We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashraf Ishak and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashraf, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Because I get to wake up loving do what I do every day and as an artist and not having anyone controlling my freedom of expression, and that to me is quiet important.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art started out as abstract art paintings inspired by Jackson Pollock, and I started developing own style of faces by just drawing eyes. I was inspired by how the eyes are the window to a person’s soul and that has become the thing I’ve been drawing repeatedly.

It was never easy because there were people that said my artworks were childish, easy to make or downright just not art, but I ignored those thoughts and just kept on going and experimenting new ways of expressing my art through the faces that I do.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend was in KL, I would want them to also experience something out of KL and bring them to Terengganu which is a different state in Malaysia where we could check out the art of batik making.

Food in Terengganu is always amazing and it starts as early as 7 am, where we will go for nasi dagang which a traditional Terengganu rice dish served with a side of fish in a very thick curry gravy, with keropok lekor, a fish cracker snack and teh buih which is black tea with condensed milk pulled between two cups to get its buih (foam). For lunch we will have sotong celup tepung which is fried calamari in batter and after that we get coffee and hang out by the beach at Pantai Batu Buruk.

And finally On the way back we will stop by pahang to have ikan patin tempoyak or iridescent shark catfish cooked with fermented durian paste.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The person that has always been supportive of what I do since day one, my wife Kina Hassan. She has never stopped believing in me.

Website: www.ashrafishak.com

Instagram: @ashrafishak

Facebook: www.facebook.com/artbyashrafishak

Youtube: www.youtube.com/ashrafishak

Other: ashrafishak.threads.net

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