Tea + Cake with Tahira
Inspiring Figures ⚡
Have you ever met up with someone for the first time, you get talking, you listen to their story and start feeling so refreshed, inspired and motivated? Last year, I felt like this a lot when I met new people. Without fail, their lively energy would pass on to me. It was always so refreshing!
I wanted to start sharing these inspiring figures on my blog for you to get to know them a bit more and any exciting projects they are doing and to generally pass on things I picked from them and get excited by their topics!
By the end of the post, I hope you’d find you want to arrange tea and cake with them one day 😉
This month, I’m featuring the ever_so_sparkly, Tahira Resalat
An engineering student, artist and lover of all cute things. She’s from Manchester but is currently in Sheffield to become a fully-fledged engineering-artist-entrepreneurial girl boss!
We first started talking on Instagram, when she followed me and we both spam-liked each other’s photos (this is a sign of sisterhood, is it not?) Since then, I’ve admired her positivity and genuine passion for what she does, it’s a constant reminder to me to continue working towards my passions.
The early days
No one ever believes me when I tell them, but I first started drawing when I was 4!
There are so many things I did even last week that I’ve forgotten but my love for art that early on in life is something I’ll never ever forget. I used to be gifted a lot of story books as a child for birthdays and such, so much so, it became a tradition. Of course, I’ve always loved to read, but the true reason I’d always asked for books was because they always had a white blank sheet at the front and back of the book and that’s where I unleashed all my creativity.
I figured my love for art was a secret I wanted to keep from everyone and this way I got to hide my doodles away in my own little world. I used to flick through the pictures in the books I got and try and recreate them with my own twists.
Naturally, I convinced myself I was going to be a fashion designer – a phase I’ve only recently recovered from. I was a huge Dora the Explorer fan and having the same haircut as her, I remember always more or less drawing the same girl with different dresses and shoes.
Starting up “Teecaake”
I started ‘Teecaake’ the summer after I finished college when I had to take a gap year due to some visa issues and other private matters. At that point, I’d only just discovered the faceless style of drawings I now do and it definitely wasn’t something I saw a future with, let alone building it up into a mini empire of my own. My little sister, however, decided to persuade me to open an instagram account for my art and over 2 years later, here I am.
When I first started ‘Teecaake’ properly, I never dreamed it’d be where it is now. It began as a coping mechanism and an escape from a lot of things happening in my life at the time. It was the one thing that I was completely in charge of and all aspects of it were 100% me. That’s what I love the most about ‘Teecaake’. I’ve put everything into this business and I want it to keep growing just as I do as a person.
The creative process
There are two types of work I do: my own and custom commissions.
I’m always on the lookout for inspiration whether it’s on my social media feeds, people I see on the streets, around university, things I read or things people say to me. Once an idea strike, it’s a pretty simple process from there on in. I collect a bunch of reference pictures and lay them up on my computer screen to create a make-shift moodboard.
I get to my sketchbook as soon as I can and sketch a very rough idea. This usually involves a lot of loose shapes and pseudo complex geometry. Once I’m happy with the way the sketch looks, I draw out my whole idea in pen, colour it in, scan in my drawing, clean up messy lines and finish it up using Photoshop.
As for commissions, there’s usually some more research work to be done depending on how much information the customer has provided me and how much creative freedom they’ve given me.
Art has been and always will be an escape for me.
It makes me happy, that’s the simplest way I can explain why I do it. Art is the one thing in the world that I do that I can 100% control. I can mould it and change it however I like and no one else’s opinions about how or why I do it matters.
Everything about art is aesthetic and so meaningful. I do what I do because I love it and I’m pretty good at it too might I add. I’m proud of the work I create. It enriches my self-esteem. I like being able to express myself through a drawing and showing it to other people. It’s second nature to me.
👩🏻🎨👩🏻🔬STEM and Art – What’s it like?
A living hell. Engineer by day, artist by night.
But I get it done because complaining would take the fun out of it and I love both of these aspects of my life just the way they are.
☕ Coffee – Where’s your favourite place?
This is the meanest question anyone’s ever asked me! My list is extensive beyond measure. But for Sheffield specifically, it’s always going to be Steamyard.
I told you that you’d want to have tea and cake with her! 😝
I’m sure I’ve over-communicated this on my social media but this incredible lady also created this image with her magical artistic abilities to help represent Pawlean on the internet – I’m absolutely in love! I now proudly show it off EVERYWHERE: my “Online” page,YouTube, Facebook and portfolio website.
If you’re interested in her work, remember to check out Teecaake for her own artwork or even have something custom-made!