Thaakirah Jacobs is a South African born digital artist who uses her daily life and experiences as a mom to inspire her art. Over the years her Instagram page @thaaks.i has grown tremendously and her love for drawing has now resonated with over 100,000 people.
Thaakirah started to draw at the young age of 3 years old and during this age she would constantly watch Disney and Anime films. She mentions that this is still influencing her art to this day Masha'Allah.
She recently gained popularity by bringing attention to the #MeToo Movement. She had this message for her followers...
No matter how small your story may seem to you, how brief, how unnoticed... they are all significant and AS Important as the rest. No amount of abuse is ok! Let's stand together and help uplift eachother.
We decided to get in touch with Thaakirah and speak with her about being a mum on Instagram and her experiences with being an artist...
Please tell me about you and your background
I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and have lived here all my life. Life was really good growing up in Cape Town as there is a large Muslim community where everyone is treated like family. I am currently a Freelance Artist and my hobbies naturally include drawing as well as online gaming, spending time with my family and singing. I have 2 toddlers whom I love to bits. I’ve been married for 7 Years.
You started drawing at 3 years old - can you remember what you first started to draw?
I first started copying drawings that my mom did. I did a very bad version of it, but my mom saw potential in it. As a young little girl, I was drawn to all the girly things like princesses, tiaras and beautiful dresses. This admiration for all-things-girly really shone through my art. As I grew older it became more of a way for me to express my emotions, where I would draw little comics of what I was feeling.
Are your illustrations now influenced by being a mother? Does your past have relevance to what you draw now?
My illustrations are definitely influenced by being a mother. I thought it would be fun to draw this beautiful, wild journey of motherhood and what it entails. I did not expect so many people to relate to it, but I am glad to know that we are all in this together and supportive of one another. I have stepped away from the imaginary comics that I used to draw in the past and I am drawing more realistic scenarios now - more relatable.
Has motherhood changed your drawings? Do you think it’s changed you as a person too? If so how?
Motherhood has definitely changed my arts. In the past, I used to focus on quality and change an artwork until perfection was reached. Now I focus more on the expressive/emotional message of the artwork first and quality second. Motherhood has changed me as a person. I have become more selfless, patient and grateful because of it.
What is one piece of advice you would give to other mothers? Perhaps new mothers?
What I would tell young, new mothers is: “You will be bombarded with information and everyone will tell you their version of what is “right” when it comes to the upbringing of your child. Listen… but also firmly believe that you know what is best for your child, better than anyone else.”
Believe that you know what is best for your child, better than anyone else
At what age did you start to implement Islamic knowledge with your child? And how did you do it?
At the age of 3 I introduced some Islamic books to my child and I think it's a great way to capture their interest in Islamic education, especially with the pictures and colours.
What advice do you have for other mums who are teaching their children to pray?
Kids follow what they see. An example is the best way to teach your child, first. It is something that they will pick up from you, even from an early age. This is why my daughter grown so fold of her Salah mat from "MySalahMat". It is interactive and can easily be placed next to mine.
Tell us about your journey as a mom and how this influences your work?
As a mom of two young children, there is never a dull moment. This means that there Is always an exciting story to tell and that is why it works so perfectly with me creating comics, as I do. From the pregnancy journey to daily life with toddlers, I have documented so much of it through my art. It serves as a memory keepsake for me and also something that could help make another mom not feel so alone on her journey
Being a Muslim is a significant part of your life as an artist and a mother, how has your faith influenced your art work throughout the years?
When it comes to my faith, I know that it can be easier to understand some information when it is presented in a certain way. For me, I digest information better through pictures. This is why I also use my art to educate as I know it will intrigue viewers and I only hope they gain some knowledge from it. I believe I have been given this gift of drawing from Allah (SWT), so it gives me great pleasure to be able to use this gift to show the beauty of Islam, Alhamdulillah.
Thank you so much Thaakirah for taking the time to answer our questions. Insha'Allah we wish you all the best in the future and we hope your art continues to bring joy to brothers and sisters everywhere. Ameen.