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The Edition's Profile of Rooya

Aishath Rooya Hussain, a gifted Maldivian artist who balances her progressive art career with her regular motherly duties shares the various aspects of her beloved craft with The Edition.

Aishath Shuba Solih
27 February 2024, MVT 07:40
Aishath Rooya Hussain
Aishath Shuba Solih
27 February 2024, MVT 07:40

A mother perches almost half a dozen royal angelfishes atop their dark throne in the deep sea, her fingers gently whisking a vivid paintbrush to customize suitable shapes that nearly moves at a glance. These royal creatures sport bleeding eyes easily missed within their pelagic home that veiled all additional drops of liquid. A customary image, distinctive in style, yet a conventional scenery and of nature that ultimately belongs to all.

Behind the scenes, however, a baby is cradled on the artist’s free arm, not a drop of paint from the brush held in the mother's occupied hand nor the drying canvas with an unfinished underwater impression blemishing the child's clothes.

Aishath Rooya Hussain is a full-time mother of two, who makes the strenuous seem effortless, a creator who delivers her artistical aims with one arm occupied for familial love and duty.

Rooya's artwork

In this career that exhibits the craft that is most dear to her –artistry–, Rooya desires nothing more than to illustrate the tedious images that inhibit her boundless mind. It is a cherished income source she hopes will prevail for a protracted time. Her youthful hands had inked countless patterns of jaguar gel on skin, etching multitudes of henna art designs, which she would later trace as the prelude of her artistic chapter.

It wasn’t long before watercolor, acrylics, pencil color, markers and digital mediums captured Rooya’s wonder which she had competently equipped into her arsenal of art mediums; a versatility that would become priceless in her career as a professional artist. Regardless of her vast knowledge of art mediums and highlighting that digital art is a delightful art form, Rooya preserves her preference for traditional paintings.

She remarks on the stark difference of her most fluent dual art mediums on the manner of copyright and plagiarism; she says henna art allows and prefers the imitation of other artists while traditional canvas art highly condemns representations that may infringe other creatives' work. Further sharing that the artistic community dallying with henna art is small and remarkably inclusive, she affirms that Maldivian henna artists historically practice additional crafts such as textured artwork and canvas painting as well, much like herself.

"Henna art is very easy. I mostly use jaguar jel, an ink derived from a fruit which provides a finish similar to tattoos."

Rooya's work with henna art

Rooya has rendered many styles from the infinite creative solutions that embellishes a canvas. From moonlit fishing boats casting ripples over seawater to little gems like busy lizzies and bumblebees, Rooya has acclimated her innovative and dexterous skills since an early age.

Regardless of the unlimited designs at her creative disposal, her artistic home and the style that primarily frequents her canvases is the art of traditional Maldivian lacquer impressions, locally known as “Liyelaa”. Figures, details of florals and leaves alongside intricate designs also rank high in her penchant for creations, as evident in her art repository. Remarkably, Rooya's handiworks also extends to various designs of bookmarks.

Unsurprisingly, Rooya’s passion and drive has propelled her to achieve impressive feats. Persisting through mental and administrative obstructions, she released a coloring book centered around traditional Maldivian illustrations that is available from various outlets of the Authentic Maldives Boutique Shop. This gifted artist credits the inspiration for this book suited for both children and adults alike to her closest and most supportive companions who remains her biggest inspiration for enjoying her craft. A mini book of this publication is also in the works, which is redesigned by hand down to every detail in order to widen the spaces to allow feasible color fills. Furthermore, while her second coloring book, themed around native Maldivian flora and fauna has also been prepared, Rooya has begun compiling her third book as well.

Rooya's first coloring book centered around native Maldives

Rooya recalled the narrative that most disheartened her youthful artistic stride, sharing that the prospects of succeeding through an artistic career was dwindled considerably in her youth through the rooted conventional belief that art is a futile form in spite of her supportive family and companions. She further acknowledged the evolution of this perception, highlighting that many artists of today triumphs and perseveres within their craft together with the expanded admiration for creative individuals and recognition of art as an established career. Regardless of the anchored prospective focus on the allure of Maldives alongside the dominant value moored across realism, Rooya credits the inclusive community that offers constructive learning and increased probabilities of receiving remuneration as a stimulation to sustain her aim.

She further expressed gratitude for the inclusivity of female artists within the field, naming Mariyam Haleem, a watercolor artist and Maisha Yoosuf, better known as Gulsampa, a notable Instagram graphic designer amongst others as representatives of a successful woman centric art community.

The artwork crafted by Rooya displayed at the Unveiling Visions Exhibition 2023

Presently engaged with an art course to expand her artistic knowledge and consolidate her desire to further establish herself, Rooya has been entangled within many contemporary career milestones. She holds her most recent artistic display at Hiyala Weekend Market with fond regard while also highlighting her first art exhibition at the National Art Gallery which was also one of the first art exhibitions held in Maldives during a time when artistic success was initially being accepted throughout the community.

Alongside displaying her artwork at one of the largest exhibitions hosted by the National Art Museum in 2023; Unveiling Visions, she has also contracted her paintings to the Oaga Art Resort which are exhibited within their tourist rooms.

"The most recent extraordinary artistic inspiration I had to summon was for Unveiling Vision. It was such a huge deal and I was so happy to be selected. I visited the island of Kulhuduffushi with my family and all I did was stare at nature and capture the sceneries on my phone because I knew I would use something [of what my mind recorded]. My main style is nature combined with people/figures," Rooya reminisced.

The tranquility of Maldives has been the raw specimen of Rooya’s creative drive for a long time. Within the frenzy of raising two sons, Rooya blends inside nature for solace and solitary moments. She singles out the sandy shores and crystalline seas as an infallible reset that fires her weary mind and shared her resolution to annually course through local and tourist destinations for scenery inspirations.

"Every single piece I draw, I do it with a lot of love, with a lot of work put into details."

Nearly all art pieces crafted by Rooya holds significant intimations that bears deep allusions. The artwork that Rooya recalls with the dearest sentiments is the portrayal of her grandmother, colored intricately and fondly to illustrate the youthful vigor and allure of a beloved parent.

Bookmarks designed and crafted by Rooya

"This painting, alongside a portrait of her [grandmother] I drew for Oaga Art Resort inspired me to create story series' within my artworks. For example, The Life of a Woman, which depicts the daily life of my grandmother. In this series, depictions of my grandmother with her sister in her youth and representations of her enjoying herself once her children became adults and the responsibility of raising children is relinquished is included."

Rooya views art as a fervent passion, which has undoubtedly contributed to her definitive career prosperity. She regards the involvement within creative crafts such as music, painting and poetry as a consolation to any restless mind and emphasizes the importance of embracing some form of creative release while navigating a lifestyle that provides contentment.

Rooya's illustrations can be further viewed on her Instagram art page, Rooyaarts, from which she also accepts commissions associated within her line of services alongside purchase appeals of her coloring book.

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