FEATURED ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Skull by Reham Aarti
So how have I been making mosaics for over ten years and not know Reham Aarti? Cherie suggested I contact her to be featured for Luna Mosaic Arts monthly Featured Artist, and I realized that I did not recognize the name. “Oh! That’s right!”, I answered myself, “You haven’t been on the internet much, Facebook hardly at all anymore, and our ATC group trades quarterly now instead of monthly…Time to crawl out of your non-tech hole!”
I may not always recognize a name of a mosaic artist, but once I see their work, things seem to click! And Reham’s work made everything come full circle in my mosaic mind. Just another bonus of writing this article for Luna Mosaic Arts…
Today I had the chance to talk with Reham on the phone while she drove between locations she teaches her yoga classes. What a joy! We actually talked more about yoga, teaching, benefits of yoga, learning, and more “big picture” benefits that can be obtained from both.
Reham’s enthusiasm for mosaics is contagious! After I got off the phone with her, I felt like I did when I had started mosaics in the beginning, and set into creating. I made a couple of pendants, and finished a mirror I had started months ago. I was in my mosaic “zone”… then it was time to make dinner and I really did not want to stop. (I hate cooking!) Then I remembered that I am at my best in life when there is balance. Reham and I talked about this. Balance seems to be the answer to everything being “as it should be”. Whether it be great art, a healthy life style, and being at peace with life and all of it’s challenges.
When it comes to mosaics and creating, I tend to get carried away in the immense enjoyment that comes with it. This is a part of my day to day life that I am not so easily “balanced” in. So I work on it. It is when I have the opportunity to talk with someone that has the love of mosaics as Reham does, that I feel that the creative energy flows more smoothly, has purpose, and is more enjoyable. And when that starts to taper, it is time to straighten up and get balanced again.
The other thing that keeps coming to mind from my chat with Reham, is her saying, “I want to mosaics the world!” I totally understand that feeling! Not literally to mosaic every surface of the world, but to introduce it to more people, to see it in more locations than we do today, to get other people just as excited about this art form as I am. I had such great dreams of doing so much more in this respect… unfortunately, my back and body have had other plans. So I admire, respect, and live vicariously through Reham and those out there that have that spirit of service, which not only allows them to share their joy with others, but to help them find joy in this process as well. My gratitude to you all!
LMA: How did you get started in mosaics?
Reham: I found myself going to the bookstore every day after work, browsing the books on mosaics. After 2 weeks of doing that, I quit my job as a nanny, and borrowed $2,000 from my mom. I used it to buy tools and supplies to make mosaics. I figured I had a month, and if what I made didn’t sell, I’d go get another job! I got into a co-op gallery, then a gift shop, and here I am 18yrs later!
LMA: What is it about the process that held your interest?
Reham: I’m an unmedicated ADD person. Making mosaics was a way to be “busy” while sitting still. My hands and eyes were always looking for the next piece or the flow of materials…I think that’s what did it… also, I’m obsessed with shinny things!
LMA: Do you have a favorite subject matter? What is it and what draws you to it?
Reham: Circles! There is something about making circles… out of squares makes me happy. Mostly it’s about the color and texture for me as opposed to subject matter.
Steph's Paisley by Reham Aarti
Eagle by Reham Aarti
llamaste by Reham Aarti
LMA: What is your least favorite thing about mosaics and why?
Reham: Cleaning up after myself! Closely followed by dealing with people who don’t value my art…
LMA: Do you have a favorite material to work with? Tools? Supplies? What do you like about them?
Reham: I adore Bullseye glass because it’s such wonderfully intense color! I also love anything with an iridescent finish or glitter. Most of all, my favorite tool is my basic Leponitt wheel cutters. I have the fancy ones too, but my old standbys have traveled the world with me for almost 2 decades!
LMA: Is there anything specifically you still want to learn or explore/try with mosaics?
Reham: Yes! Everything! Someone asked me the other day how I “mastered” mosaic, and i snorted! master? mosaics? no way! sooo
many materials, so many techniques, so many ideas.... I want to try them all! I want to learn and absorb everything I can. I might not ever use what I learn, but I want to know it!
LMA: Do you support any charitable causes? Which ones and why?
Reham: I have a mosaic program with the kids in the local oncology ward here. I’ve been making mosaics with them for over 15yrs. The lovely people at help me fund that, I started a patreon to help me build, create, and install mosaic buddy benches in as many schools and other locations as I could fund. ( ) I work with cancer and Parkinson’s patients through a local organization that partners with the YMCA here in Boise, Idaho.
Cowgirl #3 by Reham Aarti
Cowgirl #3 by Reham Aarti
Cowgirl #3 by Reham Aarti
Hell BEast by Reham Aarti
Cats Face Revival by Reham Aarti
LMA: What is one of your favorite quotes or sayings?
Reham: An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one ~Charles Horton Cooley
LMA: If you could give readers one single piece of advice, what would it be?
Reham: Trust yourself more than you trust “them”. If it lights you up, and doesn’t hurt others, it’s usually the right thing.
Saint Ignatius school by Reham Aarti
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