We get tired after writing a seven-page report. However, few people in this world not only write, but also draw astonishing figures, sketches and graffiti, not only on pages but also on 700 sq ft. wide walls.
Faizan Sheikh is one of those few lucky and daring graffiti artists, who has not only done a graffiti on 700 sq ft wall all alone, but has also done 30 + graffiti in less than a year and the only graffiti artist to draw a heaven graffiti.
He calls himself a ‘Rebel’ by choice, ironically, most of his graffiti is focused on Peace and tranquility. We asked Faizan for an interview, which he gladly accepted. Below is the discussion that we did with Faizan Sheikh.
Point Raiser: What is Graffiti according to you?
Faizan Sheikh: It is all about self-expression and presentation of my culture on the global scale. As for the real definition, “Graffiti is the art made on a wall using spray paints”.
Point Raiser: We know it is your passion to do graffiti. What inspired you in Graffiti to choose it as a passion?
Faizan Sheikh: Typical graffiti is about complicated yet beautiful lettering structure and it was the complexity of Graffiti that inspired me to follow it.
Point Raiser: What impact will graffiti have on walls of Karachi and what message are you giving to the public by your graffiti?
Faizan Sheikh: I usually express the positivity about our nation, country and religion. I feel that our youth is quite distracted and they are following only what could earn them a living. They have stopped following their passion because they think it will not be benevolent as a white-collar job. I think if they keep themselves caged in the typical barriers of the society, the destruction is not far. However, we still have sufficient time to make everything right by dedicating ourselves to our dreams. The dream must be a little higher than “Paisa (money), Power and Piyar (love)”.
Point Raiser: In your videos, you use different techniques correlated with B-boying and free-running. How graffiti is linked with B-boying and free-running?
Faizan Shiekh: Graffiti is one of the four elements of the hip-hop culture, which include Rapping, Breaking and DJ-ing. Breaking usually involves maneuvers of physical strength and free-running helps us in developing that.
Point Raiser: People have different hobbies. Some like reading, some like playing, how you landed in to this kind of hobby.
Faizan Sheikh: I am a gaming freak since my childhood and graffiti is always there whenever you play games or watch movies. That is where I first came to know about this form of art. I used to write names of my friends during the lectures in college and university. I have been practicing this art form since 2006 and now, by the end of 2013, I have achieved a little skill. By the grace of ALMIGHTY, 700 sq ft graffiti, a public event involving 40 people to paint a 675 sq ft banner and Pakistan’s only heaven graffiti are to name a few things that I consider achievements.
Point Raiser: What is the cost of a spray and from where do you buy them?
Faizan Sheikh: A normal spray can costs around 120-150 PKR. I usually head to Saddar area of Karachi, where the central paint market is located so that I have a variety of shades to choose from.
Point Raiser: Are you serious about Graffiti art? Will you seek it as a career or side business in future?
Faizan Sheikh: I do not know yet if I can earn a living through it or not but i am going to do graffiti until my last breath. I am setting out to introduce graffiti as a career for the future writers to follow the path and earn from it. I am fighting to prove my saying:
Humans are not made for careers, Careers are made for Humans.
Point Raiser: Producing a Graffiti art is not a lone business. Are there others who support you?
Faizan Sheikh: The ALMIGHTY has blessed me with so many friends. There are people who motivate me, especially my friends from college. Then, there are people who help me in making videos and planning an activity. Further, a specific cousin always asks me to break my previous barriers and come even stronger every time I go to a wall. Finally, there are all those fans who appreciate me repeatedly, from which I derive the energy to move on. I can’t ever thank them enough for their valuable and generous feedback.
Point Raiser: What message will you give to the children who want to pursue this art form?
Faizan Sheikh: Go ahead guys, I once began doodling as you are doing today but once you are in the game, Respect the game and the players. NEVER take a step, which could potentially deteriorate the image of graffiti. Do not make it a form of vandalism here too. Or else all you are going to see on a wall is the ‘HAKEEM Sajid rao’ (An alleged Aamil ‘Black magician’) and all those ‘Aamil Bengalees’.
You can contact Faizan Sheikh through his Facebook Page named ‘Rebel Rising’.