Typical Weekend in AD

The weekend finally came after a long week of painting, art classes, and general life crap.

Started with dinner out at P. F. Changs.

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I love love love Asian food. Thai, Chinese, Japanese are my favorites in that order. So this was a happy start to the weekend.

Yesterday we went to go see Maleficent, which was hands down the greatest Disney movie ever.

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Angelina Jolie was absolutely stunning. Her performance, as always, blew me away. Love her movies and this one was a nice addition!

I spent the rest of the afternoon staring at the art on Nando’s walls instead of finishing my food.

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This wasn’t even half of the amazing art collection at the restaurant chain. Very impressed and this just inspires me to keep chasing my dream of being a full-time artist. Anything can happen!

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Finally, I did this illustration last night before bed. Every time I get henna done I’m inspired to incorporate the delicate designs into my art somehow. This illustration is called “I Bet the Bees Play in Her Hair” and marries my love for curly Afros with black and white illustration.

What are you guys up to this weekend? Any new inspirations?

First Week of Art Classes in Abu Dhabi = Fun!

Good morning,

Last week I did something that seemed rather scary, but was so exciting: I taught my first art classes! Six people came to my home on Wednesday and another 7 on Thursday, and for two hours we talked about value and form, I gave a brief demo, and then I let go of the reins and let them paint. They did fabulous!

Teaching art is strangely exhilarating. It’s not for everyone, and sometimes good artists don’t make good teachers. I was pretty scared for weeks but my excitement to share my art knowledge was far greater than my fear of venturing into the unknown. By the time my lesson was planned and my students started pouring in, I was on a roll. It’s nice to teach the core idea and then sit back, and just guide the class participants to a finished painting.

 

It has been such a great opportunity, and I was even contacted by a woman here in Abu Dhabi that wants me to teach her kids at her home. It was the perfect offer because I really want to be an art teacher for kids one day. I had great art teachers growing up and my mom found me great spaces to paint as a teen. To be able to provide that for kids years later is a dream of mine.

So, today is the day for my second week of classes and I’m so excited to meet the new faces just joining us. I was thinking we’d continue our lessons on tones and values with a nice session of landscape painting.

Hope to post more soon! The class participants are so talented!

Oh, and I’ve made two sales on Etsy last week. Score! 😀

Check my store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/amirarahim

Three New 12×16 Colorful Abstract Paintings

"Slim Pickings" - 12x16 on canvas
“Slim Pickings” – 12×16 on canvas
"Pixie" and "High Born" both 12x16 on canvas
“Pixie” and “High Born” both 12×16 on canvas

 

Hello. Here’s some cute little abstracts I’ve made recently. I have them listed for sale in my newly launched Etsy shop.

I’m about to head out and grab a fresh canvas for a recent commission. A lady contacted me and would like me to paint her friend’s dog as a birthday present. So there you have it, an abstract artist, about to do her very first pet portrait commission. It should be fun though, simply because she wants it in the same style as my cute camels.

 

If You Think You’re Going to Fail, Make Art Anyway

It’s a strange concept. Failure.

What does it mean to fail at so449ade0fc68f908a22d600372155c0d4mething? It’s even more obscure as a creative person, as a working artist. The longer you devote yourself to your craft, and decide that it’s worth your life’s pursuit, the more obstacles and challenges you’ll face.

In being a professional artist, many of us make the mistake of assuming, because a painting didn’t sell it isn’t good. Or because you didn’t make a certain amount of money this month, you’ve failed.

We have to overcome this fear of failure if we’re going to survive as creatives.

Lately, I’ve been having a very successful time here in Abu Dhabi selling my original paintings, connecting with more artists online and in person, and even being featured in The National‘s Art Blog. It’s really made me think about what success would me to me as an artist. My dreamy-colorful-art life would look something like this:

  1. Having the courage, audacity, and strength to create beautiful, authentic, and moving works of art everyday.
  2. Having a lifetime supply of family, friends and followers who support me on my art journey and believe in my work.
  3. Sharing my knowledge and experience with others in the form of workshops and classes regularly.
  4. Having a solid relationship with interior designers and art dealers as in love with abstract art as I am.
  5. Successfully operating my very own sustainable and prosperous art business.

I pray to God these things happen for me, and so I challenge myself everyday to work towards these goals because I know it won’t happen by wishful thinking. But say I accomplish this? Say it works out. Then what? Do I stop creating. Do I relax?

I want to share with you guys this very awesome Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (who, by the way, gives amazing Ted Talks) on how our Creativity must survive its own success. Very powerful concept, and very inspiring speech for anyone out there trying to do anything.

 

New Art: “Clarence” – Abstract Camel Painting

Hey guys!

It’s Sunday, which means it’s the first day of the work week here in the Middle East. I managed to finish another abstract camel painting over the weekend. I asked people on my Facebook and Instagram profiles to help name him, and the popular choice was “Clarence”.

Clarence the clever camel is always getting himself out of precarious situations. Hope you love him as much as I do!

By the way, you’re probably sick of seeing me paint camels now. My first passion is pure abstract art, but I’m experimenting with abstract expressionism in various subjects. I promise, though, new animal varieties coming soon!

"Clarence" 20x24 Acrylic on deep-edge canvas. Available
“Clarence” 20×24 Acrylic on deep-edge canvas. Available