On the road to achieving your dreams, there will bumps, pit stops and even potholes, or so it is said.
For twenty-eight-year-old Sameer Khan, this has been the reality.
The young artist/designer is skilled in many fields including drawing, painting, sculpting, leather craft, ceramics, fabric design, tie-dye, floral arrangements, decorative crafts, cake decorating and many more.
Born and raised on the Essequibo coast, the artist and designer recognized, from early, his life’s journey will be spent capturing the beauty of Guyana drawing, painting and costume designing.
“From a young age, I never saw myself working in an office or being in one area for too long because of my love for creative things. So, for me going to weddings and other events got my creative juices flowing. Throughout high school I looked at these things that inspired me,” Sameer said.
He was just seven when he won his first award in a visual arts competition and this Sameer said boosted his confidence and cemented his thirst to show the rest of the country what he has to offer. His artistic skills began to develop when at age 13 he participated in both regional and international competitions.
Sameer’s journey was coasting along and he was one step closer to his ultimate goal of a career in the visual arts when the death of his father put his dreams on hold temporarily. However, this loss did not deter him from continuing on his path of visual arts.
“I was in the Technical Training Course which focused on costume design however I wanted to go even more into props and set dressing to somewhat take multitask of what I wanted and I have always tried to advance what I am doing. I always push the envelope to do something more and so for me anything artistic more is never enough. There is no stopping point in visual arts, craft or design,” he said.
To date, Sameer has won an award in the International Year of Rice Art Competition in 2004, the Ethnic Relations Poster Competition 2006, he also participated in the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) logo competition in 2008 and placed in the top three; their logos were merged into one, which is currently being used by the organisation and finally the GTT Poetry Competition in 2015.
During that time, he also collaborated with the designer for Carib Beer and GTT Blue Wave Mashramani Bands in 2011 and became the technical designer for Banks Beer’s band the following year. The artist also taught Visual Arts and Craft to Forms 1-5 from 2009 to 2015 at the Al-Ghalzali Islamic Academy, the Institute of Professional Education and ISA Islamic School, before making the decision to step into the designing arena completely.
For a number of years, he worked with Theatre Guild and the National Cultural Centre. In 2010, he got the opportunity to work on the production of a film out of the USA, The Festival of Lights.
Continuing on this rollercoaster ride, Sameer said his support system got a bit smaller with the unexpected loss of his mother and later his sister. He, however, noted that with the love of friends and other family members his career has gone past his expectations.
According to Sameer sourcing of materials for his creations proves to be a challenge for him however driven by his passion to create, local materials both synthetic and natural became his go-to resources.
Currently, the young artist/designer has chosen 2019 as the year ‘to pay it forward’ and is preparing to volunteer his talent and service to all those interested persons within the hinterland communities.
“I have started reaching to other toshaos from my last trip to inform them about undertaking this initiative and they are pleased with someone being able to go into these communities and offer these skill training services to the young people…this initiative is one they are excited about and willing to partner with me,” he noted. The initiative is set to be a week or two will provide the young indigenous people with new skills.
Flexing his creative wings Sameer is considering a run at the 2020 Carib Soca Competition to show off his vocal ability. This move is being awaited with much anticipation from his family, friends and admirers of his work.
(A DPI feature)
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