Shukri Janagale is an educator, artist and entrepeneur who embarked on a 365 day art challenge in 2019. We had a chat about the challenges and obstacles she faced, the learning lessons she took away and how it can be applied to all of our lives.
What made you decide to do it? Where did you get the idea from?
A friend of mine, Saynab Dahir was gonna start a 365 day fitness challenge. I was like this is such a cool concept and you can really apply this 365 day challenge to anything you want to commit to. Personally, I wanted to commit to creating more often because it helps me with being stressed and just the overall pleasurability in life. I realised I wanted to do this on a daily basis, I wanted to improve my skills, try different mediums and share my work with the world and I realised the best way to do that was this challenge.
When you first comitted to the idea, how did you organise and prepare yourself?
Initially there was zero planning, my objective was to focus on what was easily accessible to me. I had plenty of paper, plenty of ink so I could easily make sketches. I then got tired of the sketches and transitioned into digital art because I didn’t have access to all the supplies I would want so i delved into the digital world. Ramadan was the time I had planned everything out because it wasn’t only my work it was also pictures of mosques and arabic calligraphy. I just wanted to create daily so I knew I had to schedule a time, so I chose the time after Asr (third of five daily prayers in Islam) where my brain was like ‘okay time out’.
You were also posting quotes on Instagram. Were they helping you with motivation, and how do they fit into your art?
100% they were motivation for me but also the art that I was creating each day was inspired by how I was feeling that day. So it was very emotion-driven work that I was creating. I also do enjoy writing and I thought that I don’t only have to focus on visual art. It’s something that motivated me and could tie into the art I was creating. Also when I started posting those quotes I was sharing my work every 3 days [on Instagram], I wanted to improve the overall aesthetic for my page because I’m creating different things each day and it can get distracting to the viewer.
I get it because sometimes you just want to post it because you like it and I remember you telling me a while ago that one has to present what they do as a brand or a business and for someone like me who is scatterbrained and doesn’t do a lot of planning, that conversation has always been at the back of my head, especially for this year.
I saw that you did start branding. You have to realise that you art is content and we’re on these platforms where everyone is consuming a lot of visual content and so people have to be able to easily recognise that this is my favourite artist and this is her quote for example.