I graduated last year form the Academy, after 4 1/2 years of juggling family and school. It was quite a hectic year for me, it took a lot of hard work and persistence to hold that degree in my hands.
Then after that it was as if my career shot off. I had my first solo at the school gallery, as the emerging artist of 2013, and sold 80% of my work. Did a couple of artist talks/presentations, in Dallas and San Francisco. Got published in magazines.
After all that I look back and assess my career which I feel is successful, and I try to analyze the reason. All the above is a reason, correct. Not really. The reason is that I am still painting, a year after I graduated, thus being part of the American fabric, that I so want to change for the betterment of the Muslim community. How does one do that? By painting? Well, its easy. I create work, that has Islamic calligraphy and I sell it, it finds a home, where it is appreciated and honored. So indirectly my culture and sensibility is being appreciated. That in my eyes is success.
The path to happiness is not recognition, fame and fortune, but doing what you love to do. Changing peoples lives. Every time I sell to an outsider to the community, I make a difference in the lives of the people of my community. It is a drop in the ocean, and as the saying goes in my country, Tiny drops make the ocean.