Mais began her career as an artist after having immigrated to Canada from Iraq. The traumatic experience left her struggling to find words to understand her world, and as a result she turned to art to create what she couldn’t express. As a self-taught artist that has been working with the mentorship of Barry McCarthy, she found that cubism and abstract art allowed her to freely express her imagination on the canvas.
Q: WHERE DID YOU GROW UP / WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY CALL HOME?
A: I was born in Baghdad, Iraq and my family immigrated to Canada when I was young. Home is defined by my family. Wherever my family is that’s what I call home. In Iraq I’m considered a foreigner, and in Canada I do sometimes feel like a foreigner based on my ethnic background. A country doesn’t define home for me. It’s my family and people I love.
Q: WHAT DOES BEING AN ARTIST MEAN TO YOU?
A: Art has always been my medium to express how I feel and communicate what I want the world to hear. I haven’t always been great with my words or even opening up about my emotions, but there’s something about a blank canvas that takes down my guard and allows me to freely express myself. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves; mine are painted on the canvases. In a whirlwind of emotions, my art collection reflects how I feel about world events and the direction we’re walking down. If we can revolutionize science and technology at astonishing paces, then we can also carry our love and compassion for humanity.
Q: WHAT IS ONE ART RELATED ITEM THAT YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT (I.E. CAMERA, PAINT BRUSH, PENCIL, ETC.)?
A: A paint brush is something I cannot live without. A paint brush is more than a tool for me. It’s my soul mate. It feeds my soul and makes it come to life. Its one thing that will follow my heart desires with every brush stroke I make. It’s the one thing that makes my heart beat with passion and determination.