Mental health crisis inspired Fylde stay-at-home dad to start painting

A father-of-two who took up painting to help him through a crisis launches his first art exhibition, with help from his five year old daughter.

By Lucinda Herbert
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 4:55 am

Rakin Rahman, from St Annes, developed severe anxiety after a family breakdown during Covid.

When he was wide awake at night he started channelling his ‘manic energy’ into painting.

Rakin, who now works as a supply teacher, said: “I’d be fully awake at 4AM. I was hyperventilating, and having these dark, destructive thoughts, and when I started being creative it helped. This was my recovery.”

Rakin Rahman will be having an exhibiton of his art at Hive on Church St

He also went for walks to rescue old furniture from skips around St Annes, to use as a canvas.

Rakin left his job as a screen printer in 2020 to be a full time dad, but he began to struggle with his mental health during the lockdown. He said: “My whole life completely broke down. I was trapped at home and I couldn’t take the kids anywhere.”

And Rakin’s love for his two children, Rita, 5, and Remi, 3, kept him going.

“I really don’t want them growing up without a dad, so that drove me to something positive – which was painting.”

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Rakin studied graphic design at Blackpool Sixth, until 2012. His skills in digital art have helped him to bond with his eldest daughter.

He has taught her how to create vector graphics on a computer, and they paint together most days.

And Rita even taught her dad a valuable lesson that he took to heart.

“I watched Rita while she was painting, and she was really having fun and making such a mess…I looked later on and realised it was quite a good mess. I used to be very precise with painting, but the kids have taught me that art is about letting go of control.”

And some of Rita’s work will be displayed along with her father’s.

Rakin’s exhibition is called ‘When life gives you lemons”. He added: “I’ve managed to make lemonade out of all the manic energy, and that’s what you have to do.

When there are problems you have to deal with it.”

The art will be displayed downstairs at HIVE Coffee House from 29 July - 29 August 2022.

The launch night is at HIVE Coffee House, Church Street, on Friday from 5 - 7:30pm.