Artist InsightFeature

Tracing the Journey of Mr Pencilist

Text by Marzana Tasnim

Spanning from wings made of cheese to adventurous streets of Old Dhaka, Mr Pencilist has discovered in awe his works adorning the walls of various ventures and homes across Dhaka.

Tahseen Nur, the one creating the inspiring artworks as Mr Pencilist, found his passion for creativity from quite a young age. He had the opportunity to express himself through different forms of art – from creating cartoons to depicting the vibrant and simple life of rural Bangladesh, Nur’s journey as an artist evolved greatly over the years. However, Nur personally prefers sketching using a pen over other mediums, having a particular flair for it.

Tracing the motivation behind his artistic journey, Nur said it was never a particular person he looked up to but that he always had a particular place in his heart for the legendary Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian polymath who, among a lot of other things, was a renowned painter, sculptor, and architect.

“I usually love to see everyone’s art and I truly admire how different people tend to have their depiction of seemingly similar stuff,” Nur said. He loves to travel and socialize which also equip him with the necessary inspiration to create art across various mediums.

Nur’s family also played a significant role in not only shaping his journey as an artist but also as a person by providing him with a shield of support.

“My family never tried to dissuade me from pursuing art, in fact, my sister even urged me to go to art school,” Nur said, adding that even though he never took her up on the suggestion, the encouragement did indeed give him a boost of confidence. “I feel quite proud being a self-taught artist, actually,” the young artist said in quiet defiance.

Reminiscing his journey as a muralist, Nur said, it was a happy happenstance and happened while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) from BRAC University. During his undergraduate years, Nur was engaged in a lot of extracurricular activities and he dedicated a lot of his free time working for local NGOs as a volunteer. However, one of the highlights of his undergrad years was being associated with the university’s Art Club, where he later became a president, and he said the experience taught him a lot of tangible skills he could not have otherwise learned so easily.

Delving deeper into how he got started with murals, Nur said, it was one fine day amid his peers that one of his seniors asked him to give wall art a shot and, once he decided to do that, there was no looking back.

Drawing wings made up of cheese for Cheez – a popular pizza place in Dhaka, Nur started his flight of smooth and rough sails, gaining soon many offers to work for ventures like Tabaq Coffee, Kacchigiri, Chunk and more. In a few days, Tahseen Nur, a promising young artist, would soon come to see people recognizing the name “Mr Pencilist” more than his actual name – something he would often find entertaining yet secretly thank the universe for.

Describing his work process, Nur said it is simple when clients want him to recreate something and provide him references but it gets significantly trickier when he is expected to find a concept by himself.

“You cannot imagine how easy it is to fly into the tornado of all the concepts that one’s mind is capable to think of,” Nur said, adding that different settings bring on different themes which in turn activates its imagination. After the initial step of recognising the theme, the settings, and the preferences of the clients, Nur starts drafting up samples for the client to select. Even though drafting up concepts and finalizing them takes a long time, it is here where his imagination truly shines.

When asked if he had any advice for all the budding artists out there, Nur encouraged people to follow their passion and to have faith that there will be people to support them in their journeys.

“I always start a project thinking this is my final work,”

he said, adding that this mindset helps him create art he is proud of. He also strongly advises artists to have goal in mind alongside the passion.

Highlighting the importance of support from fellow artists and networking with like-minded individuals within the artist community, Nur also sent his regards to Lizasbrushes, another Bangladeshi talent and a well-known watercolour artist, who helped him continue and motivated him to do better, alluding that everyone benefits from the support of a friend.

Grateful for the opportunities and the experiences, Nur hopes to carry his art journey to wherever he ends up next. This young artist, quite active on social media, can be reached on Instagram at @mr.pencilist and Facebook at @themrpencilist.

Show More


Showcase Magazine is the first ever architecture, interior design and art magazine in Bangladesh. It is a vibrant monthly celebration of influential names in design and art, innovative projects, design ideas, products, culture etc.

Related Articles