‘Invest in your emotional intelligence’ - artist Anmar Mirza on his work

Artist Anmar Mirza at his solo show 'Life is a mess' at Moosey Art in Norwich.

Artist Anmar Mirza at his solo show 'Life is a mess' at Moosey Art in Norwich. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Each week I speak to a Norwich local making an impact on the arts in our city. This week, artist Anmar Mirza.

1. How would you best describe your role within the arts community?

If I’m honest, I don’t really know. I tend to detach myself from anything outside of family/friends/studio life.

Mural by Anmar Mirza on Exchange Street, Norwich.

Mural by Anmar Mirza on Exchange Street, Norwich. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

2. What do you love so much about the Norwich art scene?

I tend not to look at it as a scene, but rather people expressing their imagination and curiosity, and being supported by others who are also doing the same. 

I tend not to socialize much so maybe things are different now, but I remember when I was younger, you could interact and connect with so many people from all walks of life, and engage in conversation and get excited by each other’s ideas. 

I think that’s what I enjoy and loved the most. It definitely helped me find my feet.

Anmar Mirza creating a mural in the window of Philip Browne in Norwich, after opening his solo show at their neighbour

Anmar Mirza creating a mural in the window of Philip Browne in Norwich, after opening his solo show at their neighbour - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

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3. How did you get where you are with your work?

Well, I guess I trusted myself. I wake up excited about what I want to do – that was the most important thing for me. 

This is kind of a strange way to explain this, but when you get rid of the distractions, and use the tiny day-to-day tasks/goals to fuel your dopamine release, you’ll be surprised with how much you can achieve. 

And most importantly, it’s simple, just do the work. Let that excite you. The other things don’t matter.  

Anmar Mirza's solo show 'Life is a mess' at Moosey Art in Norwich.

Anmar Mirza's solo show 'Life is a mess' at Moosey Art in Norwich. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

4. What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?

Invest in your emotional intelligence. Read, and apply everything.

Some things might work, some might not. But learn how to be in control of your emotions. 

The goal is to enjoy how you go about your day-to-day. If you can’t control your emotions, then the outcome of your day will be dictated by how well you handle stress.

Anmar Mirza's solo show 'Life is a mess' at Moosey Art in Norwich.

Anmar Mirza's solo show 'Life is a mess' at Moosey Art in Norwich. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

5. What does an average weekday look like for you?

I wake up, I read for an hour, then exercise. Catch up with admin, plan or edit whatever it is I’m going to paint that day. If I’m not painting, I’ll spend 30 minutes pencilling in my tasks for the day. Then I get going.

6. Favourite thing you’ve done/piece of work you’ve created?

I don’t really have a favourite. Each piece is quite emotional, or has a memory attached to it. I tend to let go once the piece is done, and then move on.

7. Where is your favourite spot in Norwich?

I have a few, but I like cycling down Marriott’s way the most.

8. Can you name one East Anglian creative whose work you admire?

George Browne. We went to college together, but we didn’t know of each other then, but I remember seeing his work, and was blown away. He influenced me a fair bit in my early years. 

I’ve never told him this, but thanks mate. 

Also Sam Harrons and Matthew Callaby are in that same bracket - thanks boys!

9. What’s the best exhibition you have been to in East Anglia recently?

Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to visit any exhibitions recently, aside from mine. So I’m very limited with my response!

Life is a mess, solo show by Anmar Mirza, is on at Moosey Gallery, Norwich until March 19.

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