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“A single piece of paper changed my life.” - says 17-year-old Shabna
At a tender age of 17, Fathimath Shabna is not only balancing her academics but also channelling her creativity through art and craft. Hailing from Kasargod district in Kerala, she now has an Instagram account where she displays her beautifully curated art. Her passion towards art began when she was in the 7th grade and saw her cousin sister do paper crafts. Her interest for craft only deepened when she saw paper butterflies stuck on the wall at her uncle’s house and as soon as she reached home, she made the exact same butterflies using waste papers and stuck them on the wall. The appreciation that she received from her family and friends motivated her to work harder towards her passion. She continued her efforts by making gifts and cards for her friends on their birthdays. Upon seeing Shabna’s interest for art and her desire to be independent, her best friend, Shirin suggested her to sell her art and craft in order to support herself financially. Clueless about how businesses work, she started off small by buying three miniature bottles and started selling them. She started watching craft videos on YouTube and began to experiment with her art.
Despite the fact that she was surrounded by people who passed negative comments on her passion to take up art more seriously, the turning point in her life was the day she opened an Instagram page to showcase her talent. She is now balancing her academics and art and is also able to earn some means of livelihood out of it. She believes that life is not about finding oneself, but it is about creating oneself; in the same way that she creates her art. She says, " There were a lot of people who said I cannot. But I survived because the fire inside me was brighter than the fire around me."