Dreams for the future (and how I plan to get there)

It can seem overwhelming but it actually is a blessing, that every time we take one step forward out blossom infinite possibilities. So, while two years ago starting this MA itself was a dream come true, after going through this process of learning, I have so many more ideas, hopes and dreams I want to achieve.

Without further ado, here is my upcoming list of dreams I want to fulfill post-graduation:

  • One day I want to open a huge center (institute?) for artists in either Jeddah or Karachi (basically the two places that need it the most!). I want it to be a place where people can come and find their creative selves. Where artists can display their work. Where they can find the tools they need to engage in exploration (something SORELY lacking here in Jeddah). Maybe host residencies, guest speaker sessions, I mean the list is endless of what we can do to propel artists.
  • I want to have my own studio. Let me clarify: there was a room in my house that I was using as a studio but that has been converted into a guest room due to necessary circumstances and now I’m totally displaced! But also, I want more than just a studio space. I want to convert the space I have into a shop. Let me explain. The group I’m running on Facebook, Taabir, is actually affecting a lot of people and encouraging them towards creativity. So with this studio I want to officially turn Taabir into a store. I want to turn the iridescent alloys into designer tables, and stools, and paintings. And I want to collaborate with local stores such as homegrown, crate, dhad store, etc to stock my stuff as well as host studio visits to sell the work. I want to collaborate with other artists to sell their work as well, for example there is a local textile artist who makes funky bean bags, she’d be a good fit.
  • I want to learn/explore glass blowing. I haven’t written a post about this yet, but I was blown away by the work of Tiffany Studios I saw inside the MET. I can’t wait to try my hand at molding molten glass and adding metal oxides to it. (A whole new level of fluid art!). Unfortunately my extensive search has shown that there is no glass blowing studio in Jeddah (first the library, then this, sheesh). BUT I have approached Athr Art (a renowned gallery) to help me secure a residency abroad (will probably get rejected, its okay, it happens). And I have my eye on a specific residency in New York that is specifically for glass blowing. Gonna pursue that *dancing emoji*
  • I want to publish at least one of the two books I’ve been working on, this year.
  • I plan to compile an official portfolio once I graduate and start approaching galleries in earnest. Just to see where that takes me. I don’t like elitist gallery culture, but such explorations often have a more surprising outcome than we imagine. No harm in exploration, I always say!

Now we hit reality. The above is all well and good but as they say, money makes the world go round (did anyone say that?). But, yes, I would need money for all of the above, even the residency because board and travel is on the artists’ budget. And I have to say I’m extremely tired of being a freelance digital influencer, forever chasing after brands to pay up what they owe me. I still think digital influencing is a miraculous way to earn (one post is all it takes!) and I don’t intend to abandon it at all. But! I feel like I want a steady stream of income as well in order to take viable steps towards these goals. So what did I do?

I applied for a job (no duh). Specifically, I applied for a job at the British International School of Jeddah, where Manahil and Rayyan (and ayla) are studying (which makes it easier to juggle, since ill still be the primary caretaker). Why did I do this? The reasons are simple:

  • Steady income (already mentioned)
  • The post is that of head librarian, which means simple admin duties in a quiet environment, giving me ample downtime to work on my writing.
  • There is another side to this post, which is that I have to liaise with the other teacher to encourage creativity and engage the students in reading. Which gives me the opportunity to do what I love to do, organize huge collaborative events that inspire creativity, only this time my audience will be students and I’ll have a legitimate way to reach out to authors, artists, and what not, in Jeddah. I have a list of cool things I’m planning if I get selected for this post. I had the first interview last week, and then they called me to spend a day at the library today. Now I’m just waiting to hear back.

So that’s pretty much my (foolproof) plan. I don’t think I missed anything out, but if I did I will revisit and update!

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