Guess what is one thing I never thought I could achieve as an Islamic geometry artist?
As some of you might know in 2022 I co-founded the Global Centre of Islamic Art. And let me tell you the sort of epiphany I had in doing that.
As an Islamic geometry artist, I always thought that my art was my own personal thing. I mean, it’s just me, my compass, my ruler, and my paper, right? (btw see the full list of my supplies here). So, the thought of working with others in a team never even crossed my mind. I always assumed that I would just keep doing my own thing, and that was that.
Also, given that I am the first-born child and now a solopreneur, I’ve always been a one-man show when it comes to my whole life. For example, with Islamic geometric art, I handle everything from email marketing, content creation, customer care, design process, final product etc and I take pride in the fact that I am in complete control of my art.
I never thought that working with others could be an option, as I have always been comfortable working alone. I wasn’t even sure that I could function in a group.
But, as I got more involved in the art world and started attending workshops and exhibitions, I began to realize that working with others could actually be pretty cool. I mean, imagine bouncing ideas off each other and collaborating to create something truly unique and beautiful. Plus, it’s a great way to learn from other artists and expand your own creativity.
While I value my independence and creative control, I also saw the potential for collaboration and learning from other artists. After all, Islamic geometry is a rich and complex art form with many different styles and techniques, and working with other artists could expose me to new perspectives and ideas that I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.
So, I decided to give it a shot and co-founded the Global Centre of Islamic Art. And let me tell you, it was not what I expected.
At first, it was a bit challenging to adjust to working with others, as I was used to doing everything on my own. As soon as someone was showing to be in difficulty, I stepped in and did the work myself to speed things up. But I soon understood that 1) I was overwhelmed by the amount of work and 2) I was not letting the team learn and grow from their mistakes.
But as I began to see the potential of our collective skills and creativity, I became more open to the idea of working as a team. It’s actually really fun and rewarding.
Working in a team also helped me improve my communication and collaboration skills, which are essential not just in the art world, but in any field.
For example, when someone doesn’t meet the deadline, instead of going into the “blame” mode, I’ve learnt to ask how I can support my team to make it happen instead of just thinking that I am the best and I would be better doing it alone.
It’s taught me to be open to new ideas and perspectives, to be willing to compromise and work towards a common goal, and also that I am not the only one having great ideas (I know I can be very arrogant sometimes).
I still value my independence as a solopreneur, but I also recognize the potential for growth and development that comes with working with others in the art world.
So, if you’re like me and thought that Islamic geometry was a solo gig, I encourage you to give working in a team a try. You might just be surprised at how much fun it can be, and how much you can learn and grow as an Islamic geometry artist.
One thing I never thought I could achieve as an Islamic geometry artist
April 19, 2023
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