Impromptu art: Unleash your inner artist

At a pop-up party at a mall, guests are invited to paint .

Maryam Usman February 15, 2014
Artist Abbas Shah at work and a view of the studio, where canvases set up on easels are awaiting guests. PHOTO: EXPRESS


Chances are you have not touched a paintbrush since you painted in middle school art class. Amidst the hustle and bustle of routine, one’s creative faculties can easily take a backseat. But it is never too late to get reacquainted with the inner Picasso and turn that spark into a flame.

In a bid to bring back the experience of creating and owning art, a three-day pop-up party, “Sip, Dip and Paint with Love,” was organised at the newly-constructed Olympus Mall in F-11 Markaz on Friday.

The bare-bones, concrete space came alive with a flurry of colour, graffiti on panaflex, large paintings on the walls and an assortment of canvases on easels and sculptures to complete the artistic ensemble. Music blared out of huge speakers, aimed at fuelling the creative process.

“The idea is to encourage people to make art and to be happy with what they create. I think painting teaches you compassion and tolerance and it’s a form of catharsis as well. It’s a good way to enjoy yourself,” said Narjis Mirza, the chief creative enabler at, a venture that has collaborated with, a public art studio based out of Washington DC. “It is impossible to enter the art studio and not come out feeling creative.”

Decked up as a walk-in studio, the space provides artistic freedom and opportunity, offering art supplies and professional equipment where people can purchase a ticket and paint for 100 minutes and also consult the art enablers at the premises.

Young artists as well as seasoned ones are assisting the creative activity. A photo booth has also been set up for those who want to capture their creativity on camera.

Renowned artist Abbas Shah, whose work has been showcased on a wall, commented, “This is a construction site and it is usually difficult to create an ambience but the artists here have composed the space well.” The advantage they had was that this is a grey space and they have completely turned it around into an artist’s studio, he added.

Mohammad Raza, founder of, said, “We invite you to come and unleash your inner artist. Experienced artists are helping out as creative enablers. It is also a team-building exercise where people can come with families and friends, paint a canvas and take home a sweet memory for keeps.”

Once they purchase passes, the visitors will be treated to a colourful drink and provided with art material to vent out their creativity on canvas. A food stall sponsored by Zaffrano’s restaurant offering snacks and beverages has also been set up at the premises. The pass costs Rs1,500 for children under the age of 14 years and Rs3,000 for adults. Three people can enter the activity on the latter pass.

The is the first-of-its-kind pop-up event in the capital and the team will be expanding it to other public places including schools, corporate offices and parks in the near future.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2014.


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