Student Art Spotlight: Mali Hajaghaei

By Maya Rosenberg, Editor-in-Chief

There are 65 murals in D.C., each unique in their own style, subject and artist. No one understands this better than junior Mali Hajaghaei, who painted her own mural downtown this summer.
Hajaghaei, along with others, painted the mural in Anacostia, a historic neighborhood located in Southeast D.C. from July 15-20.

“[My mural] means a lot [to me] because it was the first real opportunity I had to make my art public, and work with others to create something great,” Hajaghaei said.

While most artists have teachers or mentors to guide them, Hajaghaei is self taught. Since she never had a teacher to inspire or guide her, she’s developed her own unique artistic style.

According to Hajaghaei, she enjoys creating more realistic works of art, and enjoys painting with watercolor.

“I’ve been painting and drawing ever since I can remember,” Hajaghaei said. “But I just recently started painting murals this year.”

According to Hajaghaei, while she’s never been formally instructed, she draws some artistic inspiration from her mom. Hajaghei’s mother used to sit her down and teach her daughter all that she knew about painting.

Hajaghai’s mural journey is relatively new. Her family friend, who is also an artist, brought Hajaghaei down to D.C. over the summer and showed her the whole process of painting murals. After learning the process of painting the murals and seeing the final product, she knew she wanted to paint them herself.
As her artistic journey progressed, Hajaghaei has gained fans of her work along the way.

“Everything she draws and paints has a noticeable degree of emotion attached to it,” junior Vinny Douglass said.

Douglass has been a fan of Hajagahei’s work ever since he saw her art on Instagram, and even looked into purchasing her artwork.

According to Douglass, when he looks at Hajagahei’s art, he feels as if he’s connected to the original feeling Hajaghaei had while creating it, all while having his own unique emotions caused by the art.

For Hajaghaei, art is more than just a hobby. According to Hajaghaei, her mother “really encouraged [her] to take on a profession that included art if that was what she really felt passionate about.”

This encouragement has continued to permeate her career choices and help grow her aspirations. Hajaghaei plans on continuing to work on small projects and freelance work before moving on to bigger and better things.

“I would like to have my own art gallery at some point, and have my own art and others’ art on display,” Hajaghaei said.