Meet A Mom, Featuring Visual Artist Fatema Josh
Happy Meet a Mom Monday! Today we’re featuring Katy mama and visual artist, Fatema Josh. Malaysia born, but considers herself Texas Strong after calling Katy home for the last 10 years and battling through two giant hurricanes!
Fatema was born an artist and started creating and exploring her artistic side as a young child. She graduated from Art & Design school in Malaysia before getting married and moving to the United States in 2002, but never thought she was going to be a visual artist and make that a profession someday.
She started painting while in living in Rochester, NY for self therapy- she needed an outlet for her voice and her solitude, amidst the demanding new life they created in a new country while raising a family. Her husbands career required him to travel and through the long, hard winters in New York, she began slowly picking up her paint brush again.
After moving to the Houston area, friends who saw Fatema’s work encouraged her to show some of her pieces in local gallery shows around Houston. She was nervous, but willing to take the leap and in her first showing she sold two paintings. That’s when Fatema Josh Fine Arts was established, nearly 7 years ago.
She started regularly showing her work in local Houston venues, and shows and the response from people connecting to her work ignited such a passion within her.
Slowly Fatema started establishing herself more and more and has now sold and commissioned many original pieces throughout the years locally and nationally as well as internationally. She’s grateful for the worldwide following and always ready to work with people at various levels to make it affordable.
Fatema Josh Fine Arts is a brand born in Katy with worldwide collectors, which we think is pretty dang cool! In her business, Fatema provides artistic services, free art consulting, original works of art and commissions, limited edition collectibles and painting party sessions!
We got to chat with this beautifully talented mama about her journey as an artist and a mother and we hope you enjoy her interview as much as we do!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
I’m originally born and raised in Malaysia and have been around many different countries, even lived in Kuwait and Bangalore for a bit. However we were in Rochester, NY for almost 7 years before moving to Katy ,TX 10 years ago! Yes it was during hurricane Ike the year we moved. So been Texans since. We’ve seen two fierce hurricanes in Texas in the past 10 years now with Harvey. That definitely makes our family Texas strong!
How many kiddos do you have, what are their names, and how old are they?
I have 3 kiddos! Maria 23, Daniyaal 13 and Qusai 10, the last one being my Texan baby literally. I don’t quite feel like a mom thought to a 23 year old.
Greatest gift about being a mother?
Motherhood is a gift in itself! I feel blessed everyday to be able to experience motherhood and to see my kids grow before me, to have little people who are part of me really, despite of all the challenges we constantly face.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
People do get surprised when they find out I’m much older than I look usually. However one other thing I would add to be a surprise recently is that I’ve been featured in prime time television commercial with the Woman’s Hospital of Texas , for their advise ad on empowering woman. Have been so proud to be part of it!
Favorite local things to do in Katy?
We do enjoy occasional dinners and movie time with the boys when I’m able to pull them away from their Fortnite game (I’m sure I’m not the only one with that problem)!
When my kids were younger though, our favorite spots in Katy would be Mary Joe Peckham Park, I love the Katy Mills anytime for shopping and summer soccer camp with the British Challenger is an add on! Also a trip to LaCenterra never disappoints. Regular activities would also include boys’ biking and playing random basketball on weekends.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Katy?
I love the fact that Katy is such a diverse and strong knit suburb. I love the schools here, which is one of the reasons we decided to settle in Katy when we first moved. I’ve also been a substitute with Katy ISD and love the strong family and facilitated part of Texas that Katy is. You probably won’t see me getting out of Katy much if you know me, cause I feel it’s so self sufficient and comfortable to live, shop, eat here, and raise a family altogether! Not to forget we have great pediatric, family and specialist clinics too!
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant in the area?
I think my most convenient go to restaurants are Kabob Corner and Fadi’s on Mason and Masala Wok, Ooo LaLa Cupcakes, Cocohodo and Baskin Robbins ice cream near my street for sweet cravings! I enjoy having my kids mix up the scoops and flavors over their one pint tub.
What is your go-to activity for yourself for pampering or for fun?
I do go for my regular cleansing facials at a private parlor and try to add in a hot stone massage when I can through a good Groupon! My work is part of my fun really cause it is self therapy for me. Not to mention I love going out for dinners with my husband or just couching on late night movies together. We like the laid back lifestyle. Not a huge social animal. Hanging out with the girl gang every once in a while is also boost of adrenaline.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
I think the recent short cuts I’ve been doing for some time now is for school lunches! I’ve been making this chicken patty burgers and freezing them, so I can literally get them out just heated up before school in the morning and my kids just love them, all organic and homemade on top of that!
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
I think my best mom hack is Little Caesar’s Cheese Pizza and banana pancakes that would have my youngest one get all excited!
Along with being a mom, you’re also a talented artist! Tell us a little about Fatema Josh Fine Arts.
I graduated from Art & Design school back in Malaysia before getting married and moving to the United States but I never thought I was going to be a visual artist and make that my profession someday. I started painting while in Rochester NY for self therapy. I needed an outlet for my voice, my solitude, amidst the demanding new life and place away from family and home initially. I wasn’t able work then, my husband traveled for work extensively and crazy winters would keep us indoors most of the time. Besides cooking and baking and making everything from scratch, I started painting for myself, those paintings are still with me today after 17 years!
So when I moved to Houston, I was constantly encouraged to show my work in public by a cousin. Although I wasn’t sure at that time, I decided to get out there and made my first attempt through a local Houston gallery, called the JoMar Visions. It wasn’t easy, but I finally sold 2 pieces of my originals on my third attempt, that’s when I had told myself “if I don’t sell anything , I’m not painting anymore!” I believe God heard me and this is what He wanted me to do! It sure gave me a boost and enough to invest in more supplies. Since then it’s been history. I look back and still remember those moments.
That’s when Fatema Josh Fine Arts was established, 7 years ago. I regularly started showing my work in local Houston venues, and shows The response from people connecting to my work has been amazing. Slowly I started establishing myself more online and have sold and commissioned many original pieces through the years locally and nationally as well as internationally. I’m grateful for the worldwide following and am always ready to work with people at various levels to make it affordable for them to own a Fatema Josh original piece. It’s not easy, there is a struggle for artists, good days and bad day to be honest, but when people come to you and tell you how much they’re inspired by your work, it’s rewarding. It’s wonderful to be able to have a piece of you and your work in people’s lives, that way you’re cherished forever.
So Fatema Josh Fine Arts is a brand born in Katy with worldwide collectors. We provide artistic services, free art consulting, original works of art and commissions, limited edition collectibles and painting party sessions at your convenience and location.
When did you first know you had a gift in the arts and creating?
I have been artistic from a young age. I would love to draw and color and my siblings and extended family would come to me to get projects done. I was a day dreamer in class, and the teacher would have to constantly put me on task. Although being good with academics in school, creativity came to me naturally. I’ve always been different from my peers with my own sense of style and thought process. I think I’ve inherited the artistic side from my maternal grandmother and aunt. She’s been my inspiration and was an amazing woman.
I remember enrolling in a Diploma in Computer programming after graduating high school. Although I finished the year, it never synced with me. I quickly changed my field to Graphic Design, though it was kind of new back then but I’ve not been happier since. It gave me so much base knowledge as a designer and artist. So I’ve used that background as a visual artist to date which gives me a lot of depth in dealing with my work. I love creating, it gives me a sense of fulfillment. It also allows me to channel my stresses positively. Sometimes I do get exhausted so I try to take it easy with myself now.
Is this just a passion & hobby or have you also made a business out of this?
Yes. This is my passion turned business. Small businesses have a hard time here, but I’ve been grateful for all the support from family, friends and the community. I’m quite enterprising with my services and am always ready to work with customers on different ideas. Besides selling my work, I do painting sessions and private parties on requests. Teaching has always been part of me , so it’s always fun to share my knowledge with others when possible.
I do also have limited edition prints and collections from my originals , such as canvas clutches, home glass accents and wardrobe collections like organic fabric scarves which can be custom ordered in bulk as well as used as fundraisers. I work from my home studio, so that keeps overheads low and traveling limited and I’m able to share reasonable pricing with my collectors as opposed to expensive gallery pricing. My work comes with a certificate of authenticity and a collector’s letter and happy clients have been my brand’s number one priority.
How would you describe your artistic style and your specialities?
I’m a contemporary visual artist, highly inspired by Impressionism, however my style evolves to be more abstract in recent years. I think as human beings we need to keep changing and evolving with time. Our perspectives change with age and we tend to loosen up more through the years.
I seek more freedom in my work now, without compromising aesthetics. My work focuses on colors and I’m recognized for my color styling and imaginative values. Nature, travel memories and life at large are my core inspirations. I paint very intuitively and from my heart, so my work is very spontaneous most of the time. I don’t usually repeat my pieces unless requested by a client, though every piece is always unique and one of a kind because the free style brushstrokes and layers in my work will never be the same.
However besides my main style, I do representational work to keep my hands on technical drawing skills which is also a good practice for artists. So I do have various collections such as horses (which are one of my favorites), an Islamic art collection that also connects me spiritually to my roots and other conceptual pieces randomly created for shows.
I’m pretty versatile with my work and I think not restricting myself just to be creating a certain style gives me a larger platform to explore as an artist.
What did you do before becoming an artist?
I used to be a certified Montessori Directress. I even ran my own Montessori homeschool for 4 years before I switched full time towards art. Prior to that I took art more as a hobby. I just felt it was my calling and the transition was quite smooth. I still teach though, through private classes and sessions.
Best advice for anyone wanting to explore their artist side, but afraid they’re no good?
In today’s world, with so many resources, I think anything is possible. Don’t let anyone discourage you. Keep following your dream, upgrade your skills if you need to, don’t be afraid to explore and test the waters. You’ll know when you find your niche and people will connect to you when they believe in you and your work.
What feeling comes over you when you paint that makes you continue to do it?
Painting for me is self liberation and a sense of fulfillment. It gives me joy to be positively contributing to people’s lives, to eliminate stereotypes and to make spaces beautiful. I think we need colors in our lives and in our spaces. It’s rewarding to me when someone would pause looking at my work, feel refreshed and to be able to connect with it in their own way. I also get a lot of people come to me and tell me how much I inspire them. It’s just such a positive experience. To be able to break out of the norm is self healing.
How can people of Katy get their hands on some of your work?
Now that’s easy! All you need to do is get in touch with me and schedule an appointment to have a look at my work in person. Looking at art in person gives a completely different vibe, truly organic I feel. Stuff that we see in the stores are massive reproductions made in China. Trust me buying original art does not always cost an arm and a leg! But owning them sure adds an aesthetic to your space plus you’re supporting a local business, a dream and a mom creativepreneur! Just so people know, Fatema Josh Fine Arts also provide payment options and easy no interest financing for larger pieces.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable and dreaded MOM GUILT?
I believe no one is perfect and neither are we as moms! Trying to be a helicopter mom can be hard on us. I don’t think it’s required. I think we need space for ourselves, cause I do believe if we’re happy , then we are able to give the best upbringing to our kids. Kids understand and are very perceptive. It’s okay to make mistakes. We all learn from it with time. A good positive household and open communication is pivotal to parenting, and it sure takes not just a mom but also a dad to make it work! Sometimes we tend to overlook a father’s contribution to parenting. Overall just go with the flow and take it easy. Kids grow at their pace.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
That definitely has to be my mom, even my dad. I do sometimes think I could be calmer and less overwhelmed when it comes to motherhood. I wish I’d had that from my mom. Raising kids on my own, not having extended family and cousins around has not been easy for us. I grew up amongst a village of family literally, and my kids completely opposite. So friends have been our family and support most of the time whenever needed. I do get my determination from my dad, the drive to pursue ambitions and the strength to fight in difficult times. So I do hope to pass that on as a mom to my children.
What does community in motherhood mean to you?
A community of motherhood to me, means to support each other and uplift one another. I think we all need emotional and mental support to go through this journey. Every mom has a different parenting style , but helping to raise awareness really helps within the community. Some moms have it easier than others, some not. So the support for moms and just talking about it can really alleviate one another.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
Pause, breathe, inhale, exhale, all will be fine! Don’t worry about it, you’ll get through this one too!
Name one thing you hope your kids look back and remember about their childhood and you as their mama?
This question has surely touched my heart. I’ve raised my daughter when I had very less support, I’ve been there in a burn trauma ward extensively with my older son when he was just a toddler and I’ve faced challenges as a young mom. I just want my kids to remember that I’ve always been there for them and will continue to be for as long as I’m capable. I may not be the perfect mom, but I’ve done what’s best for them in my capacity always.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Motherhood is bliss, so I would not have wanted it otherwise. I wish I’d learn to not beat myself up too much when things become challenging.
For more information on Fatema and her work, follow her on social media and check out her website!
- Website: www.fatemajosh.com
- Email: [email protected]
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/fatemajosh
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/fatemajoshfineartsstudio