one last zine workshop for 2014

diy zine workshop with khalid mezaina . 2014

just before the year ends, the magazine shop & i decided to offer one last diy zine workshop. the final workshop for 2014 will happen on wed 17 december 2014, from 6.30 - 8.30 pm, at a new space, the bookshop.
if you're interested in taking part, send me an email to register your spot. & make sure to bring aed 20 with you, a creative mind & be prepared to get messy making some fun zines.
looking forward to seeing you all on the 17th. for some inspiration, here are a couple of posts about previous zine workshops i hosted in the past here & here.


cover run

aspire magazine cover illustration . 2014

aspire magazine december 2014 wraparound cover . 2014 

just before december, i was approached by etihad airways to work on a commissioned illustration for their december issue of aspire magazine. the brief was to visually communicate the launch of the a380 in etihad's fleet, and to focus on abu dhabi as a modern city, with it's culture & heritage intact, using etihad's brand colors, with an occasional pop of color here & there!
with an extremely tight deadline to work with, i came up with the final illustration shown above, which was used as a wraparound on the version by reflecting a mirrored version of the illustration onto the arabic cover., which works quite well in my opinion.
i'm really happy to have had the opportunity to work with etihad airways on their first ever illustrated cover for aspire magazine. it's been awhile since i worked on commissioned, client based work & i hope to receive more opportunities like this in the future.
thank you etihad for the opportunity. also, thank you capsule arts for initiating the collaboration.
if you're traveling this month on etihad, make sure to pick up a copy. if not, here's an online version of their december issue.


i am your mother

i am your mother . 2014

with the release of the new star wars movie trailer, i thought this post would be most appropriate...
a couple of months ago, i was approached by brownbook & samsung middle east to try out the new samsung galaxy note 4 & create an artwork with it's features, including the phone's 's pen' & 's note', which act as a portable drawing tablet on the phone.
i decided to capture a humorous moment with the family by illustrating my mother's attempt to make my nephews laugh by donning their darth vader toy mask!
even though it was my first time using a samsung mobile device, it was extremely easy getting used to, & is definitely catered to the creative folk. i started the artwork by working on the flat, solid colors first, then added in details with lines & shading, which is the opposite of how i usually work when drawing manually.
for a first smartphone illustration attempt, i must say i was glad with the end result. & audience feedback during the note 4 launch was extremely positive.
if anyone is looking for a phone which you can get creative with, i would highly suggest buying the new samsung galaxy note 4. i will definitely be carrying mine around to do some quick sketches when a pen & paper aren't within grasp.


never forget walkabout at creekside

'never forget' walkabout invite . 2014

after a successful talk and launch at the creekside promoting 'never forget: an illustrated guide to dubai's best kept secrets', i will be continuing the promotional tour by leading a walkabout around some of the areas featured in the book with a group of registered participants. the walkabout will happen on saturday, 22 november from 9am-12pm, meeting point at the creekside, with a fee of aed 100 to participate. as part of the walkabout, you will receive a limited edition tote bag, which includes a copy of the book and a colour pencil set. more info on the invite above.

if you're interested, make sure to sign up by sending an email to tashkeel@tashkeel.org

hope to see you at the walkabout this saturday!


a krossbreed fantasy

a krossbreed fantasy 1 . 2014

a krossbreed fantasy 2 . 2014

a krossbreed fantasy at capsule arts print collection launch . 2014

a krossbreed fantasy at capsule arts print collection launch . 2014

a krossbreed fantasy at capsule arts print collection launch . 2014

a krossbreed fantasy 1 collage sketch . 2014

a krossbreed fantasy 2 collage sketch . 2014

as mentioned in my previous post, this is my second year working with capsule arts on a new series of prints to be sold on their website. for these prints, i decided to do something completely fresh & add a touch of color!
my new illustrations, titled 'a krossbreed fantasy', play with the notion of defining what the term 'krossbreed' means. starting with collaged sketches of strange, hybrid creatures made from parts of animals/humans/plants, to later adding bold patterns & color, the final illustrations you see above are an exploration of defining the meaning of being a product of local and outside influences & inspirations - kind of like me!
these illustrations are only beginnings of a project i'd like to further develop, hopefully creating new visuals and graphics for t-shirts & apparel, to be launched in 2015. so definitely stay tuned...
if you'd like to purchase any of these prints, or prints from my previous collection with capsule arts, make sure to head to my page on their site. also, make sure to browse the other artists featured. there is a lot of great stuff!
to compliment my post, i leave you with a little feature about me on capsule arts' blog where is my shark?

lastly, i would also like to point out that these illustrations are titled after a side project i try to keep up; a tumblr page where i share my favorite moments in music. here's akrossbreedfantasy.tumblr.com enjoy!


krossbreed for capsule arts 2.0

'a krossbreed fantasy' teaser . 2014

capsule arts print collection exhibition invite . 2014

it's been a year since i worked with capsule arts on creating limited edition prints of my illustrations (to see previous collections check out here & here). for 2014, our relationship continues with a new series of prints, titled 'a krossbreed fantasy'.
next week is the exhibition launch of this year's print collection & i am happy to be one of the featured artists.
above is the invitation for the exhibition, happening on 11 september, from 7-10 pm. i very much look forward to seeing you all there. for more information on the launch, make sure to check out the event page on facebook.
i leave this post as a teaser for whats to come. stay tuned next week for a full post on my new illustrations...


never forget at creekside

'never forget' launch+talk invite . 2014

september is here which means summer is officially over, making way for new exciting projects and announcements. 
first up is a talk i will be doing on last year's illustrated activity book i made for tashkeel on forgotten areas in dubai titled 'never forget: an illustrated guide to dubai's best kept secrets'. i'll be talking about the book, why i did it, the inspiration, process and the areas featured in the publication. the book will also be on sale for a humble 30 dhs so make sure to come by to get your very own copy.
the 'never forget' launch+talk will happen on 9 september 2014 at 7pm, at creekside.
looking forward to seeing you all.


made in tashkeel 2014

'details in the fabric' at made in tashkeel . 2014

'details in the fabric' at made in tashkeel (detail) . 2014

'edison marries nefertiti' at made in tashkeel . 2014

'never forget' activity book at made in tashkeel . 2014

summer is finally upon us & it's hot as ever! & with ramadan coinciding for the beginning of the season, things can be very slow! so if you're in dubai, & would like to make use of your time during fasting hours, or just check out a vibrant, inspiring art show, then make sure to stop by this year's edition of made in tashkeel.
it's been awhile since i exhibited at my workplace, & am proud to be contributing with 3 existing projects for this exhibition. the first showcase is a selection of pieces i created last year for design house, titled 'details in the fabric'. my second contribution is the limited edition screen print 'edison marries nefertiti', also made last year for Nasir Nasrallah's 'story machine' project. lastly, my third contribution is the 'never forget' activity book i created for last year's dxb store. looking back, 2013 seemed to be a very busy & creative year for me! hoping this year will be the same...
made in tashkeel runs until august 28. all my artworks/projects mentioned here are currently on sale for the duration of the show. it's definitely an exhibition worth checking out so make sure to come down & have a look at the brilliant artworks on display, & maybe purchase an early eid present for yourself or loved ones!


porta mosque

porta mosque . 2014

wishing all the krossbreed lovers out there a ramadan kareem. hope the month brings blessings to all, and may all your prayers be answered.
i was invited by capsule arts to create an illustration for a limited edition print which will go on sale during the holy month. proceeds from the sales will go to the big heart campaign, a uae based charity for syrian refugee children.
the illustration you see here is titled 'porta mosque', and is inspired by the temporary cabin mosques found around the uae; from construction sites to random desolate areas in the city. even though these mosques are so simple in their construction, they still have so much character & individuality to them. these mosques speak stories about the communities that congregate within their space, and how religion is important & sacred no matter what social class you come from.
if you want to contribute to a good cause, or just own a really cool artwork, head here to purchase your very own print of porta mosque. this limited edition print is an edition of 25, priced at aed 550, 29.7 x 29.7 cm.


ahmed + mays

ahmed + mays . 2013

two of my closest friends decided to get hitched & tie the knot! here's an illustration i made, by request of the bride, of the newly weds. 
i've known both ahmed & mays for over ten years. we've all grown together during our tumultuous years in university & beyond, & have been there for each other through good & bad.
words cannot explain how happy i am for my two best friends who decided to spend the rest of their lives together. i love them very much & wish them all the best. congratulations ahmed & mays on your married life. god bless...


past forward : contemporary art from the emirates

windtowers . 2010

untitled . 2012

arab dreem . 2013

past forward exhibition poster outside the meridian international center . 2014

my artworks at the past forward exhibition . 2014

past forward collateral . 2014

past forward exhibition opening . 2014 (photo by evelyn hockstein)

with ambassador yousef al otaiba . 2014 (photo by nick khazal)

last may, i had the chance to travel to the united states of america for the first time. the opportunity came about when i was invited to be a participating artist of a touring contemporary emirati art exhibition in the united states, titled past forward.
past forward showcases 25 artists from different generations of the uae art community, presenting a collection of 50 artworks outside the united arab emirates for the first time. apart from being an art showcase, the exhibition is also a cultural diplomacy initiative, giving americans a better understanding of the history, life and culture of the uae through art, talks and workshops. the exhibition is curated by the uae embassy and the meridian international center, as well as emirati artist and curator noor al suwaidi.
as a selected artist from the exhibition, i was invited to attend the official inauguration in washington dc, as an ambassador for my country and the uae's creative scene. also invited was my friend and fellow creative zeinab alhashemi. other then attending the exhibition, both zeinab and i were required to host children's art workshops in many of washington's public schools, and the children's national medical center, which has a strong relationship with the uae. other activities also included museum visits around the capital, and meeting some of the institution's directors and curators.
the selected artworks for the exhibition were my older illustrations seen above; 'windtowers', 'untitled' (a sketch study of my print 'vibrant future') and 'arab dreem' (originally used as an illustration for my activity book 'never forget'). another bonus as a participant of this show was seeing my 'windtowers' illustration applied onto collateral, including tote bags and as the cover for the exhibition catalogue. amazing!!!
the opening was such a surreal moment; seeing artworks of my friends, colleagues & peers all in one showcase outside the uae. it was a proud moment seeing everyone's artworks together, and what we have achieved over the years thorough our careers. another highlight of the exhibition was having the opportunity to meet the ambassador yousef al otaiba who opened the show. a great man and a really cool guy!
besides the exhibition, being able to host art workshops in public schools and at the children's national medical center was an amazing experience. working with children from different social backgrounds was truly an eye opener & a humbling experience. i hope our workshops had an impact on whoever we encountered, and sparked an inner artist in all.
overall, my experience in washington was amazing. i am proud of my achievements so far as a creative, as well as calling the uae my home.
after showing in washington, the exhibition will go on a tour around the united states, including california and texas, through to 2015. i wish the exhibition all the best on its tour, and i look forward to hearing all the news and feedback about it.
for more information on the exhibition, make sure to check out the exhibition's official website

a huge thanks goes to the uae embassy for being caring hosts, the meridian international center for all it's efforts and support, noor al suwaidi for believing in me as an artist, zeinab alhashemi for being a great traveling buddy and friend, and to everyone else i met during this trip. you all made this an experience i will never forget...

i end this post with some memorable moments during my time in dc.

memorable moments in washington dc . 2014


make your own zines during summer...

diy zine workshop by khalid mezaina . 2014

before summer is officially upon us, the magazine shop & i are collaborating one more time on a diy zine workshop. i have hosted four workshops so far & each experience has been better then the next. it's great seeing how creative people are with limited resources to create random yet visually amazing zines.
if you'd like to keep yourself occupied during the summer heat, come down on the 17th of june (tuesday) for the final diy zine workshop of the season, & learn how to create your very own low brow publication. make sure to bring with you aed 20, & a mind filled with creative ideas. send me an email to register, or just pop in. there's room for everyone! and don't forget, the location is in media city. for additional information on the workshop, head here.

just to get you all a little more interested, i share with you below a zine i created during the last workshop, based on the theme 'summer heat'! hope you find it inspiring & influences you to come down for the workshop.

see you on the 17th...

zine in process . 2014

'summer heat' themed zine by me . 2014


5 times a day for art4sight

5 times a day for art4sight . 2014

art4sight invite . 2014

5 times a day prints at art4sight exhibition . 2014

for 4 consecutive years, i've been honored to be a part of noor dubai's 'art4sight'; an annual art exhibition and auction for raising funds to help cure preventative blindness around the world.
for this year's edition i donated 2 prints from my '5 times a day' series which were successfully sold. thank you to the buyer who purchased my prints. i hope the work has found a wonderful home and may your contribution help restore the sight of a substantial amount of people. i'm glad to contribute to such a cause that helps make a difference in our world.

at the end of the auction, everyone was invited to watch a special sound and light show, projected onto the exteriors of the hall where the exhibition/auction took place. the projections were a combination of selected artworks that were in the show, and i was ecstatic to have been one of the included artists. the image below shows you what i quickly captured of my artwork in the form of a projection. it definitely was the highlight of my evening, and also a huge inspiration of how far i could take my work. will definitely look into the medium and maybe the near future holds opportunities to work with projections. stay tuned...

5 times a day as projection . 2014



leylam . 2014
it's all square exhibition invite . 2014
leylam . 2014
leylam at it's all square exhibition . 2014

i'm participating in the latest annual illustration exhibition organized by the domino titled 'it's all square'. all exhibited pieces had to fit the theme of presenting works in a square format. the piece i am showing is titled 'leylam'; an illustration i created last year as part of my 'city portraits' series, which i applied onto limited edition notebooks (see post here). 
if anyone is wondering what leylam means – leylam refers to an individual who walks around neighborhoods selling random items to the community. leylam is basically a walking shop, carrying items to sell in large sheets of fabric, screaming 'leylam leylam leylam' to let the community know he has arrived. someone who has lived in the uae for awhile would recognize this mysterious and efficient individual. unfortunately, the leylam is slowly disappearing and is becoming a figure of the past. my illustration pays tribute to the leylam and reminds people of this ephemeral individual.
please make sure to stop by the jam jar to check out the exhibition which runs until 12 may 2014. there are some great illustrations on show. also, i am selling a limited number of 'leylam' notebooks during the duration of the exhibition if you'd like to get your hands on one.


hear my voice – again

hear my voice illustrations . 2014

hear my voice posters . 2014 (courtesy of mobius design studio)

i was honored to contribute yet again to kalimati speech & communication center's second edition of 'hear my voice...' conference. just like last year, i was approached by mobius design studio to contribute illustrations for the conference's campaign they were designing.
this year's theme for the conference was 'empowering the deaf'. the required illustrations included various sign language gestures specifically created for the uae community; creating a vocabulary for the hearing impaired, empowering them to confidently communicate regardless of their condition.
i illustrated a total of ten signs. the above are a selection, along with some of the posters designed by mobius with the illustrations applied.
it's a great honor to contribute to such an important cause. i truly thank the kalimati team for making me be a part of their mission for a second year in a row. thank you mobius as well for the opportunity again.
a special thank you goes to noah for being my hand model! without his patience, i don't think i would've done a consistent job with getting these illustrations completed.