Scream © Hawwa
Some artists proudly define their work, while others like to avoid any labels.
“If there’s a lot going on in my head, I write it down or draw it out. Even if it never sees the light of day or I delete it straight afterwards, I find it helps to organise my thoughts,” she says. “When you get it down on paper, when you paint it or express it in a creative way, you see it in a different light and it helps you work through it.”
Life Goes On © Hawwa
It’s because of this approach that Hawwa uses lots of colour in her personal work. “Whenever I’m feeling something that I want to get out of my system, I pick the colours that represent my emotions and just create something,” she continues.
“This is why similarly, a lot of my illustrations are very line-heavy. Even if I’m drawing something obvious like a building, I like finding ways to give it character and depth and for me that works best when I do a lot of line-work.”
Alongside her full-time job and freelance work, Hawwa also runs a small online art shop and is co-founder of
Moon / قمر © Hawwa
“We wanted to find a way to translate the discussions and frustrations we had with the curriculum and education in general in a more engaging and accessible way,” Hawwa explains. “I loved studying history at university but the more I learnt, the angrier I felt at how inaccessible all this knowledge was, and also how eurocentric.
“Finding ways to express that in creative ways, be it a poem, a meme, a comic strip, or a piece of art, felt so cathartic for us that we decided to try and make it a bit bigger, and encourage others who felt a similar way to express their thoughts too. We wanted to create a safe space for learning and conversation in a way that we had never got to experience before; The Rice Bowl Collective was our solution.”