Two fundamental factors have shaped my artistic creativity and artwork, namely: cultural norms and values; and political conflicts and upheaval.  The cultural impact started at a very early stage in my life, driven by observed contrasts in colour and form, horrific folk stories and ultimately fear. As a child, I lived in a somewhat primitive house where the contrast between the pitch-black darkness in certain rooms due to the lack of lighting, on the one hand, and brightness elsewhere in the house, on the other, was very pronounced. In my early childhood, I learnt from family elders and their horrific stories that the darkness meant danger, fear and ferocious night creatures.  These experiences regarding colour and form disparities, together with complex upbringing deeply impacted my imagination and creativity, which often permeated into my artwork.

Later, in adulthood, the harsh political environment and long-lasting conflict and war in Iraq left an indelible impact on my life and by extension my work. The destruction of buildings by air raids, the shattered belongings, and human sufferings, some of which I personally witnessed added a painful perspective to my view of life that ultimately made its way into my creative art.  For instance, one can see the extensive use of shattered objects, pieces of metal, glass and wood into my work.

In creating artworks, I use many printing techniques (e.g. Intaglio printing, Planographic printing, Relief printing and Mixed Media printing). In carving and print, I avoid using toxic chemicals and materials that are harmful to the environment.  Furthermore, I always emphasize the importance of using environmentally safe approaches in producing various forms of art to my students.

I strongly believe that Art in all its forms, whether literature, drawing, sculpture, film or music, is an essential aspect of life and a great unifier for humanity. Also, it is a source of love and happiness, and can bring people together especially in the midst of unfortunate divisions individuals and nations are facing today.

Art has played a major part in my life. The instinct to discover Art as a child, and later to create and teach it as an adult, have been my primary preoccupation and a great source of happiness in my life. I feel blessed that nature has instilled curiosity and creativity in me, and I am a better person for it.

Throughout my adult life I have produced countless pieces of artwork, taught hundreds of students the importance of art and helped them uncover their creativity. I am especially grateful that mentoring the young generation in the Arts has provided hope and pride in the midst of difficult economic, cultural and political living conditions.

My future goals are to continue dedicating my time and efforts to the service and teaching of Art.

-Awni Sami