Wasif Gohar is a self-taught pencil artist, photographer and cinematographer based in Lahore, Pakistan. Being an ardent admirer of his Facebook page, Art by Wasif, I am honored to have him as our Artist of the Month for May 2018. To know more about this phenomenal talent and his creative expertise, read the interview below.
Q1. Wasif, it’s wonderful to have you with us for this Q&A. Please tell us about your humble beginnings as an artist.
I started my career as a fine artist. I used to earn money by selling portraits for 500 rupees to buy my art supplies as I didn’t want my hobby to be financed by my parents. Later on, I got immersed in the world of photography, starting my journey with a friend’s camera, the D5200. My initial photography was well-received and the positive feedback motivated me to pursue my craft even further, and this has led me to the blessed position that I am in today. Alhamdulillah.
(Clock Tower in Sialkot, Pakistan. Copyright: Wasif Gohar)
Q2. Which techniques do you favor utilizing photography-wise? Is there any particular camera model that you prefer using?
I do not actually believe in the saying: Equipment doesn’t matter in photography. People often mistakenly say that equipment is not necessary if you want to capture the ideal image, yet one cannot take a sharp picture, for example, with a 70-200 VR, but can do so with a 70-200 VR2. Thus, in my opinion, equipment definitely matters in most cases. I use the D7100 along with 10mm for photography—the Sony a6300 with 18-35 1.8 for videography and stills—and the DJI Mavic Pro for aerial shots.
Q3. What do you like doing during your free time?
My free time is mostly spent browsing videos on YouTube. I also enjoy using Adobe Photoshop, like learning new techniques for color grading, etc.
Q4. Any tips for aspiring artists?
Don’t allow yourself to be used by anyone for the sake of exposure. Don’t rely on someone else to raise your status. Just be a hardworking person yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Likewise, you have to work years and years before you see yourself at the top of the mountain. Don’t run after money, especially if you’re a beginner. True artists don’t get into art with a materialistic mindset. If you have a polished portfolio, then at least there’s some sense in demanding money. But if you’re a beginner, and you have nothing to show for it, then how can you expect your work to be financed? That’s why it’s best to have some non-monetary experience before embarking on a financially-motivated career in photography.
(Hiran Minar in Sheikupura, Pakistan. Copyright: Wasif Gohar)
Q5. I loved watching your work, Bird’s Eye Lahore, and its visuals have been forever etched in my memory. It’s also one of the most creative broadcasts that I’ve ever seen. Could you inform us about some of the challenges that you faced during the making of that stellar video?
Thank you so much for the positive remarks, Nisar. The major fear I had during the process was the probability of my drone being attacked by the hawks when it would be airborne. This dread might not be that newsworthy, but when the equipment which you’ve yearned for your whole life is in the air, and is in danger, then that would qualify as the most challenging experience for any photographer. In order to both protect my drone and still be able to capture the perfect imagery, I managed to complete my venture in only three months. Yet the aftermath of finishing my passion project was filled with tragedy. People started stealing the video from my page without my consent. It’s like they don’t even realize that it’s the hard-work of someone, and they are just downloading it and unethically commercializing it in order to selfishly earn revenue for themselves? What did I get for thinking differently and executing something of this magnitude? Nothing.
Q6. Tell us about your upcoming projects.
I will be doing a tour of Pakistan in which I will be showcasing the positive side of the country—similar to what I did with Bird’s Eye Lahore.
Facebook Page: Art by Wasif
Twitter Profile: @WasifGohar
Instagram Profile: @wasaff