Art is a form of expression that can evoke joy, optimism, and positivism, and Ronia Khalaj, an eight-year-old Iranian artist and author, is a shining example of how creative expression can positively impact young people. She is taking the art world by storm with her vivid drawings and illustrations, children’s books, and crafted dolls. Let us meet Ronia Khalaj and discover together how her passion and creativity have allowed her to express herself in ways that most adults struggle to do!
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Ronia’s Artistic Journey
Since she was just three years old, Ronia showed an interest in drawing. Her mother, an artist and art teacher for young children, recognized her daughter’s enthusiasm and gave her all the resources and tools she needed to explore her creative side. From that point, Ronia’s love for art flourished, and she started delving into the depths of her imagination to produce her distinctive and colorful artwork.
”I started drawing with my mother when I was 3 years old. My mother is an artist and painter and a teacher of children’s art. When my mother saw my great interest in drawing, she provided me with all the necessary tools and I started learning with her with great interest. I did,” Ronia recalls.
Storytelling through Art
For Ronia, every painting tells a story. Ronia’s love for fictional characters led her to create her own mental stories and bring them to life through drawing and painting. Her source of inspiration is her own mind and imagination. “For all my paintings, I imagine a story in my mind,” Ronia shares.
“My paintings are completely subjective, my source of inspiration is my mind. (…) I love fictional characters. Most of my drawings and character designs are completely mental. When I think of something, I like to get it out of my head and draw it on paper to give it life. That’s how I feel everything comes alive. That’s why I love painting,” she says.
Choosing “Happy Colors”
Ronia chooses for all her drawings only “happy colors” because she believes that the world is more beautiful without gray or dark hues. She prefers to work with watercolors, inks, and pastels to make her artwork as alive and joyful as possible.
“Most of my paintings with watercolors and inks are certified with pastels. Because the colors in watercolors and inks are very lively and cheerful. I mostly use happy colors in my paintings because in my imagination the whole world is full of happy and colorful colors. I don’t usually use gray and dark colors because I think the world is more beautiful without these colors,” Ronia confesses.
But Ronia’s creative journey hasn’t been without its challenges. She admits that her first acrylic painting on canvas was difficult, but she persevered until she learned the technique because she thinks that artists can succeed only ”with practice and repetition”. She reminds us also that sometimes the painting we draw is not exactly what we want it to be, but we shouldn’t be discouraged. Instead, we should try again.
“The most difficult painting I ever painted was my first work with acrylic paint on canvas, but with practice and repetition, I was able to learn this technique. All artists can succeed only with practice and repetition and effort. Sometimes the painting I draw is not exactly what I want. It is in my mind, but I will not be discouraged, I will try again,” Ronia shares.
Learning valuable life lessons
Drawing and painting have also taught Ronia valuable life lessons, such as being patient and never giving up when faced with a challenge. Ronia believes that anyone can learn to draw if they have the passion and the determination to do so and her advice to young artists who are struggling to find their own creative voice or are receiving negative feedback is to practice and repeat.
”I advise all young artists to never get tired of trying and to repeat and continue their work as much as possible to achieve success and discover their best self so they can walk the path of success,” she adds.
Ronia’s Message to the Children of the World
Ronia aspires to color the world with her imagination and to spread with her drawings happiness, optimism, and positivity, as she believes that art has the power to transform the world into a better place.
“My message to the world of art and the children of the world is to show the beauty and a better world. A world without fear, without war, without ugliness. A dream world, full of creativity and color,” Ronia shares.
In Ronia’s belief, each work of art has the power to evoke a unique reaction or emotion in its observer. She feels that the arts add beauty to our world and foster the emergence of brand-new realities and worlds during the creative process.
“Each work of art can create a strange feeling in the viewer, each viewer has a different feeling than his understanding of what he sees. Art can bring the most beautiful things. It creates a world that may not exist in reality, but it comes alive when it is drawn,” she adds.
Crafting Dolls and Writing Children’s Books
Ronia’s passion for art has led her to produce not only distinctive drawings but also gorgeous dolls and other colorful toys. Her imagination seems to have no bounds, as she loves to make crafts out of both disposable objects and long-lasting materials and she always comes up with new amazing ideas for her crafting projects.
“The first idea of making dolls was formed when I started making dolls with disposable washi paper and continued. I started making dolls with more professional tools and first I design a mental character and then I make it into a doll,” says Ronia.
Ronia’s Focus on Environmental Themes
One of Ronia’s proudest achievements is publishing and illustrating three children’s books in Iran, which focus on environmental themes and adventures. She confesses that she wants to become a professional writer and illustrator in the future so that all children in the world can read her adventure books.
“Before I could even write, I started drawing story pictures, and after learning the language, I wrote everything that came to my mind. Until, with my mother’s encouragement, I was able to write three books on the topic of environment and adventure. When I write a story from my mind, it is very easy. I can paint whatever I imagine and I love illustration very much. I will try to become a professional writer and illustrator in the third world in the future so that all the children in the world can read my adventure books,” she says.
Being acknowledged as the youngest Iranian author and illustrator is another accomplishment that makes Ronia feel proud of herself and her active imagination. “I love and am proud of these three books that I illustrated and authored. Also, I have won many positions in international competitions, and I have been presented as the youngest Iranian author and illustrator, which I am proud of,” Ronia adds.
Let Ronia’s Story Inspire You
Ronia’s remarkable passion for ”happy colors” and art, as well as her love for stories and fictional characters, inspires us to explore our imaginations, find our unique artistic voice, and express ourselves through art. Ronia also shows us that it’s never too early or too late to discover our passion and start pursuing it.
Let Ronia’s story inspire you: take up your paintbrushes or colored pencils, your papers or canvas, and let your imagination do its magic! You can also create your own colorful and dream-like world! And remember, art is not just for professional artists – it’s for everybody!
If you want to see more of Ronia’s beautiful drawings and crafted toys and learn more about her published children’s books, visit her Instagram account!
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