Posted on December 5, 2013
Last October I was asked to work on a pop-up book. So I took on what I believed to be a challenge, not only because of the technical aspect of it but the subject matter itself: the migration of Palestinians to Kuwait in the early 50s, and its footprint on Kuwaiti society. I like to think of myself as an unrestricted artist, and here I was faced with a subject matter that I didn’t necessarily care to draw or paint, even though I’m a huge proponent of the Palestinian cause and was once married to a Palestinian man. My children are half-Palestinian. But I just don’t work like that. I tried to interview different Palestinians who had been here since that time (I even spoke to the first Palestinian born in Kuwait!), but that didn’t yield me the anecdotes that I wanted-whimsical, poignant, funny.
So a week ago, I was having lunch with my in-laws and I commented on how it had been really difficult to get some good stories. At the table, my sister-in-law Faten started telling me stories about her father, Ammo Mahmoud, and everything started to fall into place. From being befuddled and upset about the book for the prior few weeks, I finally knew exactly what I wanted to do. And this here is the beginning. Hopefully, if I get the OK on these first pages, everything else will be smooth sailing and I’ll be over the moon. I’m a little over the moon now. Read More
Posted on December 2, 2013
Astrid’s Instagram video:
Posted on November 29, 2013
I hate quotation marks. For years at school I struggled with the usage of these minute yet highly particular squiggles Do they come after or before a comma? Do I capitalize the word following one, or not? Where and when do I use a period? These tiny, little marks are so specific and rule-heavy I think we should do away with them altogether. That’s quite a serious statement coming from a grammarazzo like me. But they are and always have been a thorn in my grammatical side. Read More
Posted on November 26, 2013
I forgot to take a book with me to my daughter’s horse-back riding lesson last night. And I didn’t have internet coverage so that I could at least catch up with emails (Mada sucks). So I drew in my what-to-do notebook.
Posted on November 25, 2013
You can safely say that I spent last Friday painting like it was my last day on earth. My children had been home from school the previous week and I had the Palestinian Cultural Center exhibition set up the next day. For weeks I had been planning to paint a sister to this painting I did last October. And I know how I get when I feel an obligation to fill in a gap. I have to say I’m happy with the result. I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Read More
Posted on November 22, 2013
So this is what happens when there are multiple custodians of the tapestry. I get a deluge of very similar posts. However. Each and every one is special because I know how much work goes into taking one of these shots. So I’d like to thank one mother, two aunties, and two cousins for taking care of my girls this November. If anyone is interested in taking over the job of guardian, and would like to relieve my family of their duties, e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Read More
Posted on November 13, 2013
Richard Feynman is rolling in his grave right now. But I’ll get back to that later. My dear friend (and sister-in-law) Jana is attending a seminar in London this weekend. Known as The Generalist (and @JanarlySpeaking on social networking sites), she has been invited to attend a post-talk dinner with the speakers. We’re talking the likes of Richard Dawkins and Richard Fortey (damn, I wish I’d named one of my sons Richard). So J asked me to do some name cards for her. Now back to the original Richard: I used J’s favorite theory, Feynman’s Diagram, as a template for the cards. But I think I just may have killed it. It was like a game of Chinese Whispers, the diagram changing ever so slightly with each card. It was constantly: the squiggly line goes here, the ‘y’ here, the camel toe (yes camel toe) here…
Posted on November 12, 2013
A short bit about the one on the left: My good friend Laura sent me a message asking me what I’d draw if someone asked me to illustrate ‘hormones’. I replied that I didn’t think there were a drawing demented enough to express my hormones. I called her later that day and we spoke for ages as usual. Of course I was doodling throughout, and when we hung up I instragrammed the drawing. She soon commented: Oh beautiful hormones :). I guess there is a drawing. So I added the caption.