Put your feet up and enjoy a moment with Australian photographer and artist, Marryam Lum. Marryam caught our attention when we stumbled upon her inspiring Quranic hand lettering, as seen at Life of My Heart. Thank you for sharing your work with us Marryam!
Marryam, tell us about where you live and what you love most about it.
I live in Adelaide, which is a coastal city in the south of Australia. I love the easy access to amazing beaches with beautiful sand, and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere of the city.
You’ve travelled quite far and wide – tell us your most memorable destination and what made it so?
Travelling is a very important part of my life so I can’t choose one – I would have to say going to Mecca and Madina for the Hajj pilgrimage was probably the most memorable. It is just a completely different experience than any other, to be surrounded by people from literally all over the world, in such special cities.
Another very memorable experience was travelling to Europe for the first time when I was 19 years old. We landed in Paris, a bit nervous, on a very early Sunday morning – the streets were empty except for a few people, and it felt completely different from what we expected Paris to feel like. As soon as we stepped out of our hotel we saw a woman being robbed on the street, and immediately thought ‘Okay let’s go home!’ :D
Since then, fortunately, Paris has become one of my favourite cities – I’m very happy that we didn’t let that first experience affect the way we saw the city!
What drew you to become a photographer and artist?
I started photography when I felt a bit bored creatively and was looking for a creative outlet. My husband had bought a dSLR for himself, I pretty much took it and never gave it back! I loved how it connected me to other people, how I could create a mood from an image, I loved organising photoshoots, and editing the images afterwards felt like painting to me because I could express my mood from the colours that I used.
Your hand lettering is beautiful. What inspired you to create these works of art?
I was going through some tough times and was really looking for modern, messy art prints of the Quran in English, that I could put up around my home for inspiration and encouragement. I searched and searched all over the net and couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I decided to make my own. I started posting them on Instagram, and people started to order them – I couldn’t believe it, but their words of encouragement and their stories of how the prints had helped them through a day or a struggle or a fear motivated me to keep lettering.
Can you share with us your favourite artwork in your store, Life of My Heart? Why does it stand out to you as being significant?
One of my favourites is the Travel through the Earth print – it’s a Quranic quote, and I think it is probably the print which most captures the ‘personality’ of Life Of My Heart. The verse inspires me, and the lettering itself is very much in my style of handwriting.
You co-founded Life of My Heart with your hubby Muneer, and you have three sons – how you create balance in your life?
This is honestly so difficult. Every year is different for us because we take turns being the stay at home parent, or in our case, the work at home parent. We always create a loose schedule of what needs to be done each day, and try to follow that schedule as much as possible so that we can get everything done, and make sure that we have a lot of time with the kids where we aren’t on our phones or laptops.
What do you think are the keys to happiness?
Faith, a willingness to let go and accept that life doesn’t always go how you intend it to be, simpler living with less material ‘stuff’ to weigh you down.
Lastly, if you could tell your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Relax, don’t get too caught up in your own plans and ideas of how your life will turn out, it will turn out exactly as it is meant to be.
Love Instagram? Follow Marryam @lifeofmyheart.
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