Close Up Interview with Illustrator & Storyteller Abdal Mufti

Abdal Mufti is a Storyteller & Self taught illustrator based in Lahore-Pakistan. For Abdal Mufti, illustrating is a full-fledged story told through images. Abdal has been growing on the platforms such as Instagram for his creativity and artwork. Shedding light on mental health, marriages, and social issues through short videos.

Aside from his sharp and detailed art, proof of hard work, and self-tautness, what I found particularly Interesting when doing this interview was his eye for little things in life and how Abdal is inspiring the generation with his Art & his storytelling on Instagram, sharing thoughts and stories in the captions is impressive and eye-opening for everyone.

Looking back from when you started, who were your inspirations and how did you get into illustrating? Tell us your story?
I always say that Art just came to me one day that too at the time when I needed a friend more than anything else. I was sitting in the storeroom of my house, you know because why not. I found an old paintbrush and a tube of red paint that once belonged to my aunt who used to paint at one stage. I picked it up and started painting a picture from a newspaper that was lying around, have never looked back since. I would say it’s neither a passion nor a profession; it’s definitely something more than both. I started making digital mart/illustrations 3 years back and over these years have explored different ways of telling stories through this medium.

How long does it take to illustrate one piece of art for Instagram?
For me, it doesn’t make much of a difference how long it takes to complete a piece, for me it’s more important that each piece is complete as to how I have envisioned it and it conveys the story that I want to convey.

The stories that I tell exist all around us.

 Every content you post has an inspiring or relatable story. where do you get your inspiration for those captions and the stories you share?
The stories that I tell exist all around us, it’s just about looking and listening to people around us.


Your art and illustrations also shed light on some serious topics, such as mental health, marriages, and just life in general. What are your main goals when it comes to shedding light on topics like these?
I think art provides an opportunity to say things that mainstream media would not normally address. I would even say it is the responsibility of every artist to talk about topics that are considered sensitive.

Looking at your Instagram gives this effortless vibe and aesthetic that seems like you in a whole new world, what’s your idea on minimalism?
I take a very minimalistic view of life, for me life is meant to be lived simply. Unfortunately, we make it complicated with our pursuit of materialistic gains.


You not only post illustrations but also post short stories of you playing guitar, how did you get into music & is it something you would wanna have a career in?
Ah, let’s say for the sake of good music I should stay away from it. I have been playing guitar for 5 years but I only tend to play for myself and have never considered it as a career.

You recently did an announcement on Instagram that your artwork is now available to purchase, tell me a little bit about that and how can the audience buy your artwork?
I have ventured into minting NFTs, it is the new way of selling digital art pieces. People can go on these platforms and bid for my work. Further, I also do commission projects from time to time.

How much has social media changed your life as an artist?
Hmm, It’s good to be recognized. However, I don’t feel it has affected me at all in the art I make. I still explore new mediums, talk about sensitive topics and tell the stories that I tell.


Your Instagram has been blowing up with the new audience, how’s that been for you and what do you want people to take from your artwork?
For me, more than numbers what’s important that each person takes something meaningful from this work. I hope people find peace from this work and stop to think about the things around them, challenge the status quo.


How do you start a project? When do you know it is finished? 
I sit down with a certain emotion and deep dive into it until an image starts forming. I then draw that image on the canvas. An artwork can never be finished, all one can hope for is that it conveys the story or the message you want to convey.

I LOVE your art that you posted recently inspired by Yayoi Kusama! How did Does that come about?
I have always been greatly inspired by the work of Yayoi Kusama.

What advice would you give for someone wanting to do what you do?
Try to find something that makes you unique, art is all about exploring and finding new ways to communicate.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
When people tell me that they find peace when they engage with my work. That gives me happiness.


Any upcoming projects/work you’re excited about?
I have started a series, ‘Khud se Baatien’, that I am looking forward to developing further.

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience of being an illustrator?
I think art is about saying something, therefore it is important that parallel to developing your skill as an illustrator it is also important to develop yourself as a person; read books, explore ideas, engage with people.

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