A social value or issue usually drives me to my next project. Unity in diversity is the fundamental concept of my latest project, “Dots”. I used the pointillism technique to express the idea that although one tiny dot can be overlooked at times, “dots” cannot. Just as a single dot might have a little effect, so can a single person. Together, however, dots and people have the power to create something greater and more meaningful.
I also wanted to capture the feeling that none of us had a choice in choosing our family, shape, race, or ethnicity, but we all share something in common beyond these characteristics – soul. To reflect the part of us that is created by chance, I used a teabag over the paper to create a stain by accident. To reflect the common element, I drew birds instead of eyes. The inspiration comes from the saying that “the eyes are the window to the soul”, and a bird, for me, symbolizes freedom of soul.
Romina Zabihian was born in Kashan, Iran, and immigrated to Berkeley, California, in 2015. She is passionate about human rights and expressing social values and issues through art. For as long as she can remember, art has been her passion. Unfortunately, in her native country, Iran, Baha’i minorities are denied access to higher education. As a Baha’i, her only other option was BIHE, an institution specifically designed to give believers of the Baha’i faith a chance at higher education. Unfortunately, the art major was not offered at BIHE. She chose psychology, trying earnestly to guide it towards an intersection with art; the result was Art Therapy, on which she presented her dissertation.
Along the way, she pursued her passion for art through natural curiosity and using skills gained from five years of training by Karim Nasr and Ruyin Pakbaz in painting and art history. She strove to apply her artistic talents to make a living, continue her work as a graphic designer, and in 2012 became a member of the Iranian Graphic Designers Society (IGDS). In 2019 she graduated from the Academy of Art University with a MA in Graphic Design & Digital Media.
Her background in psychology offers her a deeper understanding of the consequences of injustice on people’s lives. It has become a fundamental part of how she chooses her art and designs projects.