We shoot some quick-fire questions at Vienna-based Egyptian artist Dalia Negm, known better as Psychedaliac, to discuss inspiration and the state of Egyptian art...
Egypt's very own Dalia Negm is an artist with a bright future. Her everyday life is filled with the quest for beauty and transcending it into art. Known by her social media handle @Psychedaliac, the Vienna-based Egyptian artist has been doodling, sketching and colouring since she could hold a pencil. We ask her some quick-fire question to find out what art means to her and where she sees Egypt's art scene today and in the future.
When and why did you start considering art as the content of your life?
Art has always been a part of my life as long as I can remember. My mum studied Fine Arts as well so she must have been supporting my talent from an early age. Parents can help or destroy a lot in supporting talents of their children. I started seeing art as a way to escape reality to relax, a way to unlimited freedom.
What does your art focus on?
Some may find it bad that I don’t stick to a certain style, but because I enjoy art so much, I found it too rich and broad to limit myself. I do everything from still life to portraits to comics as well as fantasy art and even surrealism.
Describe your art with three words…
Diverse, twisted, fun.
What has shaped you most in your artistic development?
Going to galleries and museums and exploring other people’s art. The more art you see and absorb, the more inspiration you find.
Who are you apart from being an artist? Do you have a non-artistic side?
Ironically, my job has nothing to do with art. Although I consider art my life, some people in my life, like my colleagues, do not know this artistic side of me. It’s like living a double life.
What is the best and worst part about being creative on a daily basis? What does it give or take out of you?
I think creative people will find it very difficult to find a least favourite part about being creative. It is such a pleasure to be creative. It gives life an extraordinary touch in a life so full of routines.
Have you ever encountered obstacles being an artist in Egypt?
I think it was more difficult before 25th January 2011 to find acceptance for art. I wouldn’t say I faced obstacles because art was always a part of our lives in Egypt. My mother studied at Fine Arts Zamalek more than 30 years ago so it always existed, but I think the revolution has helped to give art a “louder voice” and to have accepted art as a medium of expression, and even of political expression.
Do you feel like you can flourish as an artist in your current environment?
Absolutely, and I can see how more and more artists in Egypt are flourishing as well. It makes me happy to see art evolving.
Where do you take your inspiration from here in Egypt?
Nature is what inspires me most. Although I do not paint landscapes, nature is inspiring to me like nothing else. I see the beauty of nature as the artwork that Earth produces, even if that sounds cheesy. A Nile cruise I once did from Luxor to Aswan was the most inspiring and relaxing thing I ever experienced.
What is your dream for art in Egypt?
My dream is to experience more and more innovative art with less and less taboos. Limiting art with taboos is against art.
What is your biggest personal contribution to the Cairo art scene?
I live in Vienna right now but I take part in the Cairo art scene as much as I can. I am always looking for people from my home to collaborate with, so hopefully I will be able to find more and more people to get inspired by.
Batman or Superman?
Roses or lilies?
Green or yellow?
Coffee or cigarettes?
There is no coffee without cigarettes.
Follow Dalia Negm on Instagram @Psychedaliac