My Obsession with Plants and Faces



Illustrator Iman Makzume showcases new work while trying to understand her obsession with plants and faces.


Written & Illustrated by
Iman Makzume



I have so many things to say, so many things going through my head. Sometimes it’s so intense that I have trouble seeing clearly, and it’s in those moments that I draw the most. Maybe it’s weird, but the drawings I like best are the ones I do when I’m not supposed to: in class most of the time.

I’m often asked, “Who is that person in your drawing?” I never draw anyone in particular. I just draw someone, but I don’t know who. I always start with the eyes, and then, depending on how the eyes turn out, I decide how the rest will be like. Never have I thought about a face before drawing it. I love drawing faces so much, and lately I discovered an obsession with duets or duos; I feel like they really add something and make a picture more “complete” and “full.”

Lately I also enjoy drawing plants and vases. Don’t ask me why; I don’t even know myself. One day, four months ago, I drew a plant and since then I’ve been drawing plants nonstop. Creative periods are often in phases. At least for me.

I like the warmth in colours, I like to play with composition, I like that all the elements of a drawing are linked together to create a kind of harmony which is really therapeutic for me. I believe everybody has their own harmony and that some people have a more powerful one that they need to externalise. I think that is what I like so much about plants and duets: their harmony.

My compositions and drawings don’t mean much. They exist only for the satisfaction that their harmony provides me. Maybe it’s a little selfish, I don’t know, but it’s really this “harmony” I have talked about that allows me to create and move forward.

I want to try many different things. I’ve done some experiments with collage. I like it. It’s funny, because a little nothing can change the whole atmosphere of the collage: an eyebrow a little too far to the right for example. That’s why I have the most fun during the process; I enjoy positioning the elements in different ways before gluing them together to freeze them. I also tried oil painting. I don’t have the technique at all and my works will surely lose their colour in a few years, but I enjoy it. The way the colours mix during the process is so satisfying. I always want to do more: sculptures, films, photography… There are so many incredible things in the world that give me faith in humanity and make me want to create.



Untitled, collage with colored paper, size A2

Wild Berries, digital art

Untitled, collage with colored paper, size A2

Eau (Water), oil on canvas, 116x89 cm

Losing It, digital art

L’exterieur (The Outside), oil on canvas, 100x80 cm

Untitled, collage with colored paper, size A2


See more work and sketches by Iman Makzume in the printed issue - Issue 007, Spring 2020. Available in the Aislin Shop.