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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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Wa alaykum aslaam Sara,

How did you find me? :) I'm actually not known at all, but I'm ok with that, and sometimes I enjoy the anonymity. That's great, you've taken an interest in art.  When you feel this kind of passion, my advice is to run with it, and just create art, whatever it is--literal or visual.  And I think that is the basis of genuine art, art that is "interesting" and innovative.  You might not know what you're doing, but you'll make a product in the end, and I'll guarantee you, it will be fun.

Yes, I am an "art drop out". It sounds really funny when said out loud. I put that on my website to inform viewers that I have no formal training in art. And with all due respect to graduates of art schools, I do not believe one needs to go to school to learn how to make fine art. And that is why I dropped out. Now, don't get me wrong, if you want to be a graphic designer, a sculptor, etc, formal training is required and necessary to learn how to master the tools. But to me, art is product of human emotion and experience. And no one can teach you how to feel... .  Now, that doesn't mean studying how to make art is futile, I just think its unnecessary and in fact quite expensive. 

Like I said, I am not well known at all. Yes, I sell my artwork, but I cannot make a living off of it. A lot has to do with a lack of demand and time I put into it.  I have made art public through the internet. I would recommend you to create your art and showcase it to the community through various mediums. The first step is to make a portfolio of artwork. Then, you should start displaying the work. Start with the easiest way, the internet.  Put your work online and make it viral by using facebook and other social media. Second, go to your community. You can show your work at local community events or bigger ones like ISNA or ICNA.  If your community, does not hold such kind of events, start your own! Your community will appreciate innovative and creative idea from it's youth. Third, never get discouraged. Fourth, don't wait for or expect fame. Art thrives on the ingenuity of it's creator and an audience will surely follow. Most important of all, always remember: Success comes from Allah. And all credit belongs to Allah, only the mistakes are ours. 

If you want your risq to come solely from art, be aware that it's difficult but not impossible. It's a lot of hard work and takes time.  If you choose to become a  graphic designer or a photographer, as opposed to a painter,  you will find it is easier to make a living from this art because you are also providing a service and fulfilling a need. It's funny, I'm a little bit of everything. And yes, I am a health professional ( a registered dietitian) by profession. I, too, had great difficulty in college trying to find my place, but alhamdullilah I've found peace in what I do. Although I wish I had more time to create artwork, but my day job inspires me ideas which, to me, is necessary to create awesome art. 

So in the end, I think you should just go with your heart and leave the rest to Allah :)  May Allah direct you in the right path. Amin. :)

You can always contact me if you have any more questions,
Anum

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