We had the pleasure to interview the young and talented Malaysian artist, Hafidz Musa and learn a bit more about his lifestyle, passions and on-going projects. You can check more of his artwork on Instagram at @hafidzmusa
So let’s get straight into it:
Hello Hafidz, thank you for joining us today and to start this interview I would like to know where did you grow up and how was your childhood?
- I was born in Tapah, Perak (Malaysia) December 20, 1983, and raised by grandparents since I was a baby. I was just an ordinary kid, who grew up in a village, and like other kids loved spending my time doing stuff like fishing, swimming, playing football, and had a passion for art. There was not much happening during my earlier life, but I was kinda an active student in sport, and also participated in many art competitions. - I was the Schools Art Club president, and also nominated as the best art students in my school…haha, I’m so proud of it. - Other than that I loved spending my time drawing and painting. I remember once my grandad bought me a large paper, and I could fill it up in just an hour…yeah he grounded me after I stained my room wall with chalk. But he always gave 100% support in what I do (art especially) - During those times I remember I loved to copy other works of comic artists, such as superman, spidey, transformers, spawn, and many more.
What brought you to start illustrating and where did your passion for painting automotive come from?
- During early 2013 was the time that I searched what subjects matter for my artwork, I did some research on the internet, many artists doing contemporary art, abstract painting, portraiture, landscape, still life, but less on automotive. But I kinda hesitate to draw motorcycles… it’s hard… because of the details and complicated parts in the motorcycle, hence I gave it a try and drew it, posted it on my Instagram, and had outstanding feedback from motorcycle enthusiasts all around the globe. Getting art buyers, commission art, collaboration, and also exhibit my works. I never thought about the overwhelming feedback.
Tell us a bit of your journey as an artist, your main exhibitions, and your proudest works?
- I think I just follow the flow… but I had this in my mind, I wanted to be a renowned automotive artist, like Chip Foose! Of course, I didn’t build bikes after all…haha… I don’t know who is going to validate it…well it's just a dream… hahaha… Showcase in a magazine or probably on the net and make them permanent there. So it will remain there. I don’t have any specific proudest work actually, I love them all! Haha… every work I've done is a moment for me, I put my thought, creativity, love, and soul into it. When I commission my work
and send them to the respective owner, I’m kinda sad to let em go…haha…that's how I feel about my work.
Were there any struggles to get there? How did you overcome them and how is it to live as an artist in the new millennium?
- Since the Covid pandemic, early last year I’m struggling to survive, super challenging I would say… none commission coming in…but in order to keep going and alive, I had to let some of my work go and I sell them so cheap…worse experience for 2020 I would say. - Early 2021 also Malaysian government is implementing the Movement Control Order (MCO) in order to prevent the virus from spreading, and it is affecting my career a bit… - Other than motorcycles and cars, I do contemporary art, such as abstract painting and surreal painting for my passion as a visual artist…yup I do have other Instagram account for it @hafidzmusa_artist and this year I got several invitations to exhibit my works, I hope that some art collector will buy my works…fingers crossed, there are many things I wanted to do last year and I hope it can be done in this year.
Do you have any tips for artists starting their careers?
- My tips for those who just start their career as an artist are: Just do what you love… polish your skills over time and try to pick what is the current market niche…well, you gotta put them on the net. Who knows, maybe your work can be worth selling or doing collaborations with other brands. Never give up, put 100% on it, and full throttle, fast ahead! Don’t fall back, instead of fall forward!
How did the transition to expand your work to other countries such as Australia, France, Spain, UK, and Japan, happened? Tell me about your views on the use of social media as a vehicle for artists to share their work and passion and does it play the main role in the way you communicate with your fans and sell your art?
- Back in the late 90’s it was kind of hard to get exposure internationally or find an art collector/buyer, a huge difference from today… The internet brought plenty of platforms to engage with people, brands, and art collectors. - I just use Instagram as a platform to showcase my works and sell them, or even for collaboration. Yup, I do have other platforms but I trust Instagram more because of its characteristics to engage people, having said that, since 2019 the Instagram it´s being weird…the algorithm changed, is harder to connect with people than it was in the old days. Lol
Ever since, from there I introduced and spread my works all over the globe and do collaboration with several huge brands such as Harley Davidson, and motorcycle accessories brands.
What is your workflow like, and how many hours do you spend painting on average per week?
- I normally work like 12 hours per day, if I get a tight deadline, I might work till late… - There was a time I needed to pull 3 assignments/jobs in one day…ughhh, it’s a bad way to do it, because you could lose a bit of the quality in your work. Sometimes I do a graphic job too besides my painting; well during this covid pandemic, we all need to survive, right?
Where do you get your inspirations, and who are your main influences?
- Early in 2014 I saw an 80’s illustration of a motorcycle, vintage/classic cars, and pinup on Pinterest and it really caught my attention, and from that moment on, I started to draw, paint and develop my own style. It’s not easy, but worthy to have my own style and I called it ‘Radical Lines Art’. Along the process, I did some research through several artists such as Tom Sachs, Makoto Endo, Captain Tom, Ryan Roadkill, and great masters too like Picasso, Dali, Warhol, etc... Yep, they are all part of my inspiration. Main influences? I think it comes from my childhood memories… My grandad bought me a Honda C70, my first motorcycle. Maybe it’s drawn by riding it perhaps… you know – speed, feelings of freedom, get your hands dirty fixing your bike. Taking your girlfriend for a stroll…lol
What did attract you to Fuel Motorcycles?
- I’m so attracted to Fuel Motorcycles concept, the brand itself, and how they place themselves correctly in the community throughout the globe. And they got plenty of awesome motorcycle products! Well, the photos are stunning too! It inspires me to draw and paint. It has been quite a long time since I started following Fuel Motorcycles on Instagram, now I’ve got this opportunity to share what I have with everyone.
Is there anything you are working on that you would like to share with us?
- Well, currently I’m busy working on some new arts, for this year's exhibition… I’ve got an invitation early this year and I’m super excited about it. - And kinda transition from lines to colors and mixed media ish…but it’s a long process to get my own style…but I believe in certain time I will master it. - Other than motorcycles I will also look into other automotive too like classic or vintage cars.
Where can our readers check more about your work?
Yeah, you guys can see them on my youtube and Instagram account: @hafidzmusa Check it out! Yeah, I dumped all my works on my Instagram, I don’t have any sort of blog or website… so in that sense, my work will be EXCLUSIVE & EXQUISITE. I wanna keep it that way… well I’m not good at managing too many social media, no more than two or three…lol I don’t do prints, many people ask for it, I’ve tried, but the shipping cost is more expensive than the prints themselves.
I would like to thank you again for this interview and I will open the space for you to finish this interview with a few words for the Fuel Motorcyclist that follow your work:
- I would like to respectfully thank the editor Mr. Dom Santoro & Fuel Motorcycles for this awesome opportunity and gave me a chance to share my works and my passion with the Fuel Motorcycles audience. I hope one day I can go to Spain to exhibit my work there. Nevertheless, stay safe and stay healthy everyone, cheers!