We're F**ked

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Last week I got to exhibit in a group art show in NYC. But it took me forever to write or post about it on my blog/social media because, at the same time as the show, I had started a new job and got really sick. So of course, all three things had to happen at once!

All the exhibiting artists at Con Artist Collective gallery in New York City.

All the exhibiting artists at Con Artist Collective gallery in New York City.

You can call it a 10 year challenge

Joy Scopa and I when we lived in Amsterdam for grad school.

Joy Scopa and I when we lived in Amsterdam for grad school.

Joy Scopa challenged me to get my first tattoo when we lived in Amsterdam.

Joy Scopa challenged me to get my first tattoo when we lived in Amsterdam.

A bit of a back story to that will lead to his art show….So ten years ago I left my full-time job and moved to Los Angeles to attend graduate school. I didn’t know what to expect. Who I was going to meet or become friends with. How much debt I’d be in lol. What I’d learn. And most importantly, what my career would lead to.  

At the age of twenty-four, it was scary to leave home for the first time in my life. And to be honest I was lost and confused during the entire graduate program because I didn’t quite know myself or what I was capable of in terms of my abilities as a designer, thinker, and maker. I just knew I had to venture off into the unknown so that I could grow as a designer.

Fast-forward ten years and all I can say is it’s been a wild ride working with some of the most recognized brands in the world. But at the same time, it's been draining. I’m at a point in my career where I feel like I’ve reached a holding pattern. I was feeling unmotivated and uninspired. And that was when I got an invite to participate in a group art show exhibit with a fellow classmate, Joy, and an old co-worker Racheal. I was beyond thrilled to be asked.

With Joy Scop and Rachael Feinman, the curators and artists for the “We’re Fucked” art exhibit.

With Joy Scop and Rachael Feinman, the curators and artists for the “We’re Fucked” art exhibit.

Being asked to join in a group show ignited a fire in me to create some work that I’ve never created before. It made me realize that I need to do this more often. Not to profit off of, but for my inner-soul. Because all this time I’ve been making work for THEM and not for ME.

And the show’s invitation couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. The theme of the show was called, We’re Fucked, and the artist could interpret it in any way they desired. I chose to focus my interpretation on sexism/feminism/equal pay and the sorts.

I hired a photographer friend to capture me in weird poses and then I masked myself out in photoshop and added type. I gotta say this was a very fun process, even though culturally my parents highly disapprove. But it’s not about them and it’s not to rebel against their wishes by any means. It’s about me, and The Things I’d wish I’d Said, which is what I named these nine series explorations is about the crap I deal with on a regular basis as a female graphic designer in today’s advertising world-and well it goes much deeper than that-to exploring the odd Middle Eastern cultural restrictions or rules living in a Western world.

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Joy’s brilliant masterpiece: her cake worth her student loans of $195K!

Joy’s brilliant masterpiece: her cake worth her student loans of $195K!

I heard a professor say, “What you pay for school isn’t about what you learn, but about the connections you make.” And it is very true because friends from school just know what it’s all about. They just know.

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Graphic DesignMarina Murad