Friday, December 20, 2013

A new brand is born, a new dream is dreamt!

For a really really long time, I have wished to see my work printed on fabric. A week ago, this dream of mine came true, in the blessing of digital printing!

My friend Farhana and I have been besties since we were 8 years old! Grade 3! She went on the become a doctor (and go to Harvard) and I went on to do my MBA and graphic designing. We both shared a love of art and I remember we used to take sketching classes together at various places. Well, recently she and I shared a wish. A wish to make products for the home. She has a keen esthetic sense and she can sew and paints REALLY well! So we partnered together and bought a stall at the British Women's Bazaar at a local hotel in Karachi on December 15th. I thought we should promote our 'brand' hence Teacup was born! (within 15 minutes, through a couple of text message exchanges!)

While she had Rulli (rull-ee) bed spreads, baby quilts, and cushion covers, hand painted frames and artwork, I took out out my collection of work from MATS and re-worked them as best as I could in ten days. Then I chose a few icons and ran with it. I also recycled some of my older designs to finalize 8 designs for digital printing on synthetic silk. Found some great material for the back of the cushions and viola I got this:

And now for some well deserved rest! :D

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A lazy Sunday afternoon, with Carla Bruni

Confession. I had no idea that Carla Bruni sang. I know she was the First Lady of France, but  no idea that she sang. So, thanks to a friend, I discover her! And am blown away! There was me, my brush and thankfully a few blank canvasses that got filled mellowly...

See ya next week!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Let the Tour begin!

Morning y'all! (or evening, wherever you all lovely readers are!)

As you can tell I am a Texan! NOT! But my heart belongs in Texas (I lived there for 8 years and left my soul there...)

But this post is not about Texas. This post is about a wonderful lady called Lilla Rogers and the dreams she weaves. So, here goes...

Once upon a time, there was a tiny girl (woman) sadly walking the shores of the mystical Arabian Sea... you see, she had lost something very valuable. And the sad part is, she couldn't remember what it was... all she knew is that there was something missing in her life which seemed to hold life for her. She looked hither and she looked thither! Uff (an Urdu slang for oh!), where was it and most importantly WHAT was it??

One day she fell asleep tired and sad... she would never find it would she?

That night a fairy came to her in her dream. She was this radiant fairy, so motherly and kind and she spoke to her. She called the girl to her, held her, and like magic the little girl knew what she was looking for and what she must seek.

The next day she went looking for the fairy in real- for she knew it wasn't just magic- she had to be real. She searched and without much adieu, there she appeared. She seemed like a mirage to the little girl. The little girl vowed to muster up ALL her treasures and her courage to REACH out to the fairy, and she did. Along the way, the girl was helped and assisted by her very very dear friends* and she was MOST grateful to them.
And so her journey began with the Fairy Lilla. Fairy Lilla was patient and knowledgeable and resourceful. She guided the girl; she held her hand and made her believe in herself again. She showed the little girl what she had been seeking all her life… the world of surface design. Where all dreams come true!

Make Art that Sells

The title itself arrested me. That there was actually someone out there TEACHING this stuff was unbelievable! My first five week course with Lilla Rogers has come to an end and I look forward to the next part in Spring 2014.

The course on the one hand made an explosion of ideas and possibilities in my head, on the other; it brought me to my tribe. I HAVE A TRIBE! Oh have you ever belonged to a tribe?? When someone is ALWAYS there for you?? It’s a feeling I had never experienced before! And it makes me all mushy and emotional (by the way, my Native Indian name is Aisha the Emotional). What can I say, words escape me which is why I have been rambling for 500 words already…

So the point of this particular post is that my tribe decided to go on a Blog Tour of which I am one of the first stops! : D me so proud!

I am Aisha the Emotional junior (no there are no other Aisha’s in the group, but I am junior in art, hence…). Little me is surrounded by FABULOUS designers whose work is exemplary and awe-inspiring! With me two people kick start the tour.

1-    Linda Tordoff (

Linda is a freelance Illustrator and Surface Pattern Designer who works under the name of Paintlove Studio. Her work is amazing as you can see here:

My favorite of her work was the Children’s Books Assignment here:

Good luck Linda!

2-    Jill Byers (

Jill skipped Week 4 and came back with a BANG in Week 5! Here is her Gift Assignment! I mean WOW!

Good luck Jill!

So tomorrow it’s the turn of:

1-    Martina Lenhardt (
2-    Melissa Doran ( /
3-    Sarah Gager (

And let the Tour Commence! (Blow horns, fireworks, dances, you name it! It’s all happening! Remember I said this is the magical world of Surface Design!)

Enjoy y’all (and if you don’t well then I pity you my friend!) :D

That’s all folks! (With feeling this time!)

*I must mention two friends in particular: Patricia Zapata for bringing Lilla to my knowledge and Fatima and Hasan- without their PayPal account and loan, I would never have been able to take this leap! MUCHOS MUCHOS gracias!

PS- a BIG thank you to Beth Kempton for putting up this class! And best of luck with the coming new arrival in your life!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 5: Gift (Final week)

I've been in a state of inertia :) Ever since I submitted my last assignment of Part A, I realized just how tired I had been. I took it easy for a few days and evaluated my learning and take away from the course, and boy it was a LOT!

But first, a recap of Week 5. So, this week we explored the Gift Market. So many things that come under this and so many ways in which you can tap into this market! It's definitely something I want to pursue going forward!

So the week began with gathering up some things that we collect..... well for me, that was a tough one! I don't really collect anything but then I realized I love collecting mugs and bowls! So I gathered up ALL my mugs and took pictures :)

Didn't know what the assignment was going to be... so I just waited to see how my cups and bowls would translate into the assignment. Wednesday the assignment came and it was to design a rectangular zippered pouch with some coordinating accessories added as needed.

Now mugs and bowls don't really go on zippered pouches huh? :D So I started drawing... and came up with a bird that was inspired by my 11 year old, who in turn had been inspired by a bird I did for the week of Children's Books. And once I drew the bird, I ran with it...

Many reiterations later.... this is what came out...

The bird with patterns!

And so I finally decided to use both designs somehow and presented my final assignment like this:

So whatcha think? By the way, can you see how I sneaked the cup in ;)

Hey you know you can leave a response here (below) right? I'd love to hear back from you (readers). So feel free to comment?

This is only the beginning my friends.... there is much much more to come from the little designer from Karachi :D Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cest n'est pas un Reve...

Although the bird needed a little more attention, I am running out of time... and phew I'm tired.

Added the title digitally, because I just wasn't going to risk hand lettering. This is my final submission for Week 4. Last week next and I can't believe how much I've learnt, how much inspiration I've drawn, and how I've grown addicted to my 'tribe' of artists all over the world. Have to pinch myself as I say:
Ce n'est pas un Reve...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Week 4: Wall Decor

This was the week I had been waiting for! Alas, the assignment was to do a collage- which I have never done! So, after procrastinating the assignment till Friday (gulp!) I got down to it...

The assignment began with going on a scavenger hunt to look for linear, round and textural things that belonged in your color group (based on your Zodiac Sign- which to my surprise was Blue and Yellow!)

Not my favorite color combo but nevertheless found many a thing belonging in that category :)

Wednesdays assignment came. Collage. Umm... took me a while just to absorb that. By Friday I picked up my brushes and paints and began blobbing... Friday night I dreamt of it all night- I left it thinking one way, but the next morning, I flipped it around, and added a bird... still working on it- its unlike ANYTHING I've ever made- not sure how it will look in the end. One BIG thing I've learnt is that with assignment is that one simply doesn't know when to end- you keep adding and tweaking and re-doing... I guess will wait till the 11th hour and when I finally post it, then that'll be it :D

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 3: Children's Books

I have always been a huge fan of children's books. And a lot, I've bought simply because the art is enticing! I've argued with local language publishers and printers about the lack of good illustrations for children. They will only pick up a book if they find the pictures exciting. Period. No matter how good or bad the story- for kids, its the cover that sells the book!

Alas, I'm no children's book illustrator! But this week we had an assignment to design the cover or an inside spread of the story The Language of the Birds, a Russian folk tale, set in old Russia. Now Russia I've always found intriguing. And years ago, I'd drawn some trees ala Kremlin style which I wanted to bring into this assignment!

Some studies for bids included:

These were fun, as I got to go out of my comfort zone and draw some characters for a change.

Bird by my Eight year old Maha! Love it!
Earlier renditions included:

Battling a cold at the tailend of the week, and some other minor distractions, this is what my final assignment looked like:

My classmates are mega talented. The kind of hours and energy they put into this assignment, had me thinking, I should have just sat on the bleachers and watched this one out- they were awesome!

Will post links to their blogs/sites shortly :)

Ciao people! Have to go on a scavenger hunt now ;)

{you'll find out next week- stay tuned!}

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Bohemian Rhapsody"

So, I named the collection Bohemian Rhapsody. Rhapsody, because its is defined as:

"An effusively enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feeling"

And Bohemian apparently means:

"A socially unconventional person, especially one who is involved in the arts"

Now trust me when I chose the name, I was just thinking of Queen's song. It was blaring in my ears... later I decided to delve in deeper into my subconscious and am surprised as to how this name fits me, my feelings, and my design! So my sweet readers, here is the assignment made it to the board.

(A little note: I liked the round ones better, but the class group gals gave an overwhelming thumbs up to the square ones, so....) I am tempted to continue on this- design some more pieces for it, I enjoyed it so very much! But I'll have to take it easy- today being Sunday, I should try and not work :)

Have a great weekend y'all!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Week 2 of MATS: Bromeliads and plates!

O, how I struggled with this one. By Wednesday, I was contemplating not sending in an assignment... as I simply could not get my hands down to a design that was appealing! Also, this time I had promised myself I'd try another medium. So I painted, I drew, I scanned, and I was so so so uncomfortable with using these on the actual design. So last night I stayed up till 3:30! About midnight is when it began to grow on me. And yes, I went back to my natural element- Illustrator and colors- bright ones! :) So wonderful how this course is helping me define myself as an artist. I know what makes me joyous and I know where I'm most creative.

Here is where I began, with lots of pictures as references. The assignment mini was to draw out Bromeliads. These blooms are the most exquisite plants I have ever seen. Such amazing variety and the colors are to die for. I am forever in awe of Mother Nature and how the Divine Creativity just makes us feel so utterly small.

Then I drew, and I painted....

So Thursday night I sat alone and decided to cleanse myself of negative thoughts and self doubt and voila it came to me... I don't know how it will go down with the teacher, but my classmates are the  most encouraging people on Earth! I love them! Its so wonderful to finally BELONG! :D

I have not submitted this yet, but plan to make a few changes and will submit by tonight or tomorrow.

Ciao for now!