Wait 2019 is over? Already? How…? Is it also too late to review 2019? Well, we’re still in January (2020! Oh man..) so let’s do this.
The bad news: 2019 was probably the year I got the least personal projects done – I barely posted new comics on instagram or my website 🙁 BUT: The main reason was that I wanted to grow in my business and my client work. And I was blessed with some beautiful projects…
The usual illustrations for schoolbooks (e.g. Cornelsen), blogs (e.g. Georg Eckert Institut, Gegen Vergessen – für Demokratie e.V., JIK) and handbooks for democracy (e.g. Landesnetzwerk Weiterbildungsberatung, Kommunales Intergrationszentrum Bonn, Al-Wasat), as well as some extraordinary ones: In April, I travelled to India to work on my very first little animation project about a local foodbank. The short trip was marvellous and this project made me realize how much I enjoyed seeing my work in motion. Working with an animator was a pure joy!
I also had the great pleasure to have Illustrated a complete travelling exhibition of 12 life-size interactive scenes. Seeing those in real life was simply amazing and I hope the stories about Anti-Muslim racism behind it will have an impact on many many more visitors.
Most of my illustrations I do from my desk at my home office. So, I am grateful to have some change every now and then for example when I get to do some Graphic Recordings (visually documenting an event like the “Hack for Justice” Hackathon and the Muslim Culture Days). I really enjoy that kind of work! I also gave some talks from which the one I gave to the German Police University was the most emotional one for me. Though, my half-ruined talk in Washington DC was also quite memorable (my European Visa unexpectedly got withdrawn but I got to join the event via skype).
And of course there were several exhibitions (my own artworks can be rented as a travelling exhibition set) and workshops to share my passion with other people, like in Karlsruhe, Offenbach, Magdeburg, Münster, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Hagen.
In August 2019, I also started a weekly shoutout to “female visual artists of color” on Instagram. I must say I am pretty impressed that I have been able to keep this project up for so long. Really: Don’t miss out my Instagram story posts on Mondays: You’ll get to know some amazing artists!
Besides that, I am so grateful to have been able to hire someone to support me with the administrative work. Having someone like that really frees up creative mindspace. It is a real blessing – and truly an investment for me: With that in mind I am planning to make bigger steps this year inshaallah (God willing). I am not gonna share my plans just yet but I can say that I have done some very concrete steps towards goals I have been talking about for so long.
On a more personal note (as a thank you for making it till the end of this post 😉 ): 2019 was the year I turned 30 – an event that affected me more than I had imagined. It made me realize how fast time passes – I mean it feels like it’s been just last month that we celebrated the “New Year 2019”! Crazy. So my husband and I started to make more of our time: spend more time with family and friends, read more, invest more in our home, travel more spontaneously (to Como, Dublin, Dubai, Paris, Tunisia, London, Zürich and Lisbon, alhamdulillah). We also started playing squash and even joined a run club (Beni Run Club). And although I hated the very first 5k my ego didn’t agree with me stopping there. But of course there were some low points too, lack of energy, very inefficient late Playstation-and-pyjama nights (it’s hard to keep up efficiency when none of you has a proper office work schedule) and more. And to be honest: 2020 has also started rather low: With a bit of chaos and the flue – but I can’t wait to get started with this year and get my energy back. Hope you will join me! Alhamdulillah for everything.