Dear followers and friends,
The first half of 2018 has passed and here I am: Not keeping my promise to share an update quarterly. Instead, this is gonna be an update of the past half year! Well, that’s better than nothing, right?
The past six months have been full of personal and professional milestones.
Back to the Roots
First things first: My biggest personal change in 2018 so far: We moved to Berlin! The city I have lived in most of my life. Dublin was home for exactly 1 year (for me, 7 for my husband). It was an emotional goodbye for me, mostly because Dublin was a safe, cozy and friendly bubble. Read my comic about it here. Now we are living the freelancer life as my husband created his own digital marketing agency. So far it works well, we don’t hate each other yet haha. We try to organize our days by starting the day with a “team meeting” and by respecting each others work time (as much as possible…) . There are still moving boxes in our apartment but we are slowly feeling home in this new place. Designing the new place is both joy and stress – I take hours/days/weeks to decide which pillow case to buy. Yep, I am a perfectionist. A perfectionist with a pinterest addicition.
Workshops and Exhibitions
I have given seven workshops/talks in 2018 so far (in Heilbronn, Aachen, Loccum, Stuttgart, Algeria, Tutzing, and Berlin). I love how every workshop slightly differs from the other. I have worked with PoC women, with teachers, with young students, entrepreneurs and employees of an international Tech Company. Discussing the topics of racism, art and identity with all those participants is always so enlightening! I especially love when young people tell me that they are inspired by what I do. This is the best feedback I can get. Most of the clients who invited me to do a workshop have also booked my exhibition. I was most excited about the one in Stuttgart, where a stage designer has drawn four of my artworks in a huge dimension on a wall. A highlight! (see last picture)
Commissions, Commissions, Commissions
Besides giving these events, I have enjoyed working for some amazing clients. I have produced artworks for Cornelsen, one of Germany’s best known publishing houses for school books. You cannot imagine the excitement of being able to decide what kids will see in their school books in the future. It means so much to me! Years ago, when I went to school and they would give us the books in the beginning of the year, I would spend hours at home going through the books and admiring the illustrations. Other commissions have been illustrations for an online magazine, illustrations for a booklet to help refugees navigate through the Berlin bureaucracy, comic guidelines about what to do, when you encounter racism and much more. Every single project is amazing. I am so happy to be able to contribute to meaningful work like that.
A Secret Project
Because of the overload of work as well as the move to Germany, my personal projects have been neglected a bit. In the beginning of the year I had created a few more comics based on your stories, like Jess’ and Zainab’s stories. I also have asked you for name suggestions for this project and you have shared some amazing ideas! I am going to let you vote on that, soon! Lately, I also started focussing more on that “secret project” I have mentioned in my former blog post (remember those eyes I told you not to forget?). I started sharing a few more insights of my work process on instagram (see the IG highlight “Passion Project”).
Interviews and Challenges
I don’t like cameras but I love to share my passion. That’s why I had some more interviews these past months. Thank you, Puls, ze.tt, stufe.tv, Lallab and hijabvibe.com for featuring my work. There are around 3 more interviews that will be online in the next few weeks.
Professionally, my biggest challenge is juggling personal drawing projects and commissions (while doing all that boring admin stuff, like insurance and tax – ugh). I have also been slow in keeping my social media updated. I definitely want to improve that. Personally, I am trying to be a more positive person. I know, that might be surprising for you. But I am a person who easily sees the things that “could be improved”, you know what I mean? I really want to cherish the positive things more than thinking and worrying about the negative things.
I am very grateful for the past months and very excited about the rest of the year. I have accepted some amazing projects! I can’t wait to work on them and share them with you. Alhamdulillah, I am so grateful to have the privilege to work on my passion. Thank you guys for supporting me on my journey!