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She then went to the UK after receiving a field fellowship from the government. She taught at the Common Wealth Institute and visited the art galleries there for four months. After her son was born, she and her husband settled in Ames.
When she was in school, Kaukab never thought she would be an artist. After high school, her principal asked her to teach a children’s art class children before she headed to college. The classes’ topic was Japanese art, and they took the first place award in their local community.
Kaukab then went to college and realized she could continue making her own artwork. After earning a graduate degree in graphic design, she taught for four years at the college she had been attending. She was thrilled when her paintings were chosen to be in the college’s commercial art gallery. It was the turning point of her career.
Kaukab worked very hard on her craft. She was named one the most famous women artists in Pakistan, she received a scholarship for a book designing and illustration course in Lahore, Pakistan. There, she designed author’s book covers and illustrated children’s textbooks. She would also illustrate her father’s books.
When her son was still young, Kaukab designed a papier–mâché finch ornament. This was selected to be a permanent ornament for The White House collection from Iowa. Laura Busch invited Kaukab to the White House to see the grand Christmas tree. This is one of the many honors Kaukab has received in her art career.
Kaukab’s first inspiration as an artist was to teach children. She is also inspired by many artists painting from her home country of Pakistan. When making 3-dimensional art, she is very influenced by Roman architecture. She is continually inspired by everyday designs in the world.
If Kaukab had to give advice to beginners in art, is to not give up. Everyone must start somewhere, and as long there is encouragement in the process, you can accomplish anything.
Kaukab has experimented with nearly every medium of art, and is always willing to teach others her craft. She believes sharing ideas with one another, as she learned while making art in Pakistan, is the best way to get involved in art projects.
Learn more about Kaukab Merchant, her work, and the Ames Area Studio Tour by visiting our website, here.