“Every painting I make teaches me something. Every face I paint proves to me how unique each one of us is. I have adapted techniques all by myself, and I still am.”
Samir Mitri, an aspiring doctor and current painter, tells us more about himself in the below one-on-one we had with him. If you’re MAD about customizing your personal belongings, read on to get to know him!
How did you start drawing on personal items and what was the first thing you drew on? I’ve always loved drawing and painting, but the idea of painting on items other than canvas or paper never crossed my mind. I remember one time my mother was tidying up her closet and wanted to throw away a white jacket she had. I insisted that she didn’t and asked her to keep it for i wanted to try something new. This was my first time painting on a personal item. She loved the outcome as did I and everyone everyone around me; and that’s how it started.
Who are your art inspirations? I’m very inspired by Bill Ward, an american cartoonist. I think his work is amazing and I love what he does! I can get easily inspired by any other form of art like music, a movie, a music video, etc.
Tell us more about painting: is it a hobby or would you like to pursue a career in it? To me, painting has always been a hobby and more like a relief… I’ve turned to art in all of its forms to make my visions come to life. I never considered painting as my career or job. However, having the eye of an artist will come in handy in what I’m willing to pursue: plastic surgery.
What are your future plans and where do you see yourself and your brand in the near future? Everything I know, I taught myself. I aspire to grow and keep on painting, drawing and sharing my vision with the world. I really hope to see expansion and that with MAD I’ll be able to expose my art to a larger audience. I’ll never stop painting, since it has become a habit.
Universally used, notebooks are defined as “a small book with blank or ruled pages for writing notes in.” With the emergence of laptops and the dominance of technology, many now prefer to take their notes and scribbles on their laptops or tablets. Nonetheless, the authenticity of notebooks is everlasting. There’s something unique about feeling the pages brush against your hand as you write, draw or doodle your thoughts; about smelling the raw pages as you flip them. Just as with the debate on reading from a book or from a screen, the debate on whether notebooks are still in use or have been replaced by electronics is one that has no answer.
Yara Saad, graphic designer, has her own answer to this debate. Yara’s passion for creating and design lead her to graduate from ALBA university (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts) with a BA in Graphic design and Advertising. Among the things she enjoys are cooking, travelling and everything that has do with arts and crafts. Below, we sat down with Yara to see what drove her to start her Yayo notebook collections and why.
What motivated you to study graphic design?
Ever since I can remember, I expressed myself through arts and crafts. So when the time came to choose a career path, it only made sense to turn this hobby and my passion into my profession.
What do you think are the key skills a graphic designer should have?
I think that the most important thing a designer should have is taste and an eye that understands what’s appealing and what’s not; that’s something that can’t be learned.
Other than that, It’s really important to practice, practice, practice and work hard.
How did you start making notebooks and why?
After attending a workshop that taught the basics of bookbinding, I locked myself in my bedroom for one week while trying out different kinds of bindings with different kinds of textures and papers. At the end, I had more than 30 notebooks and I didn’t know what to do with all of them, but I knew that I had discovered a passion and I had to do something about it. That’s when I decided to build my brand and started participating in small exhibitions and garage sales to sell my creations.
When did you first realize you’re interested in this?
My obsession with notebooks started a long time ago. Wherever I was out and saw unique notebooks, I used to buy them and store them on a shelf in my room without ever writing anything on them partly because I was scared to ruin them with my dull handwriting! The day I discovered the workshop teaching bookbinding basics, I knew i had to register immediately; and i did. After struggling during the workshop, I stayed up all night determined to perfect the bindings that I did earlier in the day and that’s when I realized that I had found something I’m truly passionate about. I had finally found something I love, something I was looking for all along: arts and crafts meets scrapbooking meets design.
Which one of your designs is your favorite and why?
If I really had to choose one, I would say that my favourite product is the daily planner simply because I can be very flexible and customize each and every planner depending on the interest of very client.
How do you choose the material you use and where do you get it from?
Every time I travel, I always carry with me an extra bag just for new cover material. I think this is one of the things that make Yayo stand out. I have textures and patterns from india, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm and many more places. This makes every notebook a “limited edition” and therefore unique.
Tell us more about your future plans and what you aspire to achieve.
Moving forward, I’m going to do more focused and customized notebooks. They’re not only going to be plain on the inside as there will be a template, similar to the daily planners or the baby books that I had done a while ago. I also want to do a line of designed stationary and host workshops to share my passion with others who are as passionate about this as I am!
She has always had a passion for music and singing. Despite having a successful career in finance in a multinational company, Carla Saad was adamant on pursuing her passion, music, which is why she left her job in 2014 to dedicate her full focus on As Per Casper. Read on to find out WHY, HOW and WHAT!
I read somewhere that you quit your fulltime to pursue As Per Casper, how come?
I was growing more and more weary and frustrated as my mind struggled to disconnect from the ‘corporate‘ to tap in to the ‘creative‘. I found myself dissatisfied with my profession despite my success and achievement. Something was always missing; it didn’t feel like me and not pursuing my passion was slowly becoming disruptive. I had just turned 30 and I remembered realizing that this passion, the one that keeps me up at night sometimes and the one that has been a vital part of my life ever since I could speak, surely deserved my full focus. Somehow, everything fell into place once that realization happened. Shortly after, I was introduced to Frank Kafka’s work and his words as quoted below, that he had written over 100 years ago, simply summed up my experience.
“It is easy to recognize a concentration in me of all my forces on writing. When it became clear in my organism that writing was the most productive direction for my being to take, everything rushed in that direction”, “Naturally, I did not find this purpose independently and consciously, it found itself, and is now interfered with only by the office, but that interferes with it completely…. My development is now complete and, so far as I can see, there is nothing left to sacrifice; I need only throw my work in the office out of this complex in order to begin my real life.
The Diaries of Franz Kafka, 1910-1913
How did As Per Casper come to life?
I had made a new friend at football, Sebrina, who had mentioned that she was a musician. It took a jam session or two for us to realise and appreciate the musical harmony between our voices and styles. An impressed friend taking part in the first ever Sikka Art Fair, a contemporary gathering of young talents, in 2011 had recommended us to management and we got in. We needed a name and fast. Casper had already been my nickname at that point as Sebrina deemed me the whitest Arab she had ever met and with a quirky suggestion from one of our other friends, As Per Casper came into play and still is.
How is the music scene in Dubai and the Middle East?
I have been around the scene long enough to see it go through many stages. From there being no platforms for original music to be showcased to having several initiatives come into play, introducing Dubai (& Abu Dhabi) to the amazing local talent and exposing the local talent to an audience. As Per Casper has gotten to where it is as a result.
The scene continues to see regular shifts and I believe it’s due to the following:
The UAE’s turnover in expats which brings with it shifts in interests and musical tastes as well as the need for continuous reestablishment by bands.
It is also very much dictated by the brands in the market. For example, renowned sports brands associate more with the hip hop scene and back it up accordingly by collaborating with artists; events like Sole, establishments like D3, brands like Adidas all provide opportunities for artists in this category. This boosts that specific genre as a result.
The scene is what major players/influencers shape it to be. They mold and make it into what they want. I felt that tangibly when I co-founded the Rock Camp for Girls UAE in 2013 to encourage more women to enter the music scene at an early age, and that did indeed happen. So it’s up to us as artists to pave the way.
As of today, I believe musicians continue to be seen as entertainers instead of artists and that’s a shame as the original content coming out of the region is powerful and deserves to be heard and recognized.
What are you future aspirations/plans for As Per Casper?
We want to reach further and more. We want our music to be heard regionally and internationally and for that to happen we need to be present in these areas. We want to go on tours, perform for audiences, connect with them directly and not behind a screen or on social media platforms. That’s why we are in the process of booking gigs outside of the UAE.
Thank you for your interview and interest in our story and journey. We need people and organizations like you to help us carry our music forward!
It’s such a hassle to house-hunt in Lebanon, isn’t it? If you’re not going through it personally, then maybe you know a friend, a friend of a friend, a second cousin or someone who is!
You have no idea what’s going on in the market, you see a house you like and suddenly you’re asked to pay five times your budget for it and there are so many properties that you don’t know where to begin looking! Newspaper listing? Online? Real-estate TV shows
Well, it’s finally happening.
WHAT is finally happening?
En Quête d’Appart, produced by OBBO prod, has been running for 3 years in France and is the first real estate entertainment weekly TV Show where you get what you see! In their fourth season, the show will be airing on a daily basis on another french channel as of this March as Carrément Bien(s)! With over 100 interviewed celebrities, over 3,000 properties sold and over 100 real estate developers and agents all over France, the show is landing in Lebanon in February 2019 in its Lebanese version, Bedkon Beit.
So what is Bedkon Beit?
Bedkon Beit is NOT your typical real-estate TV show. The explosive duo of local hosts will be doing EVERYTHING to test and find the best real estate deals! They’ll be going from fun property visits, to giving tips and conducting celebrity and street interviews.
Who will be on board?
Recognized real estate experts, consultants, developers and major market players will showcase their selection of properties for sale and/or rent as well as their vision of the real estate market and housing in Lebanon.
As of February 2019, Bedkon Beit will be broadcasted daily on a leading Lebanese TV channel ! Episodes are already being filmed in collaboration with MAD!
So… How MAD is Bedkon Beit?
MAD talents will be featured on the show. Yes, you read that right. In addition to distribution and marketing of the TV show, you can expect to see MAD talents featured on the show as well as celebrities and all kinds of entertainment.
Bottom line is…
Lebanon, get ready for a truly MAD real estate entertainment TV show that’s going to glue you to your screens, make you burst out in laughter and introduce you to the best real estate properties and deals you can find in the country.
Someone who gives deep appreciation to little things and loves to be herself rather than being someone else as she considers anyone else is already taken. She’s a fire sign and loves everything to be on fire.
If I were a song, I would be:Je Veux by Zaz
If I were an artist, I would be:Frida Kahlo
If I were a book, I would be:The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
If I were a dish, I would be:Sweet and sour
If I were a dessert, I would be:Apple crumble
If I were a spice, I would be:Cinnamon
If I were a sport, I would be:Swimming
If I were a period in history, I would be:1990
If I were a movie, I would be:Me Before You
If I were a series, I would be:Money Heist
If I were a verb, I would be: Dance
If I were an adjective, I would be:Bubbly
If I were one of the five senses, I would be: Hearing
If I were a flower or a plant, I would be:Gardenia
If I were one of the five elements, I would be:Fire