drop in and draw

'drop in and draw: ephemera' workshop . 2019

first blog post of 2019 – happy to announce my first workshop for the new year. i will be facilitating a 'drop in and draw' workshop at tashkeel, on the theme 'ephemera'. 
the drop in and draw workshops happen every month, catering to creatives looking for a creative environment to share their sketchbooks, and thinking of fresh ways to collectively fill the pages of their sketchbooks. for this workshop, i'd like to share the exciting process i picked up when working on my sketchbooks during my time at risd, asking participants to combine drawings, writings, and collecting material that hold personal memories, and relate to observations or stories about people, places and moments of joy.
besides coming to the workshop with your sketchbook, drawing tools, and a positive attitude, participants will also be required to bring items that are personal to them. make sure that they're small enough to fit into your sketchbooks! some examples are stickers, photos, found material, etc.
the workshop will be happening on thursday, 10 january 2019, from 6 – 8pm at tashkeel, priced at aed 70. for more information and to register online, head to the drop in and draw workshop page here.
looking forward to seeing you all dropping in and drawing!


farewell 2018

buraq . 2018

my 18th and final blog post for 2018! what a year it has been. it mostly feels like a blur at this point, but with all it's ups and many downs, 2018 was definitely a year of growth and change for me. i'm truly blessed for everything that's happened this year – graduating from risd with an mfa in textiles, moving back home and being busy with some great projects that have come my way, being able to travel around the world for personal and professional reasons, sharing my work with a new audience both at home and internationally – i'm so humbled with all the opportunities that have come my way.
i hope to continue riding this wave into the new year, and achieve success with becoming a full-time artist and designer. stay tuned for what's to come in 2019 – i will keep updating my blog as always.
i share with you all in this final post of the year an illustration i worked on, initially as a t-shirt design, which unfortunately got rejected. i have a fascination with the islamic mythical creature, the buraq, and feel like it symbolises a lot of my experiences this year – soaring to new heights and experiences and growth. these last couple of years have been a journey, and i feel like i'm sharing all i've learnt with everyone back home, hence illustrating the buraq with an arabic coffee pot and date palm branch as symbols of sharing. stay tuned – she might appear on a tee some time next year!
to a good time, lots of smiles, dancing, and creativity! a happy new year to all the krossbreed lovers. may 2019 be good to us all...

mirzam for jameel arts centre

jameel arts centre – garden . 2018

jameel arts centre – terrace . 2018

jameel arts centre – amphitheatre . 2018

mirzam x jameel arts centre final chocolate bars . 2018

mirzam x jameel arts centre final chocolate bars . 2018

an amazing new art space has recently opened in dubai and i had the honour of working with them. the jameel arts centre, which opened its doors last month, is an independent art institution dedicated to showcasing contemporary art focusing on the region and beyond. with programming ranging from art exhibitions to community outreach, the jameel arts centre is a great addition to the city's art community .
i had the opportunity to work with the centre on illustrations for chocolate bars sold at their gift shop. working with local chocolate makers mirzam, the art jameel shop is selling three unique flavours, exclusively made and sold for the store. the illustrations i worked on are in appreciation of the architecture of the centre, with a little bit of magic! the three illustrations focus on the exterior spaces around the centre, including the gardens, the terraces that overlook the dubai creek, and the amphitheatre located in the sculpture park. i had so much fun drawing these, and i loved seeing how the illustrations were matched with the chocolate flavours.
make sure to check out the jameel arts centre – trust me, you won't be disappointed. and do make sure to stop by the art jameel shop to buy some cool stuff, including the chocolate bars (they make excellent gifts!). plus, a selection of my zines and publications are on sale in the shop too, until stocks last. 
a huge thanks goes to the jameel arts centre team. thank you for the opportunity, and i look forward to working together again in the near future.


breaking bread

breaking bread (video) . 2018

breaking bread (process, samples, prototypes) . 2018 (photo courtesy of design ras al khor)

breaking bread at dubai design week . 2018

breaking bread at dubai design week . 2018

breaking bread at dubai design week . 2018

breaking bread at dubai design week . 2018 (photo courtesy of reem falaknaz)

breaking bread presented to international press by khalid shafar at dubai design week . 2018 (photo courtesy of design ras al khor)

if you made it to this year's edition of dubai design week, i hope you had a chance to check out my project 'breaking bread' for design ras al khor (drak). design ras al khor is a platform that invites designers each year to respond to a theme based on the ras al khor area. for it's fourth edition, the selected designers (myself, amal haliq and faissal el-malak) had to respond to the theme 'from rak to drak', focusing on assigned commercial outlets that cater to the community of the ras al khor industrial area.
i’ve been researching the afghani bakeries scattered across the area. these humble spaces make and sell one dirham bread to the men working in and around ras al khor. while observing the baking process, i was amazed at how the bakers pressed dots onto the dough using just their fingers, before slapping it onto the interior walls of a baking oven, leaving a decorative impression on the top face of the bread. 
through researching current bread stamping tools and methods, i wanted to create a tool that marks dotted impressions on the baked bread inspired by the visuals found in the ras al khor area. the final outcome were three prototypes of bread stamps, made from wood and steel, with designs inspired by decorative truck aesthetics, porta cabin mosques and the plants that sprout between pockets of factories within the industrial landscape.
this was definitely one of the most challenging projects i worked on, moving outside my comfort zone and exploring new materials i haven't worked with before. as these are still just prototypes, i plan to pursue this project further to have fully functional bread stamps that these bakeries can use in the near future.
a few thank you's are in order – thank you to the drak trio (khalid shafar, nadine kanso & khulood bint thani) for inviting me to be a part of this year's edition of drak. you were the first project that came my way after i graduated from risd so thanks for the opportunity. a huge thank you goes to the wood luck carpentry team for helping out with the manufacturing of the stamps and meeting an extremely tight deadline! i look forward to working with you again. thank you to everyone that came down to the atrium of building 7 at dubai design district (d3) during dubai design week to check out the project and share their feedback. i felt much better about my project after hearing what you all had to say. lastly, thank you to the 'al ras' and 'mirza muhammad' bakeries that were patient enough to let me into their spaces to understand their daily activities, and give me their time to test the stamps to see if they work. this project is dedicated to you.

i end this post with a photo of the participants of drak '18 (from left to right: amal, myself, faissal)

design ras al khor (drak) 2018 participants . 2018 (photo courtesy of design ras al khor)


from rak to drak

design ras al khor (drak) '18 invite . 2018
drak '18 participants . 2018

i'm happy to announce my participation in this year's edition of design ras al khor (drak), under the theme 'from rak to drak'! three selected designers – myself, amal haliq and faissal el-malak, were invited to create works inspired by various service outlets found within the ras al khor industrial area that caters to the local community. i was assigned the afghani bakeries that make and sell one dirham bread to the men working in and around the area. 
the project will be revealed at this year's dubai design week, and exhibited for the duration of the fair, from the 12-17 november 2018. stay tuned for more on my project titled 'breaking bread' very soon. until then, i look forward to seeing you all at dubai design week...


city sightseeing sharjah

city sightseeing sharjah poster . 2018

here's a poster i recently worked on for the sharjah investment and development authority (shurooq). shurooq commissioned a group of selected artists (including myself) to work on a series of posters that focus on popular and touristic spots around the city of sharjah. i was assigned citysightseeing sharjah, which is a bus tour that goes around the city's important and famous landmarks.
it was a bit of a challenge interpreting and illustrating the various stops the bus tour focuses on, but i'd like to think i captured its essence. from museums, sculptural landmarks, historical and cultural spaces – the uae's third largest city has it all. the final poster will be used for shurooq's company profile portfolio. whoever gets to see it, i hope they enjoy it...
even though i'm based in dubai, sharjah will always have a special place in my heart – i studied in university and had my first job there! i dedicate this poster to dubai's friendly neighbour, the city of sharjah!


focal point

focal point art book fair e-vite . 2018

here's a quick post about an art book fair organised by the amazing sharjah art foundation team. i'm truly honoured and excited to announce my participation in the first edition of the focal point art book fair, which is a 3-day event highlighting independent and mainstream publishers from the region and internationally. the focal point art book fair will include invited publishers selling their printed content, as well as curated tables that will have independent publications and print based material for sale. along with the book fair, a series of talks, screenings, workshops, a book launch, and more will be part of the public programming for the fair.
my print material will be available for sale at the curated table, along with other amazing independent publishers. if you haven't had a chance to get your hands on some of my existing publications, prints or zines, now's your chance! the publications that will be available at the fair are: never forget, fade away & illustrate issue one and twowe met on the dance floorbig city trailscapes make the man, and more...
i will also be facilitating a workshop titled 'diy illustrated sketchbooks' on the first day of the fair – thursday, 8 november, from 5–8pm. participants will be provided with empty sketchbooks which will be filled with observational line drawings of details and moments that capture their attention as they wander around the fair and the surrounding neighbourhood. the end result will be a completed sketchbook that participants get to keep. for more info on the workshop, and to register, head to the workshop page here.
the focal point art book fair will happen from 8-10 november, at the bait obaid al shamsi house in sharjah's art square. for more information on the fair programming, timings and venue details, head to the focal point art book fair web page here.
a big thank you goes out to wasan and the focal point team for reaching out and inviting me to be a part of the first edition of the fair. see you all at focal point...