Meet Meliha Siddiqui: the digital artist bringing film back to life

The film enthusiast plays with her passion to incorporate film styles and form into her work


Who

is Meliha Siddiqui?


Who remembers VHS? If you were born before the millennium you might know of the distinct aesthetic of this now ‘vintage’ style of film but if not, then Meliha Siddiqui is here to bring it back. The digital artist and film enthusiast was inspired by the VHS effect to experiment with her work and create images that not only evoke a sense of nostalgia but also gain an insight into the mind of the artist. Read on to hear me talk with Meliha about why she started creating digital art, and how film and art has influenced her work.



Why

did you decide to start creating digital art?


Meliha: “I started creating digital art when I was one day inspired by the popularity of the VHS. I was feeling creative and decided to go on photoshop and edit one of my photos I had taken, learning how to create a VHS effect. Upon doing so I discovered a world full of endless possibilities, I discovered I could edit practically any image I wanted. Some images I edited I turned them into cartoons just through slightly altering the hues and saturation, which I was amazed by. This inspired me to carry on experimenting.”


“I was particularly taken by the different means of adding texture and styles to fully alter an image to express or evoke a feeling.”


How

does film influence your work?


Meliha: “When particularly doing a module on film manifestos I realised just how expressive film producers have been, more so I was particularly taken by the different means of adding texture and styles to fully alter an image to express or evoke a feeling. Many of the manifestos I read and films I watched used the camera as an art form as opposed to just a visual storyteller. One example being from a module I took in my second year which was the visual essay, where we watched films like Camera stylo and Blue. Blue in particular was a narration, whilst we stared at a blue screen which I thought was interesting, as the film's intended meaning was to evoke a sense of sadness much like when you see a painting's, colors evoke feelings.


Camera stylo did the same in which the images were odd however evoked feelings. I wanted to use the camera as a means of experimentation, as a means of seeing where I could go and what I could produce, taking inspiration from the manifestos I learned about, I decided to experiment. I wanted to hopefully convey within my images how I was feeling when I took the photo, what thoughts I had, what texture or style of experimentation I wanted to use, and how I thus decided to edit the photos. Many of the images when uploaded have been named or given a sentence when posted so the viewer can gain a bit of an insight of my thought behind the image.”



What

other styles of art influence your work?


Meliha: “Other styles that have influenced my work have been German expressionism, as during my time I was doing my dissertation for University I spent a lot of time researching German Expressionism which really inspired me to create pieces of work. I have also been massively inspired by the dark and more so creepy elements of VHS. How filmmakers and even some music videos have particularly utilized the VHS to evoke a fear, whether that is the discovered lost tape, or themselves within the frame. Whereas, some of my other works take on the inspiration of 1950s posters, which I have edited to appear like they are a poster. Many of my pictures that are now within my archive as I was thinking of creating another art account are fully animated. These are images I took and though editing them I was able to cartoonify them, once doing so I was able to choose what pictures to take and what story I would make for the image.”


“I wanted to use the camera as a means of experimentation, as a means of seeing where I could go and what I could produce…”

Where

can you see more of Meliha’s work?


Check out Meliha’s work over on Instagram.