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My dear friend Ruha Fifita is one of those people whose smile lights up the room, and she just radiates love and positive energy everywhere she goes. Originally from Tonga and currently living in Australia, she was interviewed on the Cloud 9 podcast where she talked about some of her creative works using the Tongan art form known as “Ngatu”. Recently, I noticed that Ruha was posting these beautiful sketches relating to the Baha’i Writings on her Instagram page, and I had to find out more!
Ruha agreed to share a few of her drawings and to tell us about them and the unique way in which she challenges herself to do them.
Baha’i Blog: Hi Ruha!! Ok, so tell us a little bit about these drawings and sketches you’ve been posting on Instagram.
Basically, I have always always doodled – all my school books are full of little drawings… but I used to always have larger art projects going as well. Living in the neighbourhood [where I’m serving] I realized I had gone a couple years with lots of ideas for bigger art projects, but I hadn’t actually been able to make the time or space to start anything, so I thought that what I do kind of have time for is to do smaller sketches. If I based them on Baha’i quotes I felt it aligned with my study of the Writings and my desire to learn about art as a tool for teaching. And if I set a goal to finish a larger number of doodles, it felt more like a larger project and helped be to keep my creative juices flowing.
Translating some of the ideas presented in the Baha’i Writing into images, could ease me into what would hopefully nurture finding time, and maybe even confidence, to commit more time to consuming projects. So sometimes the quote inspires the drawing, and for some I found the quote part way through finishing the drawing. And yeah, when I shared the idea with a friend I was encouraged to share them publicly along the way! They are a bit like an art exercise, I guess. They helped me to make better use of long train rides and airplane flights too! In many of them I am also testing little ideas and techniques connected to bigger projects I have brainstormed ideas for. The basic rule of this activity is that I finish the drawing in one sitting – so when the trip is over or I run out of time – I take a picture and it’s DONE.
Baha’i Blog: Awesome! I love the idea of challenging ourselves creatively, but also with purpose and infused with the Baha’i Writings. Thanks so much for letting me share these Ruha!
Here’s a selection of some of Ruha’s sketches, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do:
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