Meet Rida Saad, a Karachi-based epoxy resin artist.
Tell us a little about yourself and your journey as a resin artist.
My name is Rida Saad. I did my Bachelors in Advertising from Iqra University in 2010 and then pursued my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) majoring in the field of Educational Management from Institute of Business Administration IoBM in Karachi, Pakistan. I am a mother of two–Nayel and Rijja.
When I got married there were some responsibilities upon my shoulders which were my utmost priority, I never got a chance to pursue the career which I wanted, which I had studied for. Years went by, I always had this deep immense urge that I should do something in life but you know there is a saying, God’s plan is always beautiful than our desires.
I always had a creative side (which I have taken from my father) I used to paint whenever I had time and redecorate my house.
Back in December of 2018, a massive tragedy hit us which I never in my wildest dreams dreamt of. That incident changed me; it moved me to my very core. It has changed my perspective on life, death and so much beyond.
2017 and 2018 were years filled with trials for me; that was the point where half of me died too. I simply stopped living. Because of our frequent hospital visits and lots of negativity and negative energy my mental health was deteriorating, I needed an escape; I needed some positivity in life. That’s when my husband, my family and in-laws jumped in and pushed me to do what I want to do. I am a self-taught artist and I constantly keep educating myself, I knew what epoxy resin art was but I never had tried it before.
I used to read about epoxy resin extensively, used to watch lots of tutorials, and then one fine day, I bought some supplies online and did my very first resin art. Since that day onwards I didn’t stop.
When did you first realize you had an artistic talent in you?
Since the beginning, like I have mentioned earlier, I always had an artistic side. Painting was my ultimate escape from reality.
During the design process, how do you bring in new inspiration? And where do you get your inspiration from?
I speak with my clients, discuss ideas and try to understand their personalities. Their imagination is my inspiration. My mind is constantly working-exploring, I look around and whatever strikes me I try to create that. My aim is to be innovative. I like to experiment, make new and unique products.
My favourite resin artist is Mrs Colorberry. I simply adore her work. She is my inspiration.
What exactly is resin art?
Epoxy resins are a two-component system consisting of resin and hardener. By mixing the two components, a chemical reaction takes place so that the liquid resin gradually hardens to a solid plastic. The result is a high-gloss, clear surface.
You work with tables, consoles, wall art, trays and much more. Which one is the easiest and which one is the hardest? Why?
It depends upon the design, nothing is easy. Resin art takes time whether it is a coaster or 5ft long wall art. Most challenging I would say are huge wall arts and dining tables. They can be tough to work with on occasions. Because resin art is messy and we need to cover art pieces and save it from dust. Once your art piece is set for curing, usually it take eight to 12 hours for an art piece to dry. During the curing process if any dust particle or anything sticks to it, it will ruin the entire piece. Sometime resin reacts to certain weather and room temperature. Smaller pieces are manageable as compare to the bigger pieces
What’s the most challenging thing about the medium you use?
One of the biggest challenges is the lack of supplies and awareness. Resin material and pigments be it molds, mica powders, pigments, alcohol ink are not easily available in Pakistan’s market. If you see art supplies abroad, there are tons of varieties all over the world and easily available but unfortunately in Pakistan there are many great talents waiting to be discovered but the lack of supplies become one of the biggest hurdles of all time.
Can you share how you gained the confidence in your skills to start offering custom art to your clients?
Honestly, I never had the courage to showcase my work, but one day, out of blue, I posted some of my very basic paintings on social media (on one of the DIY groups ) and let’s just say I have been blessed; through those groups one very kind lady gave me an opportunity and ordered some sketches. I remember I was so thrilled. I vividly remember my very first order. It gave me the confidence and reliance to work harder.
Above all. I have leant through my mistakes, I have always taken criticism positively and I have learnt through experiences
How do you set yourself apart from other resin artist?
I think my resin whirling darvesh tables and vanity trays are one of a kind and Mughal art tables and trays. I also add Persian poetry in my art pieces which gives a little extra element, each piece is embellished with handmade crystals.
Along with that, live edge table with metallic birds. I have also launched live edge tables with resin art and hand painted darvesh on it which is a very unique product of mine. My resin tables are distinctive and affordable as compared to the products available in the market. Another edge that I have is delivery all over Karachi is free.
I don’t think I’m better or superior to others, if I can do it anyone can do it. Having said that, one thing which I have noticed is senior artists are hesitant in helping those who want to start. When it comes to giving tips and helping, I’m always there. I think we should help and share our experiences, together we can make this resin community in Pakistan stronger and positive.
How would you describe your work
My work reflects my feelings. Each piece of mine has a story to tell. I consider my art work as my own baby, each one of my article is very dear to me and has feelings attached to it.
What advice would you give artist who wants to take the leap and become self-employed?
My advice would be, there is a lot I would like to share but the most important point is: Life is complicated, there are tribunals and pain attached to it, but with every trial comes greater blessing. Work on your mental health, art is an amazing form of therapy. Just let your feelings flow on the piece of wood and see the wonders you can create. No one is judging your art work, you are your own judge just have fun and don’t limit yourself. Take out some time, work hard and harder for yourself.
CONNECT WITH RIJJEL: