hounds & robyns

'hounds of love' poster . 2016 
'robyn' lp album artwork (front) . 2016

a final post about projects from my 'picturing sound' class – here are the first and final assignments i worked on during the course. the first illustration is a visual interpretation of kate bush's song (my favourite) '
hounds of love'. instead of a literal representation of the lyrics, i decided to create an illustration of a rock band called the hounds of love! 
the second illustration was for my final assignment where i decided to create an lp album cover. i selected one of my favourite pop singers and her self titled album, robyn. this is an important album in my music library, and i wanted to work with it as a final project. i was inspired by iconic 80's album covers to create the front cover portrait, and experimented with the typography for the title. i think the end result is quite powerful.
overall, the 'picturing sound' class was a real treat. i really enjoyed the course, and am very satisfied with the body of work created over the course of the semester. special thank you goes to the professor, calef brown, who was truly inspiring.
i end this post with the final artwork for the back cover of the album. other then showing you the illustration on the back, i also wanted to share with you the tracklist from the album so that you can have a listen to some great pop songs.

'robyn' lp album artwork (back) . 2016


belly dance disco

belly dance disco . 2016

here's another assignment from my 'picturing sound' class. titled 'genre mashup', the assignment asked us to combine two genres of music and create an illustration of it, combining typical visuals of both genres. i decided to combine disco with belly dancing – disco represented with the mirror ball and lit dance floor, while belly dancing is shown with the belly dancer silhouette and a repeated fez and moustache motif representing the male audience.
the final illustration is a repeat wallpaper pattern design. i wanted to combine my illustration practise with my textile studies and try something different on this particular assignment. i'm pretty satisfied with the end result.

stay tuned for end of semester posts and final projects...


east – east: vol 2

east – east: uae meets japan vol 2 evite . 2016 

'east – east' exhibition at chi-ka . 2016 (photo courtesy of chi-ka)

'east – east' exhibition at chi-ka . 2016 (photo courtesy of hind mezaina)

'east – east' exhibition at chi-ka . 2016 (photo courtesy of hind mezaina)

i'm happy to announce the exhibition i'm part of, 'east–east: uae meets japan', is being showcased once again. after a successful exhibit in abu dhabi (see previous post here), the show is now on display in dubai. if you missed it the first time, now is your chance to check it out.
'east – east: uae meets japan vol 2' is currently on exhibit at chi-ka, a unique art space that also sells one of kind kimonos, located in alserkal avenue. the exhibition opened on 13 november, and will be on display until 30 november 2016. i hope you can check out this really unique exhibition, in a really unique space. much love to all the positive feedback on my illustrated prints. 



kylie showgirl gig poster . 2016

here's another project from my 'picturing sound' course i'm happy to share. we had to create an illustrated gig poster that would function like a proper concert poster (includes name of artist, tour name, venue & date). i thought this would be a great opportunity to create a poster of one of my favourite pop singers ever - kylie minoguei am a super kylie fan, and have been to six of her shows so far. from costumes, stage projections, merchandise, and tracklists, a kylie concert is always pure entertainment. 
for the assignment, i chose one of the concerts i unfortunately didn't get to see. the 'showgirl: greatest hits' tour looked absolutely amazing and was one of kylie's iconic shows which was sadly interrupted and canceled due to her health. i really wish i got to see the show live back in 2005, but i do have the dvd to watch it as many times as i want!
there were many memorable costumes from the showgirl tour, one of the most memorable being the iconic blue feathered corset and headdress designed by john galliano worn during the show's opening set. it really defines kylie as the ultimate showgirl, and i wanted to include it in my poster. i used pen and watercolour as my main medium, and hand drew the type for 'kylie' and 'showgirl'. the end result is a banner like poster with the petite pop princess in mid air.
there's always room to edit work, and after a few iterations, i was satisfied with the final layout above. i hope everyone seeing this enjoys it too. and if kylie ever stumbles upon this online, i hope you like it too as much as i love your creativity and music. there is only one kylie, and she's our favourite showgirl...


halloween '16

happy halloween . 2016

wishing all the krossbreed lovers a happy halloween. here's a short post wishing everyone lots of spooky love!
the illustration is for a small postcard i created for my textile friends to keep our spirits up while we slave away in studio. can't make cards for everybody, so sharing it here for all to appreciate.
be safe, and enjoy the night. go trick or treating, watch a spooky movie, or dance to some ghoulish tunes!


you spin my dervish round

you spin my dervish round . 2016

dervish sketches (lyrical foreground) . 2016

untitled abstract (instrumental background) . 2016

i wasn't going to create a post about this little project i worked on for my picturing sound course (illustrating for music) at risd. but with the recent passing of dead or alive's frontman pete burns, i felt i should.
one of the assignments in the class was to create an illustration inspired by two musical pieces – one instrumental and one lyrical. the instrumental component would be the abstract background while the lyrical component would be the representational foreground. the two songs selected were 'ocean drive' by miami nights 1984 as the instrumental component, and 'you spin me round (like a record)' by dead or alive for the lyrical component.
the end result is a fun gif of a whirling dervish spinning within a glitchy, 80s themed background. i really enjoyed this experimental approach to representing music. just to show you how the gif works with music, here's a link with audio on my instagram page.
i dedicate this post to pete burns. 'you spin me round (like a record)' is one of my favorite songs of all time. it makes me want to get up and dance and sing really loudly every time i hear it. they definitely don't make music like this anymore. thank you for giving this world one amazing track. its definitely left its mark in the history of pop music. rest in peace pete.


man, myth, maiden

man . 2016

myth . 2016

maiden . 2016

at 'east – east' exhibition . 2016 (photo courtesy of sophie arni)

at 'east – east' exhibition . 2016 (photo courtesy of sophie arni)

at 'east – east' exhibition . 2016 (photo courtesy of sophie arni)

at 'east – east' exhibition . 2016 (photo courtesy of sophie arni)

last week marked the exhibition opening of 'east – east: uae meets japan' (see event information in previous post here). i am one of four participating artists, invited to create artworks based on cultural similarities between emirati and japanese cultures.
i created three fun illustrations inspired by japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the edo period. heavily influenced by the aesthetic of ukiyo-e prints, 'man', 'myth' and 'maiden' are three figures from emirati culture – the powerful male, the mythical figure from our oral heritage and traditional past, and the conservative, elegant female. the final illustrations are a fun, theatrical tribute to a culture that i love and has influenced my work many times.
if you're in abu dhabi or the uae, please do make sure to check out the exhibition, which runs until 31 october 2016. for more information check out these links via nyu abu dhabi: here and here.
lastly, i'd like to thank the exhibition curator sophie arni, for reaching out earlier this year and inviting me to participate in her show. i wish you all the best and hope 'east – east: uae meets japan' flourishes. also, a special thank you to my friend layan for being my liaison with sophie back home while i'm miles away at risd.


bedknob & broomstick

bedknob & broomstick . 2016

amor magazine issue #26  . 2016 (photo courtesy of fn designs)

inside spread from amor magazine issue #26 . 2016 (photo courtesy of fn designs)

i'm happy to announce my inclusion in amor (a magazine of random)'s latest issue. illustrators were invited to submit cover redesigns of their favorite book. i chose a book that i loved to read while growing up, and still do on occasion –'bedknob & broomstick' by mary norton. 
the final design is a simple pattern of the magical bed and broom the characters used in the story, traveling in time and around the world. if you ever manage to get a hold of bedknob & broomstick, do read it as it's purely magical. you can also watch the movie, but like always, the book is way better!
make sure to get your copy of amor by heading to fn designs located in alserkal avenue. i'm happy to be a part of this issue, alongside some great illustrators. 
lastly, while on the topic of amor, i would also like to share a recent interview in their 'artist of the month' series. check out the interview here.


east – east: an exhibition

east – east: an exhibition evite . 2016

i've finally managed to write a new blog post from my new home for the next couple of years - providence, rhode island. it's been a month and still adjusting to a new lifestyle and being a student again (details in previous post here). 
i will be sharing my experiences and projects at risd in future posts. but for now, i'd like to share an e-vite for an upcoming exhibition back home in the uae, specifically in abu dhabi. i will be participating in 'east – east: an exhibition' curated by nyu abu dhabi student sophie arni, founder of global art daily. below are extracts from the press release with details on the exhibition:

"east – east: an exhibition will explore the ways young voices of the emirati art scene choose to regard cross-cultural contact with the arts of japan. the exhibition will aim to draw parallels between japanese and emirati culture as both traditional societies move rapidly forward into our postmodern age and strive to keep a balance between heritage and futurism. east – east also intends to challenge and expand the idea of what 'global art' means to artists, curators, and viewers alike in our increasingly globalized world. 
bridging the uae to japan seems like a bold move but as curator sophie mayuko arni explains: 'i wanted to break the overused and overheard ‘east-west’ terminology by turning it on its head. why always look to the west, when we can look eastwards? I hope for east – east to be a great experiment for a new model of global contemporary art making and exhibition practices.
works on show will explore the similarity in both countries’ fine balance between rooted tradition and expanding modernity. themes as nh and bedouin mythology, spirituality and repetition, weaving and knotting, zen buddhism and the desert’s connection to materiality, traditional and ceremonial dress, will be contrasted to overwhelming consumption typified by plastic materials in such chain stores as daiso. the exhibition as such will combine the emirati artist's established styles with japanese stylistic elements in a contemporary socially-aware context. four years ahead of dubai and tokyo hosting the expo and olympics respectively, the occasion seems fitting to celebrate these two cultures together to further solidify their place on the global art map.

east – east opens at 6pm, on tuesday, 18 october 2016, at the nyu abu dhabi art center project space, featuring the works of 4 artists including al anood al obaidly, amna al maamari, ahmed al anzi, and myself. if you're in town, please do make sure to pass by and check out the exhibition, which runs until 31 october 2016. i will be exhibiting a series of new illustrations, one of them being used in the e-vite you see above. stay tuned for my next post, where i will feature the final illustrations from the show.


off to risd...

risd . 2016

i'm going to grad school y'all! after 10 years, i've finally taken the brave step of going back to school to pursue a masters degree. i'm happy to announce that i will be heading to the rhode island school of design this september, to begin an mfa in textiles. 
i'm super excited as well as extremely nervous of what's to come. this is definitely outside my comfort zone; living abroad and becoming a full-time student once again. but it feels like the right time to get back to education and learn new skills to develop and grow as an artist and designer.  
even though i'll be based in rhode island for the next couple of years, i'll frequently be back in dubai during the long breaks to catch up with family and loved ones. also, i'll still be updating my blog as much as possible, with posts focusing on projects and explorations in school.
i hope you'll continue this journey with me and i look forward to sharing with you the next chapter of my krossbreed life! stay tuned folks...


happy anniversary to the derderians

beth+rob . 2016

here's a short post about a recent commission for my friends rob & beth derderian. i was asked by rob to create an illustration for his wife beth for their second anniversary. the illustration highlights their last year or so traveling the world and living in dubai. i hope beth+rob enjoy this personal illustration as much as i did making it.
i wish the derderians many amazing anniversaries together and hope they find new places around the world to explore and create memories.


do not postpone today's work for tomorrow

do not postpone today's work for tomorrow . 2016

i'm happy to share with you an illustration i worked on for a recent private commission. i was asked to create an artwork with the arabic phrase "لا تؤجل عمل اليوم إلى الغد", which translates to 'do not postpone today's work for tomorrow'.
the client wanted the phrase worked into my style of illustration. the end result is an illustration of a trolley handler (an iconic visual you find in souks and older parts of dubai) moving packages with the phrase written on them. the illustration was hand drawn, digitally coloured, and presented as a final digital print.
i hope the client enjoys the artwork. and to whoever's reading this, i hope you enjoy it too.


armani exchange

armani exchange t-shirts designed by khalid mezaina . 2016
armani exchange dubai t-shirt designed by khalid mezaina . 2016
armani exchange uae t-shirt designed by khalid mezaina . 2016

i had the opportunity to collaborate with armani exchange in dubai on a line of uae themed t-shirts for men, as part of their ramadan collection. i worked on two main designs - one with the word 'dubai' on the front, and the second includes a uae flag for a front pocket, 'ghutra' patterned sleeves, with armani exchange's logo in arabic on the back. both t-shirts are available in both black and white.
although very different to the work i usually do, i think the end result is still quite cool. i wanted these tees to be something i could wear, and not look tacky like many other uae themed tees from other brands currently out there. the designs i worked on are (i hope) contemporary, minimal and cool designs that every guy will enjoy.
if you're looking for some new clothes to wear, or looking for a cool present for a friend, head to any armani exchange store around dubai and the uae to get your hands on some tees.

t-shirts displayed in armani exchange stores in dubai (photo by jihan mezaina) . 2016
t-shirts displayed in armani exchange stores in dubai (photo by jihan mezaina) . 2016
t-shirts displayed in armani exchange stores in dubai (photo by jihan mezaina) . 2016



'ramadanization' exhibition invite . 2016

'television of the month' gif . 2016

'ramadanza' wallpaper design . 2016

'ramadanza' wallpaper studio process . 2016

'ramadanza' wallpaper installation in gallery . 2016

'television of the month' final installation . 2016

'television of the month' final installation . 2016

'television of the month' final installation . 2016

'television of the month' final installation . 2016

it's that time of year again! wishing all the krossbreed lovers a ramadan kareem. for the holy month, i've participated in ductac's second edition, and first exhibition of 'ramadanization'.
the 'ramadanization' show features works by artists reflecting on their own significant memories and experiences of ramadan. i've contributed with a piece titled 'television of the month' – a living room style installation which focuses on the act of watching tv during the holy month. to me, ramadan is not only a time of discipline and reflection, but also ironically, the month where excess is most apparent. this can be seen through the endless advertisements and programmes on tv. gathering in front of the television post-iftar is a family tradition that still continues in our household. i loved programmes of the past like comedy sketch shows and fawazeers (musical variety shows) from the arab world. nowadays, theres been a shift with the content on tv. soap operas are depressing, and everything seems to be negative, conflicting, and confusing. through my work, i invite the audience to reflect upon the nature of the media we consume during ramadan, and to consider if any of it is integral to the holy month itself.
the final artwork includes a looped series of illustrations about past and present tv moments i've been exposed to, as well as a patterned wallpaper design, and a sofa to sit on and enjoy the visuals on screen. i hope people who've lived in the region long enough are familiar with what they see and reflect on their experiences around tv viewing during the month of ramadan.
if you haven't made it yet, 'ramadanization' is up until 9 july 2016, at ductac, mall of the emirates. it's a good show which really tackles the meaning of ramadan and represents an honest portrayal of what ramadan means to each exhibiting artist. for more information, check out the online platform of 'ramadanization' here.


they see me rovein'

laundromat mural at rove downtown dubai . 2016

laundromat mural at rove downtown dubai . 2016

laundromat mural at rove downtown dubai . 2016

laundromat mural at rove downtown dubai . 2016

laundromat mural at rove downtown dubai . 2016

laundromat mural at rove downtown dubai . 2016

laundromat mural at rove downtown dubai . 2016

i'd like to share a recent commission i worked on for rove hotels downtown dubai, the first of a new hotel chain by emaar properties. my friends and art consultants at capsule arts were responsible for supplying appropriate and cool artworks for rove's unique concept, and i am happy to be one of the selected artists.
i was commissioned to work on a mural for the corridor of the hotel's laundry room, which also includes the male and female prayer rooms. the mural i illustrated shows an urban alley typically found around older areas in dubai, consisting of a traditional laundry shop front, and a couple of traditional patterned doors. details along the mural also include cracks on the walls, windows, plants and street animals to add character. the end result was a digitally printed mural which covers the whole wall. i am really proud of the end result and how it successfully works in the corridor, and compliments the aesthetics and artworks around the rest of the hotel. if you ever stop by rove, do make your way to the mezzanine floor where the laundromat mural is situated.
i end this post with rove downtown dubai's 'cabinet of curiosities', a wall of collected artworks and objects themed around zabeel (the area surrounding the hotel), on the ground floor lobby. my prints are included in this really cool wall, from my 'five times a day' and 'a krossbreed fantasy' print series.

rove downtown dubai's 'cabinet of curiosities' . 2016