So it is no surprise that Maryam is back at her alma mater, VCUarts Qatar, now as a student in the Master of Fine Arts program in Design Studies. “I missed school; I love to be surrounded by students and teachers and to be exposed to the way students think while solving design problems,” she says. Maryam was also keen to join the growing community of artists and designers here in Doha, Qatar now that Qatar has started embracing the art and design culture.
Maryam graduated from VCUarts Qatar in 2010 with a degree in graphic design, and joined RasGas shortly after to work in their Public Affairs department as a designer. “I was able to experience working on client-based projects. I had to manage projects from start to finish,” she notes. “Writing the scope of work, working with budget and contracts, working with suppliers and printers, designing all the collaterals and also dealing with the transportation and logistics to make sure the client was happy with the outcome.”
Maryam says the experience was amazing because she got to see and deal with clients and work based on their needs. “VCUarts Qatar did a great job training us in these aspects, but it did make me realize that dealing with real-life projects involves more than just the design project itself,” she comments. “You get to deal with contracts, budgets, suppliers and so many different people through all of this. It is a challenge, but has only made me learn more and gain from the experiences.”
Family and friends have always been Maryam’s source of inspiration and support, along with her professors. “During my years at VCUarts Qatar,” she says, “I was constantly encouraged by my professors, who always taught me to look at the various artists and designers from all around the world as inspiration and to challenge myself to think outside the box.” This is why Maryam aspires to be a source of inspiration to the next generation of artists and designers and would love to teach art and design in Qatar.
“It feels so good to be back at VCUarts Qatar and I’m definitely looking forward to challenging myself over the next two years in the MFA program,” she says.