This month we chat with painter and artist Brook Alam of InspireDeen Art from Texas, USA. Brook weavers together her love for art and faith in her work from painted canvases to large wooden tasbihs. She shares with us her journey from being a nurse to getting back in touch with are artistic roots after motherhood. Learn more about her creative process by reading on…
1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Brooke Alam. I currently live in Texas, USA. I’m a nurse who found my way back to my first love, art, after having my first child alhamdulillah. I’m a member of Creative Muslim Women where I have had the extraordinary honor to get to know so many raw talents our ummah has to offer, mashaAllah.
2. What inspired you to enter the field you work in?
Art is a means of therapy for myself but it has since blossomed into so much more, to become really a need in my own life – and form of dawah. I think my Islamic Art can serve as dawah in some regard, as I feel art can speak volumes that sometimes words can not. Pretty colors, textures, and composition can all strike emotion and questions in someone! Open some doors to questions about Islam perhaps while showing its beauty.
3. What was the best gift you ever received and why?
I think the best gift I received was when my sister sent me my own baby blanket that I had used as a child when I have found out I was expecting my own first child. I had completely forgotten about this blanket – but it struck a cord of emotion with me and gets me every time I think of it or touch it. Nothing can bring comfort like nostalgic mementos from your past.
4. What would you like to see on Muslim Gift Guide?
I would like to see unique pieces of Islamic art of different styles in Muslim Gift Guide. Very fresh / new meets old world designs …… Keep reinventing traditional design with modern colors etc.
5. What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
To me an entrepreneur is someone who takes chances / risks and has the bold drive to do something on their own, using a skill, dream, and desire along with the will of Allah to try an make a dream a reality. Be it big or small, putting something out into the world for others to find and appreciate is a huge accomplishment – putting the risk of criticism, skepticism and even admiring your work is a huge test of ones faith, humility and desire. Making it about the product or goal, not about yourself.
6. How do you balance your creative business with personal life?
Balancing life and work is always a tricky task in my world, being that I have two small children ages 4 and 1, alhamdulillah. My faith, children and family come above all else and the rest falls into place as time allows. I often say “the juggle is real”.
7. Where can you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
In 5-10 years, inshaAllah I would love to have my own studio space outside my home. ImshaAllah – It would be an awesome achievement to have a gallery display in my city, which alhamdulillah does have a large Muslim population — for my art display to serve as dawah and to help represent my fellow brothers and sisters in faith, through Art.
Follow Brook Alam at Inspire Deen!
All Photo Credits: Brook Alam.