Kabul-born Hamida Aman Organises a non-profit peace concert at Dubai’s Zabeel Park, under the Patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding
Featuring seven talented alternative music artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Africa, “Salam Aleikum” concert was held at Dubai’s Zabeel park for the first time.
The non-profit music festival aims to promote peace and cultural tolerance amongst the youth and to present a more positive image of Muslims to the rest of the world.
The concert is organised under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding, by Hamida Aman, the General Manager of Guru Production, a Dubai Media City production company.
The centre supports community events, but this was the centre’s first community music project.
Nasif Kayed, Managing Director of Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding said: “We are all for any good cause that promotes peace between mankind, we are a non-profit organisation ourselves and always count on the support of our friends out there.”
Hamida Aman, Owner of a production company and radio station in Kabul, Afghanistan has organised a similar peace concert in Afghanistan two years ago.
“In 2013, I had a concert in Kabul for peace, where artists from neighboring countries performed in Kabul. It was very successful without any security problems.”
Since 2010, Aman has been based in Dubai as the General Manager of Guru Production, but she still visits Afghanistan regularly.
Hamida thought that it was the right time to bring the project to Dubai after a recent trip to Europe. She noticed the mainly negative perception that the West had of Muslims.
“I was very shocked that they had such a bad image of the Muslims,” she said.
The festival brings together artists from different cultures and backgrounds to communicate a positive message about Muslims and encourage peace and cultural tolerance.
Hamida adds: “We are not all terrorists. We are not all aggressive. We know how to be happy as well.”
“For me Dubai is one of the best places to celebrate togetherness. Here, all communities are living together in peace and harmony.”
Aman’s personal experience as a refugee in Switzerland for half of her life strongly inspires her peace-focused projects and initiatives.
“Because I know what war is, what is destruction and what it means to be a refugee and to go in exile, it’s important that we keep fighting to avoid this for future generations,” she said.
“My generation always lived in war and exile, and I don’t want this to continue happening in other places.”
The alternative artist line-up featured musicians whose songs carry powerful messages.
Hamida plans to organise future peace concerts in other Middle-Eastern cities.
“This is the first one in Dubai, and I hope that I will manage to bring it to Jordan, Lebanon and to Cairo eventually – to make a caravan,” she said.
The non-profit initiative will continue to spread the message of peace, and will always be for the community.
“The concert is for a cause and I want to keep it like that,” Hamida says.
“I would like to keep it like that – always for free.”
YouTube Video link:
A short video recorded at the venue while Indian Reggae band, Delhi Sultanate were performing on stage at the “Salam Aleikum” music festival at Zabeel Park on Friday:
Dubai-based Creative Group – ING Creatives – teams up with graffiti and multi-talented artist, Ruben Sanchez for an original community initiative
ING Creatives, a Dubai-based organisation that supports local artists and creative professionals teamed up with Artist Ruben Sanchez for a JLT community initiative.
The Spanish-born graffiti artist, Ruben Sanchez created a colourful outdoor mural with a local theme.
Using 150 spray paint cans, Ruben transformed the wall – which looked so raw with meaningless words – into a beautiful piece of artwork.
Ruben’s inspiration comes to him while he’s drawing the sketches. “The idea was creating itself as I was sketching.” He said.
Based in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers residential area of Dubai, the community wall has a local theme behind it.
Ruben’s main inspiration were the local elements and culture that surround him. He explains the mural’s main subject as a love story: “You can see the guy playing the Oud, and he’s looking to this woman who’s not facing him. She’s acting tough.”
“That’s basically a love story – courtship.” He continues.
The local elements that inspired this artwork are evident in Ruben’s mural. “I wanted to bring things from the desert. I was playing with the local elements, like the camel.” He said.
Ruben began painting on the blank wall on the 11th of February, and the artwork was completed on the 18th of February.
“It took exactly seven days to complete the project.” He said.
The graffiti artist describes his style as Neo-Cubism.
“Since 10 years ago, I’ve been developing this style.” Ruben explained.
As a strong advocate of community art projects, Ruben was very delighted to re-paint the wall. He explains that getting involved in community art initiatives is the essence of graffiti art.
“Nobody was doing graffiti in the beginning to get money.” He explains.
The talented artist is also happy to see the street life and street art culture evolving in the Arab region and the UAE in particular.
Despite being in its novice stages, Ruben notices the street art scene progression in the city.
“Now street art is getting a lot of recognition. And huge festivals are done for it.” He says.
DMCC – the government entity which regulates trade for the JLT area has supported the community initiative by providing the paint and the cherry-picker (the lift) used to paint the wall.
Another significant supporter to the project was Ramy Alawssy, Founder of ING Creatives.
Ramy’s organisation aims to bridge the gap behind the industry and the creative professionals.
Providing a platform for illustrators, designers and photographers to showcase their work is the JLT-based company’s main concept.
Ramy’s idea of converting the raw wall into a piece of artwork became a reality after a long waiting period.
“It took DMCC one year and four months to revert with the final permission to start the work on the wall.” He said.
The delayed response from DMCC didn’t hinder Ramy’s aspirations for an enhanced community experience. His hard work was clear once the work was completed as community members were happy to take photos and play around the wall.
Ramy said: “When we removed the barriers, kids were running towards the wall and touching it, and wanting to take photos with it. So it shows you that it really is a community wall.”
As for Ramy’s choice of artist to paint the wall, he explains: “I really liked Ruben’s style, I felt it really fitted with the community.”
When Ruben is not painting or sketching in the studio, he can be found skating at one of the city’s newly developed parks.
Skateboarding is a part of his lifestyle since he was living in Madrid.
“I was skate-boarding since I was a teenager, and I was doing graffiti since I was a teenager too.” He said.
The artist misses the convenience of being able to skate at any street pavement, like in Europe.
Ruben finds the street life scene in Dubai very limiting, due to the city’s design and layout.
“It’s very confined to designated locations. It’s not like in Madrid or Barcelona, where you just go out and go skating or walking or ride your bike anywhere.” He said.
The ING creative community wall by Ruben Sanchez can be found in JLT, Dubai, Cluster V – at the lake level.
ING Creative Conference
ING Creatives are hosting a conference on the 27th and 28th of March, 2015.
ING Creatives regularly host talks and portfolio review sessions. But this will be their first conference at this scale.
The conference includes talks, workshops and portfolio reviews that are designed to motivate creatives, give them the support they need and help turn their ideas into reality.
“We’re built for the creative community. We’re not built to help communities that are outside. We’re here to help the community in the UAE, in the region, because they lack the support.” Ramy said.
To describe the group, Founder Ramy said: “We’re a creative community, we’re based here in Dubai.”
“We help creatives to make ideas happen. So we do that through talks, workshops and portfolio reviews.”
International speakers who are experts in their respective creative fields will be flying into Dubai from major cities. Ramy explains:
“We’re flying and getting 15 international speakers from New York, San Francisco, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, and Singapore.”
“Some of these line-ups are great illustrators, designers, creative directors, fashion designers, and they speak at international creative conferences.” He continues.
The event caters to creatives from different disciplines. “Whoever has a visual portfolio, or anybody that is in the creative field. Whether there’s photography, illustration, graphic design.” Ramy explains.
“We’ll be doing it every year from now on.” He said.
The tickets are 725 AED for both days including talks and portfolio reviews.
High-end designer boutique gives artists a life-time opportunity with its first ‘Dare to Create’ art competition
High-end designer boutique – Valleydez is sponsoring an art competition titled ‘Dare to Create’ in an effort to promote aspiring and emerging artists.
The art competition requires participants to submit an illustration, photograph or any piece of artwork by the 15th of March, 2015.
The winning design will be have t-shirt printing on eight different T-shirt styles, which will be sold at the luxury Jumeirah boutique.
Sidra Surmed, Creative Executive at Valleydez boutique explains that the design entries will go through two rounds of elimination. She says: “The art competition is divided into two parts. The first part comprises of submitting an art piece – it can be a photo or a painting – then the candidates will be shortlisted. Once the candidates are shortlisted, we will contact them and then they will be asked to create a story of eight pieces.”
Each shortlisted candidate will have to create a collection based on a theme of their choice. “Within the eight pieces, you have to summarize you story. What is the theme behind your collection?” Sidra continues.
A judging panel of designers based in four different countries will be in charge of the second round of elimination. “We have four different designers in the judging panel. One is Lamya Abedin – also known as Queen of Spades – an Emirati designer, another designer from Turkey, another from Kuwait, and one from the UK – Jean-Pierre Braganza.”
Founder and Head Buyer of the innovative luxury boutique, Ghalia Al Abbas is an Emirati fashion illustrator herself. Sidra explains what inspired the boutique owner to launch the art competition. She says: “She wanted to relate something which is very personal to her.”
With March being the month of art in the city, Valleydez decided to launch its first ever art competition during the art season. “We decided to run the competition in the month of art in Dubai. March hosts Art Dubai and Design Days events. I think that people look forward to attend all these events and they get inspired. So we wanted to give a proper platform at a proper time.” Sidra explains.
The launch of the Jumeirah boutique art competition was also inspired by the brand’s aim to introduce an eclectic mix of styles into its collections.
With the summer season approaching, the concept of a T-shirt design competition seemed very appropriate. “We wanted to do more casual chic at the moment because now we are entering into the summer phase. And we wanted to bring a more cool side to the store and brand.” Sidra explains.
Supporting aspiring artists and designers from within the UAE is the main purpose of organising the competition. Sidra says: “Valleydez want to give the platform to the aspiring talents to showcase their work.”
Breaking into the design and fashion industry in the UAE can be a lengthy process. That’s why, having the support from a well-known brand can be highly rewarding. “Being in the creative industry takes a lot of courage to get into the industry.” Sidra says.
She continues: “Providing a platform for creativity is a great bonus for anyone wishing to enter the industry in the UAE.”
The art competition is open to all age groups and participants can submit artwork of any type. “There is no specific form of art that we are looking for. It should showcase the artist inside of the person. This includes photography, pop art, fashion illustration.” Sidra explains.
In addition to having their artwork printed on T-shirts, the winner will get the relevant promotion and PR support from the brand. Sidra says: “There will be total support from our PR side and from the media side. We would definitely love to feature them in the magazines, because that would be a very good idea to promote the artist within the industry.”
As for whether the profits from selling the T-shirts will go into charity, the brand is considering that. Sidra says: “About the charity, we will reveal it soon. We are definitely having some talks, but I can’t reveal that at the moment.”
The winning design will be launched as a new collection in the store. “It will be launched as a new collection – as a brand to the store.” Sidra explains.
My previous Top 10 List was about being raised by parents from the Gulf region. I come from a moderately conservative family. We are not liberal, but we’re also not extremely conservative or religious. Here’s a link for that post if you missed it.
Today’s list includes the top 10 things that I like about being a blogger. I started this blog in September 2012 to showcase my writing to potential employers. Now, it’s more of a hobby and sometimes feels like a full-time role!
I present to you the top reasons that keep me hooked to writing blog posts:
I can work from almost any location that I feel like working from. Writing blog posts can be done from the comfort of my bed, a cafe across the road, or even from the beach if I had the time and luxury of carrying around a laptop, and a beach bag full of beach essentials.
I can write posts at any time of the day. On most days, I have a couple of things to get done. So, blogging is something that might not come at the top of my priority list. That’s when I can write in the evenings – when most people are watching TV, reading, socializing, or out having dinner or drinks. This point can be a disadvantage to blogging too. But that will be discussed in another post 🙂
I get to do creative work, that I choose myself, without any supervision or editing from another party. Unlike working for a publishing house and adhering to certain rules and regulations, blogging gives the writer the freedom of expression and writing within their personal set of rules and limitations.
I get invited to review restaurant meals, spa treatments and other cool stuff. When I first started the blog, I was reviewing these things anyway, because I enjoyed it. After some time of hard work, the blog gained more followers and I started to get invites to review meals, and other stuff. The only issue these days is that, with my University course work, I don’t have the same free time I used to have when I first started the blog. That’s why, I don’t write as many reviews as I used to in the past.
Being a blogger means that I’m considered as a media person. This grants me access to events as press. It also allows me to network with other media professionals, and others from the media industry.
One thing that I really like about blogging is meeting other bloggers. Whether they are based in the same city, or on another continent, it’s always great to meet like-minded people. Most bloggers share many traits in common; they are interesting, determined and curious individuals. We love to learn new things, and we are pretty good in taking action.
Blogging allows me to share my thoughts, experiences, views and ideas with my readers. It makes me so ecstatic to hear that a reader found my post insightful, or that they learned so many things from it. It equally brightens my day when someone tells me that what I wrote resonates with their own experience very strongly.
I love that blogging has helped me practice – and hopefully – improve my writing skills. I think most of all, it gave me the confidence that I needed to keep writing. It helped me stay focused on my goal of becoming a better writer and journalist.
It helped me build on my social and networking skills. I started to attend all kinds of events when I started this blog. This was mainly to meet new people and to generate blog content. It was very exciting to meet people from different backgrounds and industries. At that time, I was mixing with people from the fashion, arts, food or media industries. That fitted well with the blog concept, as I was writing a lifestyle blog that covered all these topics. Nowadays, I still enjoy attending random events. But due to my time constraints, I have to be more selective with the events that I choose to attend. Of course once I’m done with my course, I should be able to attend more events and network with people from various communities.
Being a blogger who doesn’t outsource anything to another party means that you need a set of multiple skills. I truly enjoy being the following:
The editor who comes up with the idea for the post.
The photographer who takes the pictures for the post.
The writer and editor who writes and then edits the words and images.
The marketing and PR person who promotes the blog.
The social media person who promotes the blog and the posts on social media.
The communications person who attends events and tells people about the blog.
The entrepreneurial spirit who constantly goes through ups and downs, but never gives up.
As you can see, blogging is a very fun and engaging way to communicate with others and express your feelings and thoughts through words. I love hearing positive feedback as much as I love hearing critical remarks. So feel free to leave a comment or not 🙂
The next post will be a list of the things that I don’t like about being a blogger. So stay tuned for that!
Till then, Have a wonderful weekend ahead. No matter how you choose to spend it!
I must start by apologizing for not writing in a while. Basically, I was on a break from my University course and I was trying to make the most out of my free time.
Apart from catching up on much-needed sleep and not doing much really, I managed to make a few trips to the beach – like three trips I think! I don’t know about you, but the Dubai winter has made me feel very sluggish and all I felt like doing was stay in bed and sleep! I’ve been feeling tired most of the time too. I think it could be the result of the accumulated stress that I went through in the past term. It’s for the better though, now I can add more skills to my CV – like short video production and editing.
Talking about video editing, you might have viewed my video on the LCF event that was held in Dubai in November. Oh how I miss London and that college! I still plan to go back to finish a course that I started there in 2009 and take another course. Yes, I am a woman on a mission!
If you haven’t seen that video yet, you can find it here.
Today I’m sharing with you my full interview with Senior Business Manager at LCF, Linda Roberts. In the interview, I ask Linda about the Art of Dress Exhibition and her views on the fashion education scene in Dubai and the Middle East. Here’s a video for the full interview that I conducted with Linda Roberts from LCF:
LCF will be back with their short courses program in Dubai this February. For a complete list of the courses on offer, visit their short courses in Dubai page:
This post is another project that I did for my web news production class in University. I had the pleasure to meet Lubov Azria, wife of renowned designer Max Azria, and Chief Creative Officer for the BCBG Max Azria group. Lubov and her team are very professional and talented individuals, and I’m glad that I had the privilege of meeting them and speaking to them about the retrospective exhibition.
In the lines below, you can read my final news story which I did for the social media project for that unit.
Lubov Azria, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer opens the stylish event with an A-list crowd
On her first-ever visit to Dubai, Lubov Azria – Chief Creative Officer of the distinctive fashion retail brand BCBG Max Azria opens the retrospective “Living the Bon Chic Life” exhibition in DIFC’s Cuadro Fine Art Gallery.
The one-day exclusive exhibition was held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 and brought together the city’s most stylish, VIP and art-loving crowd.
From 7 pm and onwards, invited guests made their way to the spacious gallery and walked through a timeline of events, advertising campaigns and cutting-edge design creations that showcase the brand’s 25 year history.
With famous quotes by the brand’s Founder and Designer – Max Azria – decorating the gallery’s spacious walls, there is no doubt that BCBG is a brand with a strong identity and vision.
Founded in 1989, BCBG was named for the French phrase ‘bon chic, bon genre’ – a Parisian expression meaning ‘good style, good attitude.’
Max Azria’s vision is simple; he aims to create a beautiful dress to make women look and feel beautiful.
Creative Director for the brand’s lifestyle products, Clifford Pershes explains BCBG’s philosophy by saying: “It’s a brand that doesn’t follow trends, it embodies style.”
The 25th anniversary retrospective exhibit takes visitors on a journey throughout the key events and achievements that shaped the company’s history.
Beginning with an events timeline that covers the brand’s entire 25- year journey, visitors get to learn more about the brand, its creators and their vision.
An adjacent space emulates a design studio which stages the evolution of a BCBG dress from idea and pattern design to detailed and careful construction.
BCBG’s design philosophy is inspired by the arts and culture. As Clifford explains: “We feel that arts and culture are part of the brand’s DNA.”
Featuring top models and talented photographers, BCBG’s ad campaigns cover the walls of the brand’s campaign history section in both print and digital platforms.
“There’s a timeless, effortless chicness that goes throughout the years.” – says Clifford of the brand’s innovative, yet timeless designs.
Upon stepping into the ‘Runway Collection’ installation space, a selection of exclusive, fashion-forward designs can be seen adorning the mannequins.
As Creative Director – Clifford Pershes states: “There are only around 200 pieces made of each piece; so it’s definitely a little more exclusive.”
From fashion week runways, to celebrities’ closets and the renowned red carpet, Max Azria’s Atelier creations are featured in a beautifully colour-curated collection aptly named ‘Max Azria Atelier’.
Launched in 2004, the brand’s most exclusive collection embodies couture eveningwear and special-event dresses for socialites, celebrities and the elite.
The one-of-a-kind dresses worn by A-list stars and royalties including Alicia Keys, Angelina Jolie and Michelle Obama, are limited edition creations.
When asked about the main concept of BCBG’s retrospective exhibition, the brand’s Chief Creative Officer and Max Azria’s wife, Lubov Azria explains: “The exhibition is really 25 years of my life; it’s called ‘The Bon Chic Living’ and it really showcases the work and my passion.”
Lubov describes the exhibit’s walkthrough design by saying: “It starts off with the history, with when the company started. Then it goes to how we make the clothes. Then it continues to the ad campaigns, to the actual clothes, and then to the one-of-a-kind dresses that we make for celebrities.”
BCBG Max Azria’s 25-year mark in fashion history showcased in its retrospective exhibition is a genuine portrayal of its founders’ passion for success and achievement.
As Lubov Azria states: “It’s really without passion, innovation and vision, there is no success.”
For more photos from BCBG’s retrospective exhibition event, click here.
Today’s post is another University project that I just completed for this term’s photojournalism course. I present to you:
My Photo Essay on Sole DXB event that took place on the 14th and 15th of November. I was there on the 14th of November for a few hours, taking photos and meeting up with some friends.
First up, the short synopsis about the photo essay:
Many think that Dubai’s street culture doesn’t exist. The organisers of Dubai’s urban lifestyle and culture event want to change that misconception.
The city’s first – one of its kind event, Sole DXB was staged at Dubai Design District to showcase the region’s latest street culture trends. Specifically the footwear, fashion, basketball, hip hop, and street art.
Those who made their way to the venue were treated by regional retail brands; Nike, Puma, and Reebok. DJ’s, live performances and panel discussions pumped life into the event and gave it a fresh and exciting community atmosphere. With a hidden construction site chosen as a venue for this year’s Sole DXB event, indeed it is underground.
Professional basketball players take turns at shooting hoops at Sole DXB’s grounds in celebration of basketball culture. Dubbed ‘Ball Above All’, the competition saw the victor walk away with 10,000 AED. The game has proved to be a popular way to bring the community together. The only stipulation was that entrants must be 18 or older to apply to play in the tournament.
British artist, Remi Rough and his counterpart YesBee are busy creating the freestyled ‘Mondrian vs Wildstyle’ art piece. A 3 x 10 meter art work; spray painted using ‘Montana 94’ paint. Remi’s art began on walls and trains in South London in 1984. By his own admission, “I didn’t invent straight lines, I just made them funky!” – said Rough of his work.
Canadian pop artist, Antoine Tavaglione – also known as Tava is a muralist and illustrator based in Montreal. Famed for his signature ‘dripping milk’ paintings, his “Che Cazz” piece proved a popular addition to Sole DXB. The cat figure mural was created in one day, and produced using spray cans.
Additional work from Tava – showing more of his favourite cartoon figures – this time, Bart Simpson. Made using acrylic colours on canvas, Tava said: “I like to recreate iconic characters that are very nostalgic to me, and add my signature dripping effect to them as if they are melting ice cream.”
‘The Irezumi Girls’ are part of a limited edition created by Dubai-based design studio Robot and Spark. The figures are made using cast resin material with a chrome finish. The artist imagined these toys to live in the year 2075 in the city of London. ‘The Irezumi Girls’ are a gang of heavily tattooed, uber cool, superhero vixens hailing from Baker Street Station.
Creative Director Robert Gibbs from design studio Robot and Spark has been working on these original figurines since 2009. The germ of the idea came from a fiction-story about a group of futuristic, rebellious and superhero vixens – namely Lipstick and Suicide. The futuristic fantasy eventually came to life at Sole DXB’s gallery, after a five-year obsession.
British artist and photographer, Julian Castaldi expresses his love for Italian company ‘Campag’ with this painting of a vintage bicycle. His cobalt blue piece was inspired by his love for cycling, and the iconic company. Julian explains the concept by saying: “I have always loved the logo and story behind the brand.” The ‘Campagnolo’ painting uses acrylic, enamel, pastels, and lacquer on a 4 feet x 3 feet canvas.
Corcel, a Dubai-based bicycle and apparel store take cycling lovers back to the good old days with their 50’s/60’s inspired collection. The ‘Bikeid’ range was created for a nostalgic bicycle experience. The simple, elegant, and vintage designs can be customized for personal taste. A couple interested in getting a bike are looking at the catalogue and selecting their preferred colour of bike and tires.
An amateur artist is keeping himself busy by drawing a pair of sneakers using spray paint. Despite his aching fingers from the excessive amount of pressure while completing this piece of art, he is determined to leave his mark at Sole DXB. He asks the audience: “Does it look like a shoe?” and feels ecstatic after their approval.
The stylish crowd attending the urban lifestyle event did not overlook making a fashion statement with their favourite pair of sneakers. A young lady sporting a very bright and colourful pair of ‘Nike’ trainers caught my attention. She told me that they were a recent buy from the brand’s latest collection.
Another original pair of ‘Nike’ trainers worn by one of the ladies attending the street art event. When I asked her about the unique running shoes, she told me the story behind them and how they’ve been worn out at a music festival overseas. “I bought them from Barcelona – for a rave.” she said. I thought they still looked new and exotic!
A priceless moment in time, as I am transformed back to the 90’s at street wear label Amongst Few’s interactive gaming space. The highlight of the event for me was discovering this cool 90’s inspired concept brand. Founded in 2013, Amongst Few is a Dubai-based street wear brand that merges traditional Emirati outfit inspiration with Western style. In my nostalgic 90’s flashback, I can be seen playing the game ‘Duck Hunt’ on a 1983 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console – complete with classic TV sets and 90’s memorabilia.
A great variety of second-hand sneakers on display at the sneaker swap stall. Trendy and pristine trainers to match every age and style fill the wooden racks at this sneaker wonderland. Get lost in time as you look for the perfect pair to replace your worn out and tired sneakers. No cash? Don’t worry, you can trade in the currency of sneakers!
Dubai-based urban and R&B DJ, Mr. Shef Codes livens up the Reebok space with his top old-school R&B beats. Shefan Lantra, better known as Mr. Shef Codes is currently signed with Bliss Inc Entertainment and plays at local venues around the city. The tunes he was playing were so addictive, they kept the crowd glued to the Reebok stand far longer than they intended to be there.
Iraqi artist, designer, calligrapher, and typographer Wissam Shawkat creates a ‘calligraffiti’ piece of art in his signature modern Arabic calligraphy style. The art work includes the words (love, affection) written in calligraphy style. The Dubai-based artist has been in love with the classical writing style since he was 10 years old. He is using acrylic colours on canvas to create the aptly titled ‘Love for the Sole (Soul)’ piece.
Some additional images that were not part of my photo essay project:
I won these lovely designer PUMA sneakers in a competition that I entered with Stylist Arabia magazine. All I had to do was share a photo of my favourite pair of sneakers! This pair was part of a collection for autumn/winter 2014, in a collaboration between PUMA and East Coast creative Sophia Chang. The designer’s illustrations are inspired by New York, and specifically the Brooklyn area.
Here’s the finished wall that Remi Rough and Yesbee were painting:
here are other paintings from Julian Castaldi that were on display at the event’s gallery:
Materials used: acrylic, enamel, lacquer on canvas : 4feet diameter.
Concept: Just love the old school soda labels I actually collect vintage skateboards, soda bottles amongst other things.
Materials used: 100cm x 70cm in metal frame.
Concept: Shot in London and used in Urban Outfitters.
Materials used: 100cm x 70cm in metal frame.
Concept: Love the signage and billboards around LA lots of hand painted and distressed signage which looks amazing, this was shot around Melrose in LA.
Materials used: 100cm x 70cm in metal frame.
Concept: Used to drive past this private members club on Santa Monica Blvd, it had a mysterious look and I stopped one morning to shoot the pic.
Framed original Polaroids shot in LA 2005 on painted board.
Framed original Polaroids shot in 2012 on painted board
“I have been shooting Polaroids for over 20 years and my Private Rooms project includes Polaroids I have taken of John Malkovich, David Bailey, Oasis, Pearl Jam and many more.”
For more information about Sole DXB or any of the artists mentioned in this post, check the links included in this post.
When I received the invite for the private view event for London College of Fashion‘s “Art of Dress” exhibition, I was so excited and knew that this would be the perfect topic for my next video journalism University project.
I had attended LCF back in 2009, as a first step towards changing careers into journalism. The course that I took was a foundation course in fashion media and communication. It was an intensive one year course, equivalent to the UK A-Levels. At that point in time, I wasn’t ready for an intensive study program. Mainly because I had been working in IT support for the past 4 years before starting that course. So it wasn’t easy for me to go back to education and to take an intensive course.
However, I did manage to successfully complete one term of that course. And I still plan to go back to LCF one day to finish that course and maybe take a post graduate course too! I always believe that it’s never too late to achieve your goals and follow your dreams.
The last time I met with the lovely LCF people was two years ago at Okku restaurant and lounge in Dubai. It was an alumni event organized for the college’s alumni in Dubai and short courses’ students and graduates.
As expected, attending the private view event was a great decision made by me, and deciding to cover the event for my project was just as interesting as I thought it would be. I had a wonderful time meeting everyone from the College and conducting the interviews with my lovely and professional talents.
I will leave you now with the video, that was filmed, reported and produced by me. I researched the story, arranged for – and conducted – the interviews, filmed the footage at the event and at the interviews, and edited and produced the short video.
Here’s the link for the short video about LCF’s Art of Dress exhibition private view event, held in Dubai’s AlSerkal Avenue.
I will be sharing the full interviews with Professor Frances Corner and Linda Roberts on the blog soon. So stay tuned for that.
When I first decided to change careers from IT to journalism back in 2008, I had no idea about the way to get there. I didn’t realize that it would be a completely different route to what I was used to, or to how I eventually got my IT job. Doing things the hard way – without anyone to guide me, assist or support me – I must say that I learned the lessons in the best way possible: by trial and error.
Comparing my previous career and work experience to what I do now is a very hard task. They’re two completely different fields and work environments. But, I will give you a brief idea to help you understand and maybe get inspired to make a similar change or adjustment to what you currently do.
I had a degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Bahrain. And after working in IT support for around four years, I decided to quit my job and pursue my passion: writing. I was 28, a year later, I moved to London to take a foundation course with London College of Fashion. After completing one term of A-Level equivalent and intensive study, I decided to move to Dubai to start interning for publishing companies in the hopes of landing an editorial role along the way…It’s the year 2014 and I’m still working towards that same goal that I had aimed for when I moved here in 2010. Except that these days, I have learned so many lessons along the way and I would like to share them with anyone who is working towards a similar goal or is looking into becoming a creative professional and earning a living out of it.
1. Start doing the creative work
While it might work otherwise in other industries – get a degree then apply for a job. In the creative industry, it’s the other way around. You must start by doing the work that you aspire to get paid for. Since employers will only hire you after they have seen your actual work and how you can add value to their organization and goals. Plus, doing the actual work will greatly help in improving your skills and expertise.
2. Do unpaid work
Freelancing and offering your services for free is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a great way to build your portfolio – because you will need one in order to get paid for your work. So keep doing unpaid work for as long as it takes to get paid for your work and to be accredited for it.
3. Work 24/7
Working in a fun and creative environment is a good thing, but you must be prepared to work without taking breaks. Fixed working hours aren’t part of the game. There’s always something new to learn, some project to work on, a new and exciting idea to consider…The cool thing is that you get to be your own boss and you can manage your time according to your personal preferences.
4. Take notes of your ideas and put them into action
Whether it’s your next blog post, photo shoot, short video, web site design, you need to keep coming with fresh and new ideas. Most importantly, put those ideas into action by implementing them into that blog post, photo shoot, video or web page.
5. Love what you do
Any entrepreneur will give you this advise really. You must do what you do with passion if you want to get to anywhere. The monetary return will not appear in the first stages, so you must do what you love in order to have the passion to keep doing it even when the going gets tough and when you are not making any profit out of it.
6. Network, network, network
One of the essential elements of the creative industry is networking. Find out about relevant events and make an effort to attend them. Not only will you learn more about the market, you will also meet new people who share your interests and passions. Building positive and meaningful connections with others in your industry is vitally important.
7. Have casual meetings with like-minded people
Whether it’s over coffee, lunch, dinner or even breakfast, meeting with others from similar industries is a great way to share ideas, discuss various topics and maybe learn new tips and market information. Supporting others in their own career goals is always a great way to build positive and healthy relationships with others in your industry. The road is always more entertaining when traveled with others.
8. Work in creative hubs and open spaces
Whether you choose to work from your local neighborhood cafe, head to the nearest spot of big chain coffee shops, or collaborate with others at one of the work spaces in town, it’s always better than working from home. Being a creative professional – especially when writing – can be a lonely experience. So surrounding yourself with others in an open and busy environment is the best way to go. You will also feel more motivated to work in an environment where everyone around you is working in front of their laptops or doing some sort of productive work.
9. Read, learn, study
Taking a short course or working towards a degree in your chosen creative field will only add to your knowledge and build up your confidence. If you can’t afford a course, simply read online articles about your topic or any topic for that matter! Staying updated with what’s happening in your industry will help keep you ahead of others and boost your knowledge levels.
10. Never give up!
Reaching your goals in the creative industry and getting paid for your work could be an extremely lengthy process. It could take years before you could get published or be taken seriously by potential employers. But the trick here is to never give up and to continue working hard towards your goals. Even if no one reads your blog posts, supports you or what you’re doing, or thinks that you have great ideas, you must stay fixed to your target and aim to achieve it no matter how challenging things get. Keep reminding yourself of why you chose to do this in the first place and how long it took you to get to where you are. You must fuel yourself from your own energy, ambition and inner power.
It’s been a roller-coaster ride with this blogging journey…with so many ups and downs. But I think that I’ve finally reached a decision about what I don’t want to continue doing on this blog. Unless I get invites from friends, I don’t plan on doing as many reviews as I did in the past. A change of strategy can’t be a bad thing, right?
I might write another post about what I plan and don’t plan to do with this blog. But for now, let’s try to keep my last reviews as honest and positive as possible.
For those of you interested in knowing how blogging works in this region, in the beginning you don’t really get any invites to review anything. So in my case, I was doing most reviews on my own expenses. Why? I simply enjoyed it, writing is my passion and blogging helped me improve my writing style and build up an online portfolio.
How did I get to review Sushi Art? I simply won a Facebook Competition with a prize of a Black Box Deluxe worth 395 AED 🙂
Note: No one asked me to review the restaurant. I voluntarily chose to write the review.
This was sometime in December of last year…but soon after that, I took a month’s break from blogging. Then I got busy with other reviews and invites and I didn’t have the time to write this post until now!
As you can see, accepting invites to write reviews can sometimes be time-consuming and hectic. Especially when combined with a full-time journalism undergraduate course! So, It’s time for new challenges and other types of blog posts.
What’s in the Black Box Deluxe?
The Luxe Black Box includes 54 pieces of mostly cooked sushi rolls. These are:
2 pieces jalapeno sea bream sushi
4 pieces scallop yuzu sauce sushi
4 pieces salmon sushi
4 pieces cucumber cheese tulip
4 pieces lox & cream cheese sushi
6 pieces French touch rolls
6 pieces shrimp spring rolls
6 pieces maki like tabbouleh
6 pieces shrimp tempura rolls
6 pieces dynamite rolls
6 pieces chicken Caesar rolls
How much does it cost?
For more information, check out Sushi Art Dubai’s web site here. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.