Zarin Baksh is a Bengali-American artist located in the East Coast of the United States.
Zarin describes herself as a ‘demon connoisseur’ and ‘lover of horns, wings, and girls.’ Find out what lies behind these interests in our interview with this most ‘magickal’ creative.
Please tell us about yourself and your career to date!
I’m 21 (turning 22) and I’m mostly a hobbyist when it comes to my art and my online presence. However, I have frequently done commission work and freelance jobs in the past. Commission work is my main source of income as of now.
I double in traditional art (oil painting and watercolour) and digital art, which happens to be my preference. Although I initially planned to pursue a career in art as a freelance illustrator, I’m less interested in doing so now.
How would you describe your style and what subjects are you most drawn to?
My body of work is very finely tuned to my personal interests and aesthetics. I primarily make character illustrations with dark, ethereal, or fantastical moods. My most common subjects are demons, vampires, and generally anything that is fantastical in nature. Halos, horns, wings, fangs, and long nails are among some of the details I am inclined to add in my work.
I am more drawn to the female body as I am more knowledgeable on female anatomy, but I also enjoy drawing the female body more. However this may be self-perpetuating as I avoid male subjects for the lack of the previous reasons. In terms of style, I would classify my work as semi-realistic. My rendering varies as I tend to swap out my brushes every few paintings and I try to be very experimental in my work to constantly see what process or techniques work best for me.
How important are the roles of angels and demons to this style?
Angels and demons serve no religious or biblical significance. I am merely drawn to the aesthetics of them. Although I am drawn to biblical motifs, such as crosses, halos, and radiants, they don’t hold their art historical significance in my work.
With angels I gravitate towards a sense of ethereality and dreaminess. Demons are my more versatile and preferred subject as I just love the look of horns and wings (both feathered and bat-like). The demonic and angelic features merely serve as an accessory, like a mole or hairstyle, there is no other meaning. This has to do with my general interest in the fantastical more than anything as I enjoy drawing creatures such as harpies, satyrs, mermaids, and other mythological beasts for the same purpose.
I typically add horns and wings as an afterthought and try to design the shape and size around the overall design of the character.
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Who are your inspirations and creative heroes?
I have many as I am constantly consuming art and expanding my visual library. There are many artists whose work I absolutely love and adore, even if aspects of or their entire style is not something I’d necessarily want for myself. But I’ll try to name a few of my favorite artists and inspirations: Valentina Remenar, Syd Mills, Huh_benjamin, Orsob, and Manda Manda.
What tools do you use for your work?
I use a Huion GT-220 and Photoshop CC 2020 for my work. I used many digital painting programs over the last decade, but I have consistently used Photoshop for the last four years and I am very comfortable with the workspace.
What would you like to try next? Maybe comics?
I have always wanted to do comics as I have many stories I’d love to tell, but I just have never gotten around to doing it. I know I can’t expect to just be amazing at panelling, pacing, visual storytelling, and the other skills illustrating for a comic demand, but I just never sat down to actually try. Maybe in the future (unknown!) I may actually make a comic, but for now I am content simply making illustrative work.
If I were to do anything else, I may venture into products, such as buttons, stickers, posters, etc, but that can all be managed by sites such as RedBubble or Society6. I also have a YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/nir4z) where I upload speedpaints, but I have not actively done so in a while. I would definitely like to get back into it as many people have expressed their interest in watching my process.
Fly away with Zarin through these Carrd links to her work and socials.
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