Skill Sets and Personal Aspirations

During the last year of my curriculum as a mechanical engineer, I have realized that it is not what I’m truly passionate about. A little too late, right? I found myself more drawn to artistic majors such as graphic design, architecture and photography. I’ve always had interest in such topics, however, I’ve never thought about pursuing them as a career. Maybe because art is not appreciated where I come from. In Saudi Arabia, parents put a lot of pressure on their kids to either be doctors or engineers, and having growing up with my father, who happens to be a mechanical engineer, I thought this is my best option.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my degree, however, I wish it had more artistic approach, or few art/engineering classes like this one. I taught myself everything that is art-related about me. Since my parents never believed art to be something serious, they would always refuse to sign me up for art classes growing up. I used to feel jealous when my classmates attend art workshops after school. I would go back home and try my best to sketch things that are in front of me.

One of the things that I was super interested in was typography. I was so dedicated to learning how to make my handwriting look like a fancy font on the computer. I used to find fonts that I would love to imitate, download it, and print random sentences on a plane sheet of paper, grayed out so that I can trace it multiple times just like those books they used to give you in school to teach you how to write in cursive.

I also remember finding ways to download Photoshop and playing around with different tools to teach myself how to use it.

Now, I am proud of the set of skills I have invested in including calligraphy, photography, Photoshop and photo editing, digital art, and other related skills. Here are some of my artworks:

This year, I designed the new MESA (Middle Eastern Student Association) logo and a t-shirt.

I also started an Instagram account to serve as a portfolio/page for my designs. Here’s one of the designs I’m proud of. This design inspiration came to me when I went to buy something from the bookstore. I wanted a school-spirit item that I can own, but after walking through the bookstore I didn’t find something that I like. I also noticed that the bookstore lacked diversity. I wanted something to represent me, not only the school. Thus, I designed this hoodie/sweatshirt. It says Colorado Boulder in Arabic calligraphy with the flatirons silhouette in the background.

I sometimes take a break from studying to paint things like:

As of my aspirations, I would like to explore different aesthetics and art forms in order to find my own identity as an artist. I am good with technical executions but not coming up with creative concepts on my own. I would also like to find a way to incorporate art into engineering. My dream job would be designing functional and artistic projects to satisfy both sides of my personality, but before I do that, I need to find my inner artist.

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