The first edition of Hip & Home Grown features Maheen Humayun

Hip & Home Grown is a brand new interview series on EditionPK. Each week, we will talking to a young person in a creative field of work and explore what motivates them to take the road less traveled.

Maheen Humayun is a journalist, poet and educator based in Pakistan. Her novella, Special, was published in 2012 and she continues to write short fiction and opinion-based pieces. Her work focuses on mental health, intersectionality, gender and social justice. She runs a small business called “Heenys Creations” with hand illustrated products, including customized t shirts, hoodies, greeting cards and drawings. In her free time, you can find her drinking copious amounts of black coffee, working in crushing the patriarchy and performing spoken word poetry.

What is your creative 'super' power?

I think the ability to work with different mediums. Storytelling is a big part of my life and with everything I create, there’s a story threaded within it. It could be a simple illustration, a doodle, a portrait, but for me, there’s always a story it comes back to.

And what feeds your creativity?

Everything around me, I take inspiration from the way a tree dances in the wind, to the soft hum of the morning birds, to the flecks of colour in the sky. There is beauty in almost everything if you look hard enough. Some days, I could be looking at a chair or a table or a person and thinking of the way the lines together - and that feeling pushes me to draw and create.

Do you feel like pursuing your creative field might not be able to give you the kind of financial freedom you want?

That’s something I’m definitely still trying to figure out. Working as a creative in any form is extremely taxing, it takes a lot to put yourself out there but it also takes a lot to grow. It isn’t easy to find opportunities in the creative field so you essentially have to create them. It’s a work in process and I guess eventually, you get what you give.

What drives you to pursue a career that's more passion and often difficult to explain in terms of 'what do you do for a living'?

I think I’ve always been inclined towards doing something creative - I tried the 9-5 lifestyle and it just didn’t give me the freedom or liberties I needed to feel satisfied. Pakistan is a hub of creativity and there is so much great art coming out of this country that it makes room to inspire those looking to break into the industry, however difficult it may be. For me, it’s so important to enjoy what I do, even though it takes a lot out of me, I know that this is the right fit for me. And having that realization is definitely what pushes me from day to day.

What are you listening to/watching/reading right now?

I’m currently listening to if I could make it go quiet by girls in red, watching season 2 of who killed Sara ( it’s sooo good) and I’ve just started reading “Love in Colour” by Bolu Babalo

You can find more of Maheen's work on her website.

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