What have I learned so far?

The first thing I learned in imaging was that images are divided into a number of different categories. Following that, we were introduced to subcategories index, icon and symbol which are further divided into poetic, pragmatic, persuasive. I have talked more about this in my previous posts. Overall, in the first three weeks, I learned way more information about images than I learned in my whole life.

In the next week, we focused on researching three countries that we chose. We addressed various topics such as population, religion, currency, the art scene etc. The topic of this research was ‘Here and There’. Here was about Qatar and there was about the three countries that we chose. In my previous post, I have talked about these countries in detail.

These are some illustrations that I found interesting:




I found this super interesting as one of my countries was Russia and these are a different interpretation of the babushka dolls.


In the next phase, we had to create our own project brief.

After looking at some books for ideas, we started thinking about we want to focus on. I had two ideas, the first one was about the babushka dolls. I thought of recreating them in a Qatari and Pakistani way as I wanted to consider both ‘here’ and ‘there’.

These were some images I found online for inspiration:



The world record of the largest number of babushka dolls.

I was very confused as to how many dolls I should make. My professor suggested 9 as each this was the original number of dolls. However, I found out that 10 was the actual number and so I thought I should make 10 dolls for each category.


The sado pattern found in many Qatari homes and gatherings.

The other idea was to represent Qatar’s upcoming railway system in a 2d illustration. I wanted to combine this with Russia’s Railway system, which is the longest one in the world. After talking to my professors, They suggested that I should go with the first idea of the Russian dolls as the as it was more interesting. The railway idea would be more complicated I think and wouldn’t be as much fun to make. So I chose the Russian dolls idea as that seemed more interesting.



Some things I have been working on:

Pakistani henna pattern
The local Sadu pattern
Local henna

As I am converging towards my final outcome, I realized I was too disorganized and needed a criteria to work on. I had to be independant and make my own rules of what I should do. I wasn’t sure how many I should make and what each doll would represent. So I wrote down all information that I think would help me create brief of what I am going to be doing.


I thought of making 100 hand sketches, which are divided into 10 different sets of dolls. I am thinking of having them all in different categories of the Qatari,  Pakistani and the Mauritius culture. However, I am not sure if I will be able to complete 100, for now, I am focusing on the main ones which are:


  • 10 henna patterns
  • 10 family members


  • 10 henna patterns
  • 10 family members
  • Common arabic phrases
  • monuments of Qatar from old to new: Fanar, Islamic museum, Katara, Burj Qatar, Tea kettle, The huge teddy bear, pearl near corniche, Sheraton, landmark in corniche-bid’a park and the water pots fountain.


  • 7  things about Mauritius:

– Flag, Traditional patterns, the dodo bird, famous temples, beach, festivals. I am planning to use these on the dolls.

  • img_20161011_114226487
    Planning about What information to put on the Mauritius dolls


    These are some ideas that I wrote to make my process more organized.


Next, I started creating more designs specifically, the henna designs inspired from the Pakistani traditional and the Khaleeji (Qatari) henna. My intention was to combine all my three countries in one product. At this point I was not sure about what my final outcome would be but, I was planning to have stickers as the final product.


To create my designs I had collected different sizes of microns and sharpies that I had. This would help me to create different line weights and depth in my designs.

After talking to the professors, I got an idea of having my final product as a washi tape which would be displayed in a long layout. I was looking forward to create my washi tape using the Russian dolls in the form of tradition Pakistani and the Khaleeji designs.


I watched a few doodling videos on youtube, where they used white pen to create designs on a black background. I loved this idea a lot and so went and  bought some white pens to try out this new method.

img_20161018_114556 img_20161018_135244

I really liked how it turned out because of the high contrast created by the white pen. After creating the drawings, I scanned them all and started laying with the color on Photoshop and Illustrator. This gave me a chance to improve my drawings and clean up any mistakes that might have been there.

I tried adding color, inverting the color from black on white to white on black and vice versa. I really liked how they all were turning out because they still had the handmade quality to it, which was my main intention since I began this project.


I started prototyping my design on the normal laser printer to check the colors. I finalized on one color maroon/dark pink on my designs and created the final version on one A1 document, which was then printed using the Epson printer in the printing studio.

img_20161025_093842   img_20161025_094218


I tried rolling a piece of extra paper to see how I could display it.

img_20161025_123203   img_20161025_123519

I displayed 5 strips on the display board and rolled one strip to show the product example.


I was proud of what I created especially because this project shows my style of working. I love doing henna design and so enjoyed every step of this project (except adding the color to be honest!) I am glad that my first project in imaging was my choice and I got to do what I really enjoyed doing!


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