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[Interview] Soufeina Hamed on how comics can change misconceptions and how she illustrates everyday Muslim life

Soufeina Hamed (Tuffix)

Ever since she could hold a pen, talented artist Soufeina Hamed (Tuffix) has been drawing and experimenting with her creative ideas. As her love for art developed, from oil painting, manga, to realistic sketches, Soufeina finally adopted comic art after discovering that this would be the ideal medium for her.

Since then, she has produced an interesting collection of art and comics about everyday Muslim life, culture, religion and identity, with an authentic and humorous twist.

I talk to Soufeina about who her biggest inspirations are, how she smashes through “Artists block”, and how comics can be used as a medium for social and political causes.

Tell us a bit about yourself.  When did you start drawing?

I’m Soufeina, I’m half German half Tunisian. I’m working on my master’s thesis in the field of Intercultural Psychology and I began drawing ever since I hold a pen. I enjoyed trying out different art styles and techniques: oil painting, manga, realistic sketches etc. Finally I found comic art to be the most suitable medium for me.

Who/what are your biggest inspirations?

My biggest inspirations in the field of comic art are Scott McCloud and Craig Thompson. The former, because he managed to present the comic as a serious art genre, and the latter, because he is mastering the medium better then anyone else in my opinion.

You have amazing talent. How do you create your art/comics? And what are the processes involved?

Thank you! I would say that getting an idea that I’m really convinced of, is the most important step. Once I found it, it’s pretty simple: sketching, outlining, colouring and finally texting.

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Get your name written in Arabic Calligraphy + get signed copies of Sufi Comics books!

Get your name written in Calligraphy
Get your name written in Calligraphy

 

Get signed copy of Sufi Comics books
Get signed copy of Sufi Comics books

Calling out to all bloggers!

Do you enjoy expressing yourself through words? Have a favourite Sufi Comic and could share your thoughts with us?

We’re giving away some exciting prizes in our first ever giveaway!

All you need to do is to blog in no less than 100 words, on your favorite Sufi Comic. Here are some examples:

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Too much work and Feeling stressed out?

There is no health where there is Greed ~ Imam Ali (a)
There is no health where there is Greed ~ Imam Ali (a)

Recently I was feeling stressed out.

It was the overwhelming feeling of the things that I need to get done.

Looking at my growing to-do list, with the time available, got me even more stressed ’cause I know I couldn’t fulfill all the commitments.

Somehow I felt that if can do all that, I’ll be happy.

But then I realized that things didn’t have to be this way.

I don’t have to take up all these commitments.

We have this idea that ‘achieving so and so goal will make me complete’. And I remain unhappy till I get what I want.

Learning to Let go

Material achievements never make us feel complete. The moment we get what we want, we start running after the next thing… and the next thing.. and so on.

Once we start realizing who we really are, and that nothing outside can make us complete, we stop relying on external achievements to feel complete.

But how will I achieve anything if I’m always satisfied

This is something that often bothered me a lot. But I realized that my best work has come not when I’m stressed out but when I work from a place of peace.

And peace comes when we stop fretting about targets, and focus on the work.

So what do I do if I feel stressed?

So the secret is not really a secret. Find love in the work that you do, and trust in God to give you the results.

He knows best.