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...


carolina + jeff

carolina + jeff . 2017
carolina + jeff wedding invite . 2017

here's a short post congratulating my textiliar friend carolina on getting married to her special jeff. earlier this year, carolina asked me to illustrate the happy couple in my particular style, which would be included in their wedding invitation. the simple illustration you see above was printed as a card, and included in their wedding invitation pack. i was so happy to see how my illustration worked really well with the overall visuals of their wedding invite.
even though i've only known carolina for a year through the textiles mfa program at risd, i was truly honoured when she asked me to contribute to her special day through my drawings. unfortunately i couldn't be in mexico this month for the wedding as i'm home for the summer. but i am definitely there in spirit. congratulations carolina + jeff. i wish you all the best on this new chapter in your lives shared together. much love...


off the wall

primitive . 2017

memory . 2017

signage . 2017

home . 2017

here's a short post about a collection of screen printed wallpaper designs i worked on for a course titled 'off the wall'. the course focused on creating designs for wallpaper application; creating unique designs that work in space.
the designs above show the work i did in response to assignment prompts. to briefly describe each – the first pattern is a humorous ode to culture back home, the second, a memory of playing with my toys as a child under the stairs of my old home. the third is a collection of funny shop signs found around old districts of dubai, and the last design was a collaboration between a classmate and i about calling big cities our home.
it's interesting to see the collection altogether and how my style changed overtime. i had with a very polished, graphic style in my earlier wallpapers, and eventually moved to a more messy and experimental style with the latter. i really enjoyed the course and am glad i had the opportunity to understand working on a spatial scale. i look forward to working on more wallpaper designs in the near future.


year one done

a sikka story 2 (textile) . 2017

a sikka story 2 (textile) . 2017

a sikka story 2 (textile) . 2017

a sikka story 1 (textile) . 2017

end of semester review prep . 2017

collection phase 1 . 2017

in the studio . 2017

monuments box . 2017

end of semester review . 2017

i survived my first year of grad school! how time flies. it only felt like yesterday where i was a nervous wreck, making my way to america to begin a new chapter in my life. looking back, it took awhile to adjust, but the last year has definitely been fun.
this post mainly focuses on the project i worked on during the spring semester. over the course of the programme, i developed an interest in creating textiles for apparel. my inspirations came from a bunch of places, specifically looking at dress in the middle east. i heavily researched the idea of adornment, traditional attire from the gulf, and visual motifs or objects that define masculinity. using my experiences of dubai as a starting point, the project evolved overtime into a collection of textiles that performed as wraps for the male form, with motifs screen printed over the textiles that communicate the status of the male wearer when adorned with these fabrics.
i loved experimenting on the table with manipulating fabric surfaces and experimenting with dyeing techniques. there's still so much to learn, but i think i'm in a good place after completing my first year, ready to tackle with what's ahead in the coming year. stay tuned to future posts during my second year, and my thesis project (gulp!).


mezze wars

illustration for 'the controversial kitchen: making sense of mezze' . 2017
illustration for 'the controversial kitchen: making sense of mezze' . 2017
illustration for 'the controversial kitchen: making sense of mezze' . 2017
illustration for 'the controversial kitchen: making sense of mezze' . 2017

my friend isaac oommen and i recently collaborated on an article for the independent, online publishing platform mashallah news. isaac and i have been friends since high school, and it was so cool to have finally worked together on a project using both our talents. isaac is a great writer, and worked on an article focusing on the timeless conflict over mezze (middle eastern appetizers), and the claims to where it originates from. my contribution complementing isaac's writing was a series of illustrations highlighting certain sections of the article, including an illustrative portrait of chef anissa helou, and a humorous gif of the word 'mezze/appetizer' in various languages from the countries that claims its origin.
to read the full article, head to the link herethank you mashallah news for this fun opportunity. and to isaac for spearheading the project. to more collaborations in the near future. happy reading!