About the Artist Robina Yasmin
Yasmin’s artistic persuasions were noted from an early age, where she was said to have been preoccupied with hunting high and low within the family home to seek out appropriate materials in which she could set about creating her childhood studies. Yasmin left no potential medium untouched in her bid to manifest the perfect art piece, and more often than not comprised such eyebrow-raising mixed media as fabrics, beads and even leaves, amid the slightly more orthodox application of paper.
Works By Robina Yasmin
A Fine Line Up
On The Mara
However at the age of 7, Yasmin’s art took on a more, how can we put it, adult perspective, as she was gifted what she herself fondly recalls being a ‘beautiful set of oil paints’ by a family member. And it was at this point that Yasmin’s fledgling compositions took on a whole new shape and feel as she threw herself into experimenting with this brand new medium at her disposal for the first time.
On completing her secondary schooling, Yasmin went on to further education at Cumbria College of Art, before studying at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design thereafter. This was followed by attending the Glasgow School of Art, which essentially meant that Yasmin’s higher educational pursuits had taken in an approximate 500 mile round trip. But more than this, she was now fully equipped for the art big time as it were, courtesy of having studied under what Yasmin describes as inspirational tutors who encouraged and drew the dormant talent out from within.
To this end, Yasmin has now been successfully painting in a professional guise for over 15 years, and during this passing of time she’s nurtured, developed and essentially evolved a very distinctive style. What’s more she’s incredibly happy and believes very fortunate in as much as she gets to paint what she likes, or more accurately, goes as far as saying, loves, when it comes to her favoured and principle subject matter. Yasmin also manages to keep her feet firmly on the ground, despite such accumulated successes probably going to a lot of people’s heads and insists that she’s literally, humbled by the thought that many of her compositions hang in the private collections of people from all four corners of the globe.
Speaking of what, precisely it takes to be a painter, Yasmin is quick to stress that inspiration is the most critical element, once you’ve taken into account the talent suffice to say. Although she didn’t. We just added that as a footnote. The inspiration or initial spark fuels any artist’s fundamental desire to paint, much in the same fashion that it’s imperative that a writer finds a muse in which to trigger and manifest the creative process that ensues. This goes the same for any person operating in a creative field or discipline. Getting back to Yasmin though, and the hugely popular contemporary animal artist cites the provocation of light sources as arguably being the most important factor in getting her in the mood to put brush to canvas so to speak. For its part, Yasmin fervently believes that light affords other pivotal components to make their presence visually felt, including colours, forms and the sensual beauty of any one particular dynamic integral to the envisaged composition.
Which (kinda) leads us onto the animal which Yasmin has made her own in terms of her unique illustrative interpretation; namely the zebra. The artist began capturing the likeness of the easily identified creature native to Africa purely because they’re such a striking and altogether beautiful animal, whilst adding that she loves the manner in which the light (when struck right) falls onto their decidedly black and white bodies. Yasmin makes it her creative business to then ensure that her graphical translation of her habitual muse remains grounded in an unswervingly contemporary mould, ultimately, whilst also not losing sight of the more orthodox values of clean lines, strong compositions, clear backgrounds and a narrative that the viewer can always relate to.
One of Yasmin’s thinly veiled secrets (or tricks of the trade, depending on how you look at it) is to take hundreds of photographs of her animal canvas leads, as she’s travelled around zoos, wildlife establishments and safari parks both here in the UK and abroad, perpetually compiling a large back catalogue of retrospectively priceless reference material to plunder in the medium and long term. Yasmin has long been fascinated with the way in which zebras interact with each other in these environments, and observing their characters and temperaments play out, while also keenly noting how certain emotions and/or connections affect the general mood and ambience of any given herd. Explaining a little more on this subject, Yasmin adds; “I see much of us in these beautiful animals, particularly when there is a new born around. Often their behaviour can give rise to a title that in turn sets a painting in motion”.
Yasmin remains adamant that the correct imagery is paramount, and being a well versed photographer benefiting from a large compendium of pictorial facts and figures on this hot topic, puts her in the driving seat when it comes to being confronted with that blank canvas. Occasionally Yasmin will have a title in mind before she commences an individual piece, while on other occasions this will be more of an after thought. For Yasmin the backdrop is of extreme importance from the outset, and only once this has been determined will she dedicate her thoughts to the main subject matter. This will be roughly sketched initially, with the artist frequenting diluted oils primarily, before constructing layers on top as she journeys through each stage, adding; “Being able to see the brush strokes as the painting builds up is always a delight”.