Every image within OMM captures a small imprint of the artist that created it. Doodles and short messages give us a fleeting glance, whereas multi-layered pictures increase our understanding of the artist behind the art.
Something really special happens when you find someone with a story to tell, a bit of artistic talent, and some emotion for their subject matter. We've explored this concept in Jason Knight's spotlight, but there are further examples throughout the OMM.
Shahtoosh lives and works in Xi'an China, but was introduced to the OMM Project by a friend's email from the UK. His picture is, in turn, a portrait of another friend back in the UK.
So why did he choose to make her the subject of his portrait? In his own words, he explains; "she is a loyalful Christian with a sincere heart. But the God seems still want to test her in some ways. During the 5 years (or more) since I met her online for the first time, many things changed. Especially recently, she is in the rather same trouble as I am in. That hurts. So when she asked me to make a portrait for her I said I'd like to. In fact I did another one for her before this one on another website. I didn't think that was the best I can do and told her I can do a better one. It spent 4 hours or more, and I found myself some peaceful time that seems I lost for ages. Though with flaws in many ways, I am satisfied with it enough. I showed her this picture yesterday, and she was so excited. And I am so happy that she likes it. Who is she? She is Karla, a remote friend. Thank you, Karla."
The story of this picture sum up the essence of the project in so many ways. Friendship in the 21st century is not bound by a countries boarders. We are global citizens who can make and communicate with friends across our planet. Time differences do not separate us.
The dedication of a portrait for someone who needed support is a beautiful gesture. The peaceful time that Shahtoosh became lost in while he created his portrait was captured within the project - captured alongside thousands of other moments of creativity that are held within the OMM. Not only can Karla gain strength from viewing the finished portrait, but she can also revisit the period of time that her friend dedicated to her. When you view any work of art, be it painting, sculpture or anything else, you are merely looking at the end result of a period of time in which the artist invested physically and emotionally. The OMM project allows us a small glimpse of this process, and therefore allows us a more complete appreciation of the artistic process.
We love your work Shahtoosh, keep up the good work!
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