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Thursday 23 July 2020

Meet The Illustrator: Ruha and Minaira Fifita

Ruha Fifita & Minaira Fifita

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less. 
Abstract, Pacific, Celtic, Vibrant, Symbolic,  

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Good source to natural light, a nice fine-tip pen a paper for writing and drawing ideas that pop up while working on other projects. We also like to work in a space where others are doing things around us.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Yes, Natural dyes and barkcloth (used for ngatu-making)  

Name three artists whose work inspires you. 
It is really hard to name just three – artists perhaps that inspire us on many levels are: Robin White, Akesa Fifita (our grandmother), and Meletonga Tukuafu.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
Perhaps, an artistic period in the Pacific during the 1700s because we both engage in tapa making practices and are curious about the role this had practiced in society and the way the practice has evolved overtime since then. 

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
Drawing and painting have always been a natural part of our lives as we grew up in a family and community that really encouraged creativity as an important aspect of everyday life and avenue for learning and reflection. We painted and drew a lot with our siblings growing up and it has just continued to evolve as we seek out opportunities to collaborate with growing number of like-minded individuals.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
Our work is usually just a setup in our room or in the livening room or garage of our home depending on what stage we are at. We also like to work outside as much as possible. Public spaces provide quite a productive workspace for us when we are just doing small scale drawings. 

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
It is so exciting to see the end product, When all the different components come together as one coherent work. We are always in awe of the way that effective collaboration between the author, designers and illustrators can allows things to evolve and really get refined into something that far exceeds what you were able to imagine at the beginning. 

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Find opportunities to work with many different people and remain detached and open to learning and growing as much as possible through the process. The bonds of friendship and learning you gain from working closely with others can be the most valuable part of any collaboration.

Ruha Fifita has spent most of her life immersed in the culture and vibrancy of life in the Pacific. Her love for visual and performative forms of expression have been nurtured through the support and encouragement of her extended family and study of the writings of the Bahá’i Faith.

Minaira Fifita is an artist whose work aspires to reflect her love of creation and faith in the unity of humanity. Her style of creativity blends together her Polynesian and Celtic roots and experiences of vibrancy, balance and harmony within the Pacific and her spiritual beliefs as a Bahá’i.

For more information, please follow Ruha and Minaira on facebook

For more information on Illuminations please visit this website