Inspiring creatives: Sobia Shuaib

So very excited for this new series I’m kicking of here! Been feeling such a strong calling to take photos of the women around me, but photos that are a little bit more!

As a photographer & as a woman, but most of all as a mom, I am very conscious of the societal standards of beauty that we are constantly fed with – the pressure to conform to a particular standard to even “feel” like we’re beautiful. So many of us women spend our whole lives feeling less than and yet all these women we’re surrounded by – they’re beautiful, kind, intelligent and so much more. And I want to capture that – not just pretty photos but ones that capture the unique beauty of each woman that comes in front of my camera. That inspired, everyday version of them that their closest people; mom, husband, kids, siblings; love every single day!

That’s a little background. This series is like a coffee (or chai if you ask my preference) morning with some of the inspiring creatives around me – in their own comfort zone, wearing clothes they would normally wear if a friend visits, doing something they love doing, sharing a piece of their heart with me coffee mug in hand:):)

Come join us?

So happy to be starting this series with this talented friend of mine. Sobia is an artist, mom of two boys, based near Seattle, WA. It was such a pleasure hanging out in her beautiful studio space back in January, chatting about creativity and more as I took photos of her doing her thing in between our chatter.

I also asked her a few questions and here she is sharing about her artistic journey, what inspires her, how she makes time for creating and more. I absolutely loved what she wrote and know you will too!!

Sobia! Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a stay-at-home mom to two young boys; a wife, a daughter and a friend. But at the same time, I’m trying to carve out a little space where I’m just me, an individual with her own interests and dreams. I feel I really need to protect that little flame inside me that wants its own identity.

What does art/creativity mean to you?
We all go through our life doing what we have to, what we need to – brushing our teeth, studying, getting married, raising kids, eating, sleeping, shopping (lol). All those things just fall into place and demand our time. But art – its like the stopping of time. You take some time out, put everything aside, and for the sheer beauty of it, start creating.

What is one challenge you have overcome as an artist?
I remember as a teenager, I used to sketch all the time, but I could never draw a single line if someone was watching. I had a crippling lack of confidence in myself and was very shy. I know a lot of artists go through it. But it hinders creativity, and I worked on it for several years before I was able to stop worrying about what others think, and just focus on my work. I’m very proud of overcoming that.

What keeps you inspired and motivated to create while still being a mom?
There’s this part of me that I’m not able to express in words. I need to create something in order to get it out. And I’ve been lucky that my husband and kids have been a huge support. They really motivate me to follow my inspirations and creative needs.

Being mom of two kids, how do you still fit in time to be creative?
It’s a tricky business. You can so easily lose track of time when you’re doing something you love, right? So, I consciously make an effort not to work when they might need me. Once I’m satisfied that I’ve done all mommy duties, and spent some quality time with them; I give them space to play on their own, while I do my work. Alternatively, of course, I always get more work done when they’re asleep!

How do you incorporate creativity into everyday life with your kids?
Being an artist, I always end up doing arts and craft activities with them. We save paper-towel/ toilet-paper tubes, plastic bottles, boxes, and anything else that we feel can be used as crafts. They have a little craft room in the store where all manners of craft supplies are on the ready. So, whenever we feel like making something (which is quite often) we just raid out little ‘loot’ and come up with fun stuff. At this point they don’t really need me anymore. They totally create the most fun crafts all out of their own imagination!

Any advice for other moms who feel like they’re struggling to fit in creativity into their busy lives?
Creativity doesn’t have to be hard. Even small steps are significant. When my babies were little, my creative outlet was really just going through Pinterest and pinning all the things that inspired me. So my advice would be to just keep that spark alive. It will help you when you’re ready to grow it into something more.

What is something that has influenced your art the most?
My dad used to come home from work, put on his old music on the radio and paint. It was his hobby, his outlet, his passion. He never complained about anything, just painted. It really influenced how I perceived painting. To this day, I listen to the same music he used to, using painting to say what I don’t say in words.

Another influence is God. I think, God could easily have made the world without all the beauty we see in it. So, if He created beauty in an otherwise functioning world, then to create even a spec of it, is to say, I admire you for it and thank you for validating this “whimsical” desire in me.

Where can people find you if they’d love to see more of your work?
To check out my everyday on-going projects you can follow my Instagram or Facebook. For a look at my portfolio, you can also check out my website. You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter from the website if you want to get insider news.

Sobia!! Thank you so much my friend for inviting me to your beautiful space and sharing a piece of your story with me!

Also a special shout-out to another talented friend Ayesha Usman who helped design this space for Sobia. Check out her work on her Instagram here.

Lots of love


PS: If you’re local to the Seattle area and are interested in being a part of this series, send me a message here 🙂