Aaliya Mehraj, an extraordinary self-taught digital artist from Kashmir

Aaliya Mehraj, an extraordinary self-taught digital artist from Kashmir

Aaliya Mehraj, the first female self-taught digital artist from Kashmir

Who is Aaliya Mehraj ?

Aaliya Mehraj, an extraordinary self-taught digital artist, is making headway in the contemporary art form and is continuously making an effort to make people aware of this interesting form of art and diversify the field thereof.


The talented and young artist, hailing from the nagbal area of the ganderbal district is currently pursuing her BBA and is also an entrepreneur. 

Her love for digital illustration has been so intense that despite facing many hindrances and dejections, she didn't give up on her passion to draw. For her, it has never been about putting pen, pencil or paper to canvas, but extraordinarily more than that.

Aaliya Mehraj, the first female self-taught digital artist from Kashmir


When asked about how and when she stepped into this field, Aaliya Mehraj said, " Being the eldest, I had no other child to play with at my home. So my mother, to keep me busy, used to put a notebook and a pencil in front of me and I used to scribble on it. That probably instilled seeds of art in me"

Whatever you do in childhood, ultimately leaves a long-lasting impression on your personality and this exactly happened with this young artist, Aaliya Maharaj who only came to know about her skill when she was in her fourth grade.

While speaking to AUYK blogs, she said "When I was in my fourth grade, I was given an assignment of sketching a scarecrow. Usually, my dad or any other person at home used to do this job for me, but fortunately that day, no one was around. Since I had to complete it anyhow, I took a pencil and tried to draw it myself and to my surprise, the sketch came out to be the actual replica of what I had to copy. I received huge applause for that and since then I became interested in the art of drawing"

Aaliya Mehraj, the first female self-taught digital artist from Kashmir


From there, she started to draw sketches and paintings and eventually found herself getting more engrossed in her field of pursuit. But for some time, she was not able to pay much time on her art and the reason was her studies 

"Due to my studies, I lost touch with my skill of drawing and painting. So, For a long time, I backed off from this field, as I was unable to focus on both things at the same time.

Upon asking how she switched to Digital art, Aaliya Mehraj had an interesting story to share;

" I was in Delhi for my vacation and while I was surfing the internet, I accidentally bumped onto an app, "auto desk sketchbook" with immense and interesting features, which gripped my interest while I was checking it out. Since then I engaged in digital art and there was no going back", says Aaliya.

She has been working as a digital artist even when this art form was not in vogue in Kashmir and have hardly tried any traditional art forms since then. 

Aaliya Mehraj, the first female self-taught digital artist from Kashmir


For Aaliya Mehraj, this form of art is more efficient, time-saving and interesting than the traditional art forms, making it a solid reason for her to choose it anytime.

Aaliya wasn't comfortable with uploading her work on the internet initially and showed some reluctance towards that. Luckily, however, her sincere attempt to pay tribute to a young online influencer revealed her talent to the whole world.

" I started making sketches using this modern art form but never thought of uploading my work on the internet. Whatever I used to draw, I used to keep it to myself. But it was only when a young influencer from the valley uploaded it on social media. It grabbed everyone's attention and I got mixed responses for my work which encouraged me to reveal my skill to the world.


Nothing in the world is easy to achieve. For Aaliya Mehraaj's part of the story, it was no different. Many taunted and mocked her art form as mere editing of pictures as people were not aware of this contemporary art form.

Aaliya Mehraj, the first female self-taught digital artist from Kashmir


"People at first were prejudiced towards my work. They thought that it is just editing they lacked knowledge about it, but it is not. Digital art is not the editing of pictures. You have to make it in the same way as any other traditional art is made, only the medium is different". Says Aaliya Mehra

Initially, even her family was reluctant towards accepting her chosen field of art and didn't support her. But in due course of time, when she started receiving orders, her parents started appreciating her skill and art.

"I aim to conduct workshops to clear the misconceptions regarding digital art as people confuse it with mere editing of pictures. I want people to take this art form seriously. All the misconceptions regarding this art form should be cleared and I am striving for that" Says Aaliya Mehraj while talking about her future pursuits

Aaliya Mehraj, the first female self-taught digital artist from Kashmir

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