Tell us a little bit about what you do
I love playing with creativity and I believe that everyone has the right to become a creative. I’m a painter and a poet, and I’m dabbling in music. I write about the creative path, consiousness and self empowerment.
I started out in architecture in 2014 and I found my lane in painting in 2018; That’s when I moved to New York and got into self-taught drawing, street art and working with spoken word communities. Back then, I was just starting out and had no idea that live painting my friends in underground jazz houses in East London or the Vogue dancers in New York would become my entry point into a niche that I’ve carved for myself. I like to sit at the intersection between mass culture and fine art; between the ‘tourists and purists’ as Virgil Abloh coined. That’s why I never shy to work with dancers, musicians, spoken word artists, fashion brands or adverters, because I see these avenues as space where we can project the message of creative empowerment.
I grew up in South Wales and moved to London to pursue said architecture studies. Growing up, there was certainly a lack of access to any creative outlet, and that combined with undertones of discrimination and emotional repression, gave me the hunger to heal, empower and provide creative access to those who don’t know how to enter the creative scene.
What are you excited for this year? Can you tell us about some of the projects you are working on at the moment?
I am excited for the book I am working on called “Make Sure To Tell The Others”; a collection of poems and paintings written for the creative warrior - a compilation of writings and proses I’ve collected over several years combining 'tongue and cheek' text with meditative paintings. It's a reflection of how I approach life and I can’t wait to gift it to people.
Through my weekly newsletter for the ‘Gremlins’ I have built an amazing tribe of creatives who are using their creativity to self empower, one of my favourite projects.
I’m in Bali right now working on an EP of poem casts and podcasts called "Evolving Out Loud” which combines my spoken word with meditative music. Music is a totally new lane for me and I’ve jumped into it with open arms! It’s been fascinating and very rewarding working with producers and musicians every day.
Beyond that, I have a few in person exhibitions lined up to coincide with London Fashion Week and Frieze Art Fair this autumn.
What is an opportunity you are grateful for in your career?
From 2020-2022 I was granted an art residency at Sarabande Foundation, which truly changed my life and I’ll forever be grateful for the support and guidance I received during my time there. Sarabande Foundation is a creative support incubator run from the Alexander McQueen foundation. They provide affordable art studios in central London and world class advice and mentorship. I think it was the combination of having another world opened up to me amidst the context of Covid, which allowed me to really exercise my hunger to create art in the world, and find my lane as an entreprenuer at the same time.
Is there anyone who acted as a mentor to you along the way?
I have mentors for the different important aspects in my life. I have a spiritual mentor who guides me in meditation & mindset, a mentor for creativity & the artists path, and lastly a mentor who helps me when it comes to matter of business. Each mentor has such a rich experience of stories, wisdom and knowledge, and it's an honour to receive such guidance.
How do you approach getting dressed every day?
Fun. I see fashion and style as fun, expression and expansion. I am such a visual person and I like to visualise my future self, or future scenarios and often I imagine the clothes I’ll wear or the look and feel I want to embody. For me clothes are a manifestation of my values. As such, I dress not just to express myself but also to become more of the real me - the vibrant, soulful, radiant version I am when I am at peace and connected to my core.
What are you wearing here and what made you gravitate towards this look from Huishan Zhang?
I’m wearing a pretty outrageous blue feather dress. Like I said; I like expressing myself and Huishan Zhang does feathers so well that I thought it would be a crime not to honour the feathery legacy!
Karimah Hassan wears the Beau Gown from our Autumn Winter 2023 collection. Available for pre-order.