Strong strokes | Daily News

Strong strokes

Known for being a pastime that’s endured for centuries as both a hobby and an occupation, painting remains to be one of the most revered and enjoyable pastimes today. Painting, however, is not limited to being just an artistic endeavor for Hamdha Faiz.

The 13-year-old Sri Lankan youth who lives in Sweden recently came into the spotlight after being selected as the youngest artist of the year 2021 from Sweden. She won this title after taking part in an annual art competition conducted by Majblommor (Mayflower), a children’s welfare non-profit charity organization which aids children economically. Each year many well-known artists take part in this event to showcase their flair with strokes and colours.

“I got to know about Majblommor when I was 5 years old. I saw the children selling flowers in the streets. I asked my parents why they are selling them. They explained about the Majblommor and their services. I got more information about the organization from my teachers. I always wished children to be independent. I am already planning to start an organization called “Give a Child Hope”. I would like to help children obtain a good education through my organization,” Hamdha said.

She recalled how pleased she had been when her teachers had selected her to take part in the art competition this year. Each year all the schools in Sweden select one of their students who has an artistic flair to take part in the event. Hamdha’s talents had captivated the Majblommor authorities and they had contacted her mother to invite the youth to draw their 2021 poster.

“I was asked to draw for the competition representing Sweden. I was selected from all over Sweden. It was a golden opportunity because only professional artists got this chance during the past years. Another outstanding fact is that I am the youngest artist in Majblommor,” Hamdha enthused.

She notes that though there was no particular theme, Hamdha had been requested to draw something related to the organization. She had done two drawings and had finally selected one from those two to submit for the event in November, 2020. Majblommor had published the poster on January 26 this year.

“I never expected that I would get this opportunity. It was thrilling to discover that not only would I be able to help needy children in Sweden, but the whole world would see my artistic skills too. I am proud that my name would go down in Swedish history with this triumph,” Hamdha added with a smile.

Elaborating on her prize winning poster Hamdha says that she used a lot of bright colours in the art, representing the diverse thoughts, opinions and cultures which add a touch of diversity to the society. Two children are perched on a bird in the drawing, denoting freedom. The slogan of the art work is “All children have freedom to live their own lives”.

“I paint leisurely and bring whatever that comes to mind onto my canvas,” she expressed.

Hamdha’s talents with the brush emerged after witnessing her mother painting from a young age. She became interested in the art and took it up as a hobby. Soon she was immersed in the art as it brings a sense of relaxation for her and calms her mind.

Though this is the first art competition she had taken part in, Hamdha has been painting for exhibitions in Härnösands museum in Sweden. She has been trained in art at her school, Geresta Skolan, Härnösand, by her teacher, Natalie.

Hailing from a family of six, Hamdha is the eldest child. Her father, Faiz, imports tea from Sri Lanka and delivers it to countries in Europe. Her mother, Inshafa, works as a personal assistant to a freelance journalist in Sweden. She has a brother, Ashkam, and two sisters, Amal and Aara.

Queried on what else she is passionate about and Hamdha notes that she adores baking and preparing various dishes. She also plays football and loves to make handicrafts. These days she is engaged in preparing a speech representing the children which se has to make on the national day of Sweden.

Her ambition is to become an international judge.

“Do not hesitate to bring your abilities and skills to the fore. Have confidence. Listen to your heart and do what you desire. No one knows you better than yourself. Identify your talents and excel through them. Nothing is impossible if you are determined. Try and try. One day you can fly,” was her message to other youth with talents.