Menu

Wisdom

Yumna Al-Arashi

Artist

Yumna Al-Arashi, born to a Yemeni father and Egyptian mother, was raised in the United States. She studied International Politics at The New School in New York City and her on-going photography work has received support from The US Department of State Office of Art in Embassies, International Women’s Media Foundation, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, National Geographic Abu Dhabi, ASOS, and VSCO. A celebrated exhibition of her work, Shedding Skin, showed at galleries in New York and Los Angeles this year. She previously appeared on TCI talking about staying focused in your work.

You recently had your first solo gallery shows. Did that show change the way people looked at your work? Or how you looked at it yourself?

My first two gallery shows in NY and LA were so damn awesome. I got over one of my biggest fears, which was having a gallery show in the first place. I was shocked by how packed each event was. I also got to meet so many of the people who my art speaks to, which was the most inspiring and surreal experience. It made all of the trouble of putting together the show worth it. Having multiple people come up to you in tears after you’ve made something so personal and terrifying—it’s indescribable to know that one: you’re not alone with what you’re feeling and making, and two: it is helping others come to terms with their own pain.

You recently had your first solo gallery shows. Did that show change the way people looked at your work? Or how you looked at it yourself?

I’m not entirely sure if people see my work differently, though. But who knows. I’m basically just growing up as a person and as an artist. I think people might be seeing that. I mean, I don’t really know if I’ve put together a body of work like Shedding Skin before this, so for me this was huge and entirely different. I am also in such a pivotal moment in my life and my career. I’m thinking past just making pretty things and feeling nice about it. There’s more trying to understand how to express myself properly, and how to share things the right way. There’s more thinking about the future. Is this becoming an adult? I guess so.

More Creative Wisdom