my mind from the existing pain I was going through of failing my exam, it was my medicine. But little did I know it would cure and heal the pain in me that I had since childhood.
You say creating art ‘heals you,’ what’s been the most surprising reward by doing so?
The first validation I received as an artist was a turning point in helping to build my self confidence as a collage artist. I’ll never forget when Sarah Jessica Parker liked a few pictures and left a beautiful comment. She was encouraging and full of light! That was the day when I began to see my scars as powerful and healing symbols of love and hope!
Your stretch mark series has been loved by babes all over, even Chrissy Teigen. What was your hope in creating them?
Ahhh that was such an amazing day, when she liked one of my pictures, and not just her, it was even liked by Lauren Jauregi (member of 5th harmony), I mean these are the REAL women who are bold and accepting of new artists like myself for the kind of vision we have! I am a chubby, round girl with loads and loads of stretch marks & cellulite! It was an artwork I made for my own self satisfaction!
Stretch marks were something I thought should never be discussed. Personally, I thought If anyone saw my marks or cellulite I’d be looked down upon. I never perceived them as beautiful or attractive because everything I saw on TV and in advertisements only showed women with flawless, blemish-free skin. But little did I know, creating art would unconsciously change my whole opinion about this.
Every stroke of glitter is a stroke of confidence for my own stretch marks. I remember when my first stretch mark collage was completed, it looked so beautiful – but I still doubted myself again and again. I thought why would anyone be interested in this? In the end, my vision won. I uploaded my work and from that very day onwards my #glitterstretchmarks series was born and the rest is history!
Who is someone you’d love to cover in shimmer?
Tyra! Tyra! Tyra! I would be honoured to make art out of her, maybe someday 😉
What’s in your bag of beauty of tricks (other than me)?
Haha, well current obsession is the Lip Balm (smooth) by frank bod, it works magic on my lips! I also love Mac Pre + prime & any matte lipstick.
What’s your morning routine like?
I start with a cold espresso, send a few prayers for a good day, kiss my cat and then I’m good to go!
If my babes are looking for ways to get inspired not tired, what would you tell them?
Get yourself a mirror, look into it, smile, and say “Baby girl! Let’s do this.“ You need to talk to yourself positively and fall in love with yourself first before falling in love with anyone else! Inspiration feeds on self love.
Finish the sentence: Messy is best when….
When you are “sassy & fuck the rest”.
Last question, who should I get down and dirty with next?
I have a list. I love these babes a lot!
Noah Cyrus , Lauren Jauregi or Sheina Szlamka , she is a french Illustrator and a beautiful Artist in & out! Her page @sheina.illustration full of wonder woman feels!
#letsbefrank, I like Wonder Woman.