According to Leonardo da Vinci, “learning never exhausts the mind.” Despite his remarkable talent, da Vinci’s quest for self-improvement serves as one of the reasons that he has inspired so many other artists throughout history. For an artist like Tooba Rezaei, da Vinci has acted as a great motivation to explore her craft, refining and molding her skills accordingly. Growing up, she loved copying his paintings with pencils, water colors, and just about anything else she could get her hands on. Much like da Vinci, Rezaei knows that no matter how talented or skilled she is, there is always room for growth. As a contemporary fine artist, she has mastered the ability to test her artistry against a number of different mediums and she has enjoyed every second of the journey that unfolded from her efforts. For Rezaei, art was more of a passion than a future job prospect; however, over the years, she has managed to build a profound career out of her eye for design and with that, she has emerged as one of the most highly sought-after artists in her industry.
Throughout the course of Rezaei’s career, she has worked as both a visual artist, as well as an animator. As a visual artist, she has familiarized herself with a number of different styles and art genres, such as abstract fine art, caricatures, imaginative realism, and more. Her work, be it digital or traditional fine arts, has earned her a strong reputation in her field and has been published in books, gallery shows, and games alike. Having her work printed next to artists whose work she not only admires, but gains inspiration from, is an extremely gratifying experience for Rezaei. For instance, when her artwork was selected for the best-selling book, Spectrum 24: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, as part of the Spectrum series, Rezaei was honored. The series, which reinforces both the importance and prevalence of fantastic art in today’s culture, is known for its controversial yet educational presence in the art world. Being asked to showcase her work in the book placed Rezaei’s name amongst some of the greatest artists around the world. Rezaei’s feature, Sunset at the Dragon Breeder’s Castle, was one of the few selections chosen amidst thousands of entries to be placed in the book. In addition to Spectrum 24: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Rezaei’s work has earned its place in several other well-known art collections such as The Journal, Gods and Goddesses, Inner Vision, and more. Despite the joy she gets from seeing her work get recognized by some of the industry’s greatest artists and publications, Rezaei is driven by the pleasure of creating art itself.
“Visual art, from abstract fine art to caricatures and cartoons, is all about creation. It’s about creating something that didn’t exist before and telling stories through drawings of new characters and environments. When I am working on my own personal work, I love to share my ideas and my stories, but when I work on a team, I still get to visualize someone else’s ideas and use my imagination to help bring them to life. In both group and individual projects, I like the process of creating because of the research I get to do and the challenges each project brings. In each design, I learn something new. These are just some of the many things that make me truly love being a visual artist,” told Rezaei.
In 2009, the Coordinator of the Social Department for Westland City Hall in Holland, Marleen Delbeek, approached Rezaei about creating a painting for display in their City Hall quarters. For the project, Delbeek was looking for a painting that would uniquely represent unity between different cultures and different countries. She was aware of Rezaei’s prowess in the field of fine abstract arts and was hopeful that Rezaei would be the one to execute her vision flawlessly. Upon discussing the project with Delbeek, Rezaei’s creative mind was running wild with ideas of how to stun her client and she developed a plan to bring together a painting unlike anything else of its kind. She created a 168 by 105 cm oil canvas painting and named it Variety and Unity.
One of the most challenging yet enticing aspects of this project was determining how best to represent each culture in the painting as its own, unique entity, but simultaneously create a sense of unity between each country. She requested a breakdown of how the Social Department works and the nature of help they provide their own people, as well as people in other countries, to gain a better idea of how to tie each element of the painting together. She enjoyed researching each different culture she wanted to represent and finding different ways to abstractly depict them in her painting.
“I really loved the artistic freedom that I was given to create this painting in my own style and being allowed to interpret the subject matter the way I wanted to. I am so proud that they liked my work and that it still hangs in Westland City Hall today. In addition, this was the first time a painting of mine was seen by the public, as opposed to patrons of a gallery. So, overall, it was a really great experience for me,” Rezaei expressed.
Like Rezaei, Delbeek was extremely satisfied with the outcome of the project. She was relieved to know that her search for the best artist for the job was a success and that the painting was adored by the public as much as she adored it herself. On top of the quality of the painting, Delbeek was fortunate to have been able to work with a well-rounded professional like Rezaei. Rezaei made the experience smooth and enjoyable for Delbeek and Delbeek was pleased to know that she had made the right decision by placing her trust in Rezaei.
“Working with Tooba was an absolute pleasure. She was very professional and was not only able to translate my thoughts onto her canvas, she was able to capture the essence perfectly. Her work continues to inspire us day after day, each time we pass her painting. She devotes herself to her work. The detail and precision she brings to her work is amazing and I’d consider it her trademark. I admire the way that she constantly looks to develop herself wherever possible and to make her creations come alive. I would absolutely work with her again in the future,” concluded Delbeek.
Image "Variety and Unity" by Tooba Rezaei