Artist Spotlight: Harvin Barriar Brings Life To Shapes

Harvin and her artwork, ‘Moonshine’


She’s a marketer, turned self-taught painter. Harvin Barriar is a postgraduate student that makes art in her free time. Scroll through her ‘gram and you’ll be introduced to her work; colourful and playful abstract paintings that will catch your attention instantly.

In an interview with #teamCLEO, Harvin said that she’s always been fascinated by art and as a child, she would produce some ridiculous form of art on the pretext of being ‘resourceful’. She even built an entire dollhouse from scratch because her parents wouldn’t get her one.

“As an adult, I delved into art out of desperation, but kept at it by choice. Some time last year I found myself in a depressive slump, and I eventually quit my job without a back up plan in hand. So in the midst of inner turmoil, I picked up a paintbrush in attempt to figure things out and it’s been incredibly therapeutic. It’s helped me manage my behaviour and process feelings. This truly is the best I’ve felt in a long time,” she adds.


‘Desert Island’


Where does the inspiration usually come from?

Mostly my thoughts and swiftly changing moods. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time in self-reflection, so most of my inspiration comes from introspection. The colours, shapes and composition are mostly intuitive; it’s often something that just pops into my mind and I try it out.


How would you describe your style?

Simple and imperfect shapes, swimming in purposeful colours. I love myself a bold palette. I usually begin with a quirky shape or colour, and allow the painting to take a life of its own. I have zero clue as to the final result.


‘Suds Factory’


Your pieces often have an array of colours, is there a reason behind that? Why do you gravitate towards colours more?

Because it’s my kind of love language! Colours speak to me most when I contemplate art. They highlight playfulness and tap into one’s inner child. I love that.


Some people find it harder to understand abstract art, so if you could describe your art to them, what would you say?

I suppose my art is a way of taking what I feel or see in my mind, and slapping it onto a surface for others to catch a glimpse of. What I find neat is that many people see or feel completely different things as their imagination takes them elsewhere.


Do you have a favourite piece you’ve done? And why?

My favourite piece is the cover I designed for a cassette titled “Notion & Impulse”. I love it purely because it’s the coolest thing I’ve worked on so far.


Cover design for ‘Notion & Impulse’


You work a lot with shapes, how do you think it can control a direction of a piece?

It’s hard to say, as I don’t really choose my shapes, I’d say they choose me, if that makes any sense. Honestly most times I have absolutely no idea what shapes to go for, I just run wild with them.


What’s the biggest takeaway you want people to take from your art?

Honestly, nothing at all is fine by me. Though I adore the idea of colours, shapes and lines in my paintings having a soft language, so if this language speaks to anyone at all and evokes some sort of childish emotion, then I’d like to think my job is done.