Artists rarely thrive in a vacuum. It’s so important to at the very least expose yourself to the work of fellow artists, and at best collaborate with them. This process gives you perspective, pushes you to greater efforts and in most cases enhances your own creativity. It’s somewhat gestalt; ideas collide and the product is greater than the sum of it’s parts, it’s something neither artist would have come up with on their own. I believe it’s vital to learning and development. Call it artistic evolution if you will, and you don’t want the figurative creative gene pool to stagnate! So when opportunity comes knocking you shouldn’t ignore it.
When Mahafsoun first approached me with a view to collaborate I was cautiously optimistic. I’ve been approached by quite a few models, stylists and photographers, some still honing their craft, some with exceptional talent and some who are just hoping to get their hands on some free stuff!
Amazingly, I had never actually come across Mahafsoun’s art previously so – as with every unknown potential collaborator – I looked up her work with a mix of apprehension and excitement. As I slowly scrolled through her images several thoughts ran through my mind; the apprehension evaporated immediately, I couldn’t comprehend that this was the first time I was seeing such stunning work (why had no one pointed this out to me previously?!), I felt privileged that she had sought me out, and finally, the prospects made me dizzy with delight. Obviously I sent an immediate reply in the affirmative and haven’t been disappointed for a moment since!
For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure, Mahafsoun is a Persian bellydancer with Azerbaijani and Egyptian heritage who also dabbles in singing, composing, modelling and photography. A real renaissance woman! Disappointingly for us mere mortals she’s also incredibly nice and gracious. This remarkable combination of talent and charm understandably seems to inspire fierce loyalty and creativity in her fans.
I best know her work as a model. While predominantly alternative in style, Mahafsoun has a natural beauty and willingness to experiment which makes her truly versatile. I believe what makes her unique and so inherently engaging is the fact that she does what she does for the love of the art. She appears to approach every concept with joy, determination and imagination and it shows. The reason I mention this is not to gush about what a wonderful person she is (even though she is lovely!), but because it’s an attitude we could all learn from; when you remove pretention from the equation what you’re left with is endless possibilities.
“I approached Skadi Jewellery in May of 2014 for a collaboration, having found her creations days before that. I fell in love with the detail behind each piece she created, to the point where I thought they were all laser cut. They had to be, for being so perfectly done! I was so impressed to learn that she hand cut them all. It made her creations even more precious and personal. I couldn’t imagine anyone coming up with her intricate designs. The first few pieces I modelled for her were breathtaking. A ring, a mask and a bracelet. I was mesmerized by the detail and the delicate designs that were such a lovely statement to the images. I wear her ring and bracelet out a lot now. I love designs that are actually wearable. The second time I had the pleasure of shooting for her, I was wearing a custom made chain headpiece with my initials on it. No one has ever made something so personalized for me. That piece has my favourite mineral on it – amethyst. It is perfection! I’m so happy that our artistic paths crossed.” Mahafsoun ^^
I continue to be inspired by Mahafsoun’s talent, enthusiasm and friendly professionalism and I look forward to whatever our future joining of forces will bring. Be sure to keep watch, I believe she will do great things and if I’m lucky Skadi will be part of it!