Fashion illustrator Shamekh Bluwi doesn't color inside the lines — he cuts them out.
"I always love to experiment with different mediums while drawing and sketching," he told A Plus via email. "One day I just thought, 'What if I combine my artwork with real-life scenery?' And that's how the idea of the cutouts started evolving into what it is today."
Unlike other artists who might find their inspiration in a fabric store, Bluwi gets his from the world around him. "It's always great to discover new and interesting landscapes ... With every new spot, a new perspective is born," he added.
To create his signature works, he begins with a traditional sketch of a piece of women's clothing — which he cuts out from the rest of the paper. Then, he places the paper in front of various backgrounds from larger-than-life landscapes such as old-fashioned doors and shiny skyscraper windows to intricate visual elements like running water and sunlight.
In doing so, the world has become Bluwi's fabric store — and taken note of his vision. With nearly 300,000 followers on his Instagram account, Bluwi's cutout designs, as well as his traditional fashion sketches, have exploded in popularity over the past few years. "People love when I post videos the most," he said. "Perhaps it's the motion that makes them feel that the artwork is more lively."
Even amid his current success, Bluwi remembers the uncertainty of being a young artist. He encourages them to work hard to pursue their vision, no matter what it takes. "Practice every day and you'll get there. Learn from your mistakes and never regret them," he said. "Your skills will certainly develop as you go through different phases of experimentation." Well, his sure did.