Here’s My Story...
Sh!t happens-That’s life they say- But things don’t need to stop there!
I used to be a product design graduate who wanted to land her dream job. Working for a successful design company was my goal for years. I’ve seen so many people achieve this but not people like me. That made me even more hungry to make a difference. The sad thing is that I put my sweat, blood and tears to accomplish my first-class honours degree but little did I know that what will happen to me in the following years was a different story all together.
THE ROAD OF SUCCESS ISN’T
STRAIGHT- ITS FILLED WITH RUBBISH
Like I said I was a graduate with no job, which meant my finance looked low. No design software. No workshop. No support. Nothing. It felt like I just been scammed. How can this happen… In that period, I followed my educators’ guidance, I worked my sock off and for what?
For getting more than 500 job application rejections day in day out. Whilst searching for the perfect job, I needed to work, because the job centre was on my case and manipulative. So, I started applying for minimum wage positions, and that was even more humiliating. I got rejected by jobs that didn’t really require many skills like packing boxes in a warehouse
I was so confused.
It turned out that qualifications alone aren’t enough. Yes, they are important, but people respond, because you know their emotional language. You need to gain their trust by satisfying their needs and desires. Realising this lesson made me focus more on what I did have.
And what I had was a ridiculous work ethic, extreme passion, and determination. I had to think more positive. Having the hunger to keep learning, the courage to get back up every single time, to build my personal brand and identity.
And only then I found a job. I was firstly a junior recruiter with a oppressive manager, then back with the manipulative job centre advisors, then designed logos for small businesses for a couple of pounds, then finally landing a job as a shift manager at a convenient store.
Yes, it was just a shop, but I learnt hell of a lot of things. The money that came in was all invested in my career. So, a typical day for me was a 10–12-hour shift then from then onwards to 5am was my time to work on my branding and marketing to enter the design world.
I took a break from branding (building my website) and applying for jobs, because i felt like my creativity was getting affected. So I wanted to express myself through painting, which then led to making sculptures
One Day I realised that there was always something missing.
That product designing and painting were not enough, and weren’t the best ways to express my passion, my message, and potential at that time in my life. It took me years, but I finally decided to merge both disciplines together and now I’m free to express the way I desire and what suits me as a creator.
DON’T RELY ON ANYONE
When you want something so bad, you can move mountains without any hesitation. But that only happens rarely- in emergencies. But why as humans when we are comfortable- why do we begin to rely on others, and then get disappointed thinking everyone is the same.
Whilst I was working in the shop, around the same time I accidently bumped into this amazing mentor who specialised in helping young artist live their full potential. I bet right now you’re saying to yourself, wow she was lucky. I was, and I learnt so much from him but even that wasn’t enough.
I had to do the hard work. I had to figure out my values. I had believe in myself and become consistent in what I was doing. I had to invest in self-development, which till this day I’m trying to conquer.
Getting help from someone and relying on them is two completely different things. I learnt that the more I relayed on others the more I got heart broken. You are your number one supporter. You just need to believe and trust yourself. And no one knows you better than yourself.
To know what happens next, you can read my blog that records all my articles and journal.
WHAT INSPIRED ME TO MAKE
SCULPTURES OUT OF WASTE...
I’ve always had this ‘weird’ way of seeing things and I wished for my family and friends to see the world how beautiful it really is. Creating and making is in my blood. Ever since I was a baby, I used to surprise everyone around me…
5 years old: dismantling toys and trying to figure out how they work
8 years old: I had a toy telephone and turned it into a money saving coin machine 9 years old: It was always Christmas for me when I got a chocolate egg that had a toy inside to assemble. Till this day I still feel the same buzz. 10 years old: collecting twigs, peeling the skin and gluing them together to form a frame with a photograph and personal messages.
13 years old: made a shoe out of clay and expressed my heart out until classmates told me to chillout its only a school project. But you see, it wasn’t just that for me, it was away to finally express the world I lived in.
That’s when I got introduced to expressionism and sculpturing.
After coming across some amazing scarp sculpture artists who after reading their profile felt like they were describing me. I finally felt like I found my people. That everything that I ammade sense. And everything I did was going to be worth it. They helped me take the leap of faith that I needed. I was overwhelmed at first, but i knew that I had a lot to say through my art, and that I can make a dint in the art world with my story.
Like you see, inspiration helped me stand my ground, but it didn’t help me to uncover who I am. I’ve always had it in me without even releasing it was talent. I thought I was a weird kid (well I am still a little bonkers).
MY ROLE MODELS
Looking up to someone you admire is a special moment. And I am so lucky to come across and have many awesome people in my life that have taught me valuable lessons. About life, about new skills, about finding my own path.
I’ve always been like a sponge. Soaking everything in, appreciating it, and taking what’s helpful from it in my own way. Being humble to me means listening to others no matter what kind of background they are from.
Everyone has their own path with their own challenges, from a hard-working delivery man to a qualified doctor- We as humans can’t judge a book by its cover. Following this good old advice ‘less mouth and more ears’ has allowed me to discover new things. As a sculptor I love listening to what people have to say without judging, and not force my ideas.
Some of my role models include:
Parents-Husband-Family members-James Dyson-Dieter Rams- Mentor-Scrap Sculpturing Artists and many more...
Who knows who i am going to come across in the future.
WHAT EXCITES ME THE MOST WHEN SCULPTURING...
Overcoming failures has become the story of my life. The curiosity, the rebelling, and the not giving up mindset, and pushing against the odds has always fed my strength. When things go wrong in the making process, I always say to myself that it has happened for a reason.
Say for example, I was in the final stages of sculpturing and couple of days later things fell apart. Did I panic? No! (I’m going to be honest maybe a little cry at the start). I know that now I have a second chance to do better even if I thought I did my best.
For me, failing is an adventure.
When I get back up the second time, I’m so pumped and victory feels damn good this time round.
Experimenting and problem solving makes me lose myself. I go into my little world (la la land). A world that I’m responsible for making my own decisions, having my own voice, knowing that I am creating something new in this world, and no one can take the steering wheel off me (well except my mum).
Knowing that the full process of sketching and making will tell a real person’s story takes my breath away every time… Just wow. It’s always an honour and a blessing and why I am on this earth.
CHALLENGES IN MY LIFE AND
Blimey! Where do I begin. Little Weaam has faced so many challenges in her life that she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry over them. On a serious note, overcoming challenges is painful, but you need to remember that with every one of them you are becoming stronger, wiser, and humble.
Here are some of my challenges that I have faced and how they helped me become the artist-designer I am today…
– Playing football: Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United academy, and was going to be
scouted for England’s Woman’s team. There was a lot of Racism.
I was only 16 years of age.
– Some Teachers and Accessors were offensive and didn’t believe in me at all.
I paid the price for being different- constant Bullying in school.
– Racism was everywhere and physical- in schools, university, work, streets etc.
– Surrounded by Negative people 24/7 who tried pulling me down in so many ways.
– Mental health– this challenge was my wake-up call. my biggest one so far.
– Juggling Finance/Sleep/Time with life responsibilities.
– Struggling to draw accurate straight lines and aligning things together whilst having
I’ve touched the tip of the iceberg, but I hope you get the picture. I just want to show you that everyone has felt pain physically, mentally, and emotionally at some point in their lives. As much as these challenges were painful, but they were also oddly priceless. I have learnt how to become a leader, understand the importance of teamwork, to get back up no matter what, to prove people wrong through positive actions, making small yet powerful changes without fear, caring less about negative people, being proud of my weaknesses and taking advantage of them creatively, and finally redefining the word ‘perfect’.
I’ve learnt that the word has so many different levels of meaning to people, which can be confusing.
But one thing that can’t be redefined is people’s raw emotions.
This is why I do what I do. All these challenges have influenced my work in a positive way.
Everything works out in the end. I’m living it now… Today I’m turning what I’ve felt and seen into something extraordinary. Sculptures that are filled with expression and aimed at people’s emotions.
There were so many times that I could have given in, but there was a voice in my head that kept telling me your not only doing this for yourself, your doing this for others as well.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
My strength didn’t come from everyone believing in me. It came from everyone not believing me. I’m scarred physically, mentally, and emotionally. I allowed people to affect my self-esteem, my confidence, but today my thick skin has come from my sad times and not my happy ones. Hard work and consistency always pays off!
It’s exhausting to keep explaining to everyone what I do and why I love it. You need to have guts! But that doesn’t mean be loud. Life is filled with surprises that we cant control. What we can control though is how we handle them in the end. Remember we all have a CHOICE.
I’m a kind of a person who loves giving back- Sharing my skills, my time, and my life experiences to inspire others. I’ve helped in so many charities, youth clubs, my community and its been a honour each time I was asked to be involved.
The idea of helping to change people’s perceptions, to see the world through people’s eyes, and believing that anything is possible is the fire that keeps me going. With my technical skills, my life experiences, and giving back to others...
Sculpturing has become my chosen path and my language.
LIFE WILL TEST YOUR DETERMINATION
There’s always something hiding from us around the corner. I’m so glad that everything that has happened to me has happened in this way. Crazy right?
I wouldn’t be the Weaam Hassan that you see today. Implementing the falling and getting back up in everything I do has helped me overcome things that may have been impossible to achieve.
Patience. Patience can make you or break you. Waiting for inspiration, junk material from others, battling your way around in a small spaces, saving money, things braking and cracking, people’s response to your work. All of this could be seen as tests. I see them as trails.
Some trails involve making important decisions, practicing all night to master your craft, shifting away from negative people, and standing up for yourself!
Its all about how you perceive things. Positive thinking is a game changer. Reconstructing the situation in a different way. For example, Oh I can’t afford this colour. Or oh I can mix colours, and try my best to make it. Same situation different energy.
When the artist-designer is ready- the world begins to unravel
I hope that this has inspired you in some way. To never give up, to believe in yourself, because no matter what people say you can achieve whatever you want. Always remember the world is a beautiful place. Its the few people that make it a nasty place. You just have to keep moving forward with the right attitude.
Give it a go! Try and express yourself and I promise that I will do my all to create something special for you.
Be bold, brave, creative, and ready to come on a journey with me.
To know what happens next, you can read my blog that records all my articles and journal.