Painting and Printmaking, Salutatorian
I decided I wanted to be good at it.
I made that decision and began to take my art seriously at the age of 14 or 15. I decided I wanted to be good at it. I don’t think that at that time I realized how a career in the arts would be or what I was getting myself into. In a painting and printmaking major, the traditional way to sell your art is through galleries or going through the art market, which is something that I never thought about until I got into my major. The art scene here is still developing. I don’t think there are many careers for creative people, yet, as compared to other countries where there are many more opportunities for creative people to flourish. But, we need to be here to try to create these opportunities for the next generation.
I took painting and printmaking as my first choice because I thought that it would help me discover my art as a visual language. Of course you can do that also in graphic design, but I am interested more in the fine arts part of art than the design part.
So, in a way, I’m referencing it in my art, but it’s my own take on it. My generation grew up watching anime and that’s the reason why I actually got into this style, because of these cartoons. And, I used to draw them and this inspired me to create my own characters.
At that time, I was specifically focusing on a character that I had created who was called Star Girl. I only had around a month and a half to work on it for this class and we had to produce something for an exhibition. This is one of the projects that I feel was experimental and I really enjoyed the work, and especially when I started to put things together and seeing it come together, I thought to myself, okay, yes. I’m doing something right.
Another interesting project was when I experimented with creating edible art and I used it to engage my audience. I created a painting and installation – a self-portrait where there is a girl who represents me who is overworking, and in the end, she kills a miniature representation of herself by cutting off the head with a fork and knife. The painting itself is very cute and the visuals aren’t graphic. The visual language that I use is not violent. It’s very cartoony. So you think, oh, something cute, but why? The edible part was the head of the girl. So that was a way for the people to engage in the art. The message was that, you’ve been overworking, you are being taken advantage of either by work or people around you sometimes. They’re consuming you or taking advantage of you.
I worked on creating the character herself and the umbrellas that she lives behind on earth. The whole process was quite a journey and I learned a lot going through that process. I learned about the importance of communication and commitment no matter the surrounding personal or other life circumstances.
I still want to work on my art career, but because of the current market in Doha, it’s not going to be very easy to support it. So in the end, I have to get a job of some sorts to support myself. If you want to support your art and you want to fund it, you have to have the budget for it, to buy art materials – it is expensive, especially in Doha.
But in terms of my art career, I still want to work on it. I still want to develop it. I’m planning to apply for residencies. That’s going to be my next step in terms of my art career, applying to the Fire Station residency and also international residencies and see which accept me, which not, and go for it. I feel that I need to continue and not stop because if I stop, maybe I will not be as motivated to continue.
I would also like to make my own products – my characters into products like figurines.