have a cup of karak for uae national day

karak house for uae national day . 2017

karak house for uae national day pattern design . 2017

karak house uae national day limited edition cups (image courtesy of karak house) . 2017

karak house uae national day limited edition cups (image courtesy of karak house) . 2017

karak house uae national day limited edition cups (image courtesy of karak house) . 2017

karak house uae national day limited edition cups (image courtesy of karak house) . 2017

happy national day to the united arab emirates. the uae turns 46 today, and i wish i was back home to be around the festivities. i'm sending lots of patriotic love all the way from providence.
here's a little post sharing my contribution to mark the occasion. i was approached by dubai based restaurant/cafe karak house, to create an illustration for uae national day. the final illustrated pattern is being used as a limited edition wraparound design on their paper cups for serving 'karak' tea.
i'm really happy with how the cups turned out. it looks super festive, cool, and comes in two color options to add a little variety for consumers to choose from. make sure to head to karak house and order a cup of chai karak, and you'll get to keep (don't throw them away!) your very own limited edition cups. 
a big thank you goes out to the karak house team for reaching out to work together. i'm so happy with the final result. here's to possible collaborations in the near future.
lastly, i dedicate this post to the uae – i'm proud of being from the emirates, and to call you my home. may you grow and prosper always...


are you local?

are you local? . 2017
are you local? at weltformat dxb, dubai design week . 2017
weltformat dxb exhibition poster . 2017

it's dubai design week and i'm happy to be a part of it in some small way, even though i'm all the way at risd. my dear friends at mobius design studio have worked on another edition of design house, this year being an exhibition of poster designs by creatives from the mena region. titled 'weltformat dxb', the exhibition is in collaboration with tashkeel, weltformat, engy aly, and pro-helvetia cairo.
the weltformat dxb show is comprised of 2 exhibitions – one of poster designs from lucerne, switzerland, and a second showcase of poster designs from the middle east and north africa (which i'm a part of). poster designs are in response to the theme of 'delusions and errors', presenting designers' explorations of embracing imperfections of various processes, malfunctions, and the unpredictability of different methodologies of working. 
my poster design is titled 'are you local?'. here is a brief description – there are standard notions of what it means to be from the united arab emirates. over the years, new social/political developments within the country have created new representations of nationalistic pride and patriotism, especially within the roles placed on gender. as someone who is from the emirates, i sometimes feel a disconnect towards certain representations of showcasing national pride. however, that doesn’t in any way make me less patriotic. i’m curious as to whether there can be other representations of what it means to be from the emirates, without conforming to cultural norms.
to those currently in dubai, i highly recommend you check out the show because it looks great. the exhibition runs from the 13th - 18th november 2017, at dubai design district (d3). also make sure to head to tashkeel to check out more posters which are being exhibited in their gallery space, as well as sign up for their really cool poster themed workshops. for more information head here.


halloween 2017

happy halloween . 2017

taking a mental break from school assignments to work on a quick halloween illustration. 
it's that time of year again! i didn't really partake in any halloween festivities over the weekend, because i believe halloween should be celebrated on the actual day. i unfortunately have classes on halloween, but if i have energy, might step out and celebrate.
wishing everyone a happy halloween. be safe and hope everyone's having a spooky time! & i hope you like the illustration...


studies for a sikka story for art4sight

studies for a sikka story . 2017

art4sight invite . 2017

art4sight is back for its latest edition, and i am happy to be a part of it once again. i've been contributing to noor dubai's great cause for the last few years (here's previous contributions from 2014 and 2015), doing my part in helping cure preventative blindness and restoring the gift of sight to hundreds in need around the world. i hope my contributions have made a difference to someone out there. 
for this year's edition, i've donated a one-off print titled 'studies for a sikka story'. the motifs in the print are originally from my research last semester for my final project (see more on it here). i've presented my illustrated motifs collectively as a digital archival print for the auction. if anyone's interested in charms, talismans and symbolism on masculinity, this print is for you!
art4sight is happening on wednesday, 11 october 2017, from 6pm at dubai design district (see above invite for details). to everyone in dubai – if you'd like to buy some art, and contribute to restoring someone's sight, please make sure to attend art4sight and do your part for the cause.
a special thanks goes out to dr. manal taryam and the noor dubai team for always reaching out and asking for my work to be a part of the show. also, thank you tashkeel for taking care of printing and delivery whilst i'm away. much appreciated.



charmed . 2017

charmed at thejamjar . 2017 (photo courtesy of thejamjar)

charmed at thejamjar . 2017 (photo courtesy of thejamjar)

charmed at thejamjar . 2017 (photo courtesy of thejamjar)

charmed at thejamjar . 2017 (photo courtesy of thejamjar)

i recently worked on a small project with thejamjar, one of dubai's first community art spaces, on their latest project – 'occupy'. occupy provides an opportunity for artists to take over thejamjar's front window at the entrance of their space, and create works which will then be displayed. 
i took inspiration from charms and talismanic objects people use to shun away bad mojo and bring good luck. my favourite ones are the inanimate objects people hang outside their shops and/or homes. these charms, usually hung above the entrance doors of a particular space, give an indication of religious backgrounds and beliefs. spaces are blessed either with religious phrases of varied languages, significant numbers, recognisable “hamsa’s", or a collection of bound citrus and spices.
for it's third edition, i created a window display about the notion of installing charmed visuals at the entranceways of occupied spaces. the final display includes a mythical three-headed, neutered street cat (inspired by the feline community found around al quoz). the final display represents a personal interpretation of shunning away bad luck and giving protection to an art space, i.e. thejamjar.
my charmed cats will be on display until the end of the year so make sure to head to alserkal avenue and see it in person. say hello, take photos! a big thank you goes out to hetal and thejamjar team for the opportunity.


from abu dhabi to berlin

i'm happy to announce that my illustration series 'cafeterias of the uae', part of last year's admaf exhibition 'portrait of a nation' will be exhibited in berlin this month until the end of october. 
the complete 'portrait of a nation' collection has been transported to berlin to be showcased during this year's edition of berlin art week. if you missed it in abu dhabi, and happen to be in berlin over the next couple of months, make sure to head to the me collection room berlin where the show will be on display.
the berlin edition of 'portrait of a nation' is from 13 september - 29 october 2017. for more information, make sure to head to the 'portrait of a nation' website for complete updates on the exhibition, and supporting scheduled events and activities.
along with my illustration series, i've also stocked some of my products at the venue's shop, including some classic krossbreed tees, city portraits sketchbooks, and my big city trails activity book. make sure to buy some goodies. they make great presents!
to the krossbreed berliners, enjoy the show. i end this post with a little teaser shot of my work in the gallery space, courtesy of my friend salama nasib who is also one of the participating artists, as well as a little video which gives you more information on myself and the illustration series.

'cafeterias of the uae' in portrait of a nation berlin . 2017 (photograph courtesy of salama nasib)


majlis al midfa

majlis al midfa . 2016

just around the end of my first semester at grad school, i was approached by shurooq to be one of their contributing artists to create an illustration used as trophy artworks. the theme of the artwork was based on one of sharjah's historical, traditional buildings, majlis al midfa – famously known for having a cylindrical shaped windtower instead of the standard, rectangular windtowers commonly found in historical architecture from the region.
my contribution was a simple black & white illustration of the famous structure. i do hope whoever is rewarded this illustration enjoys it and gives it a happy home...