Last Tuesday, (Oct. 9th) I painted a mural in the Tadamon Community Center located in Maadi. CairoComix has truly helped me in putting some of my work out there to a certain extent and it's through the festival that I was given this opportunity. I kept handing out my business card to everyone passing by and sooner or later, some calls started coming in.
It was my first time painting a mural, ever and I was nervous beforehand, especially that I was given such a short notice (1 day) but as soon as I reached there I just put my sketch up on the wall and started painting. With such limited time, there was only so much I could do to prepare for this from the tools to the paints, but in the end I learned what to do and what not to do for next time.
It took exactly 5.5 hours to finish the mural but it could've been done in 2 or 3 if the walls weren't glossy. I had to paint layers upon layers and was surprised with this problem when I got there but it worked out fine in the end and it didn't degrade from the quality of my work, it was just way more time consuming. The wall is right at the entrance so I wanted to create something colourful to make it more inviting for people. People, especially kids, kept walking by wanting to help out and were really excited to see the end result. I was happy with it and the reactions that kept coming from people passing definitely helped in making me feel like what I was doing isn't actually half bad.
Everything is a learning experience, and though I was scared to take this opportunity at first, I'm glad I did because first of all for it being part of such a great cause is so rewarding and being able to do whatever I want given the complete creative freedom, it's pretty rare these days. And hopefully there will be more collaborations from this point on with Tadamon so stay tuned.
I decided to document my process, and I'm pleased with the result, though there was a lot of improvisation involved, but overall for it being my first time, I'm very happy with how it turned out and I'm very thankful for this experience.
The women there are so kind and phenomenal and in the video you can see the lovely (and tall) Magda helping me out when my height failed me.
Comment your thoughts. What do you think of the result?
(lighting didn't do me any favors so try to watch it in HD and a higher level of brightness)
More about: Tadamon - The Egyptian Refugee Multicultural Council
Tadamon (est. Dec 2006) is an independent NGO with a series of civil society organizations and welfare programs throughout Cairo and Alexandria that work towards creating a place for refugees to comfortably coexist and become more inclusive within the Egyptian communities. They're constantly on the look out to generate and facilitate new ideas that would further develop and help the environment they provide. Right now for the mural I was painting, they're focusing on empowering women, among many other important projects.