A sand artist named Sameer Shoukat emerged in the city of Gwadar in 2019 during a competition for beach sketches. The second-placed sketcher in the competition was Sameer, a 21-year-old from Gadani, Balochistan, who was one of the 80 participants.
The art of beach-sketching involves creating fleeting works of art near to the water using just sand as a medium, wrote Ali Jan Maqsood in Dawn newspaper.
The competition sparked Sameer’s passion for this form of expression and fueled his ambition to become one of Pakistan’s top beach sketchers. Since that time, Sameer has travelled the world learning about beach sketching and has achieved significant popularity, not just in Pakistan or Balochistan but also around the world.
On his social media channels in 2022, Sameer shared a drawing of Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. Sameer’s stunning and astonishingly realistic sand-portrait of Kohli quickly gained popularity. During their time spent together in Australia for the T20 World Cup in 2022, Shahnawaz Dahani, a fast bowler for the Pakistani national cricket team, told Kohli about the sketch. In his reply, Kohli thanked the Pakistani musician for his support.
Kohli is not the only well-known person Sameer has brought to life on Pakistan’s beaches, though. Sand portraits of athletes like footballer Lionel Messi, cricketers Babar Azam and Imran Khan, philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, and the late politician Benazir Bhutto are just a few of Sameer’s other well-known and well-liked pieces of art.
In 2019, Sameer became an active member of his brother’s arts organisation, the Rashidi Arts Club. Although though he had been a club member since 2014, he started to participate more frequently after realising that, if he didn’t use his gift, his creative potential may be wasted. In 2021, he was able to pursue his career as an artist and beach sketcher full-time thanks to the club’s encouragement and instruction.
Sameer explains that he joined the club in 2019 to learn sand art and that the Gwadar event was what got his career going. “I wanted to have a unique artistic approach. Because there weren’t many people doing it, I decided to draw on the beach.
In an effort to get through these obstacles, Sameer’s team persistently and effectively sought out the interest of athletes, legislators, and media outlets around the nation in the goal of securing more coverage of their work. Their unwavering perseverance has now paid off. Sameer says, “Efforts usually pay off. The pleasure of watching our work become viral has been incredible.
Sameer aspires to continue sketching along the beach and eventually seek a degree in fine arts. His ultimate objective is to represent Pakistan in an international tournament.
In a nation where the arts are frequently underappreciated, he hopes his work will foster a deeper respect for the arts.