North Shore Volunteer Spotlight: Farah Ahmad

February 9, 2015 By vincent-uribe

Farah came to The Arts of Life last year thanks to our posting on volunteermatch.org. She arrived with a strong art background from her years of interest in animation and her B.A. from Hope College. She proved to be a quick learner with an instinctual understanding of The Arts of Life culture and values. Farah joins us several days a week to support artists in developing their art practice and building community. She’s also led demonstrations on basic animation and helped out at after-hours exhibitions.  Artist Pam Robe interviewed Farah this winter to find out more about what brought her to the studio and what she enjoys about her time with us. They’re pictured below. Here’s what Farah had to say![[{“fid”:”7466″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:””},”type”:”media”,”attributes”:{“height”:366,”width”:652,”class”:”media-element file-default”}}]]Pam Robe: How did you hear about Arts of Life?Farah Ahmad: I heard about it through volunteermatch.org. I was looking for work experience, something based on art and caring for other people. I discovered Arts of Life and went to check it out. I became a volunteer and I’m happy to be working here. PR: Did you know any of the artists before you started volunteering?FA: No. I didn’t know anybody. There was one artist I recognized — Russell. He’s my neighbor from down the street. But I didn’t know he worked at The Arts of Life until I started volunteering here. I was surprised and happy to see him and recognize him. PR: What do you like about The Arts of Life? FA: That the artists get to be as creative as they want and at the same time we help artists improve on their art skills. I also like how everyone is seen as a person and treated with kindness and caring. I like the sense of community here. I feel like I can be part of that. PR: What kind of work do you do when volunteering?FA: I help artists work on a certain part of their art project. I also develop project plans with the artists. An artist and I use the computer or studio library to look for inspiration. Whatever piece the artist wants to use as a reference, I put together a lesson plan with them. Also, I gather art supplies if the artist needs me to do that for them. And I help out during lunch. That’s what I do at The Arts of Life.   PR: What do you like most about helping us?FA: I like that I get to see artists improve their skills as they make a new piece. I also enjoy helping them find inspiration for a new art piece. I get to learn what kind of art people enjoy making and what they prefer, whether it’s painting butterflies or mixing colors or doing abstract art.PR: Are you an artist?FA: Yes, I’m an artist. I’ve been drawing since I was two years old. Walt Disney animation inspired me to draw. I have a passion for animation. I draw and paint everything from Mickey Mouse to landscapes. When I was in late high school and college, there was a period where I had “art block,” meaning I was getting burned out on art. That was probably because I didn’t like the art classes I was taking. Later, I took an art class that taught me how to be creative again. Eventually, I began enjoying art again. Working here also reminded me what it’s like to be creative again. PR: Who’s your favorite famous artist?FA: I like cartoonist Glen Keane. He used to work at Disney. I like the way he draws his characters coming to life. PR: What do you do when not at The Arts of Life?FA: I like to write short stories. I also go to the gym to work out. I draw and paint on my own. Big thanks to Farah for all she does at the North Shore studio. If you’d like to share your creativity with The Arts of Life, fill out our volutneer application to get started.