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Weeda Hamdan

Where the most common places become uncommon

Born in Monrovia-Liberia, I lived in Las Palmas de Gran Canaries, Spain, and Lebanon with my beloved parents and siblings. Each country's mix of traditions significantly influences my design, art, and deep appreciation for culture and people. 

 

My vocation for drawing began at the early age of 12 while sheltered from war. Once my grandfather's cowshed, the bunker we moved into was musky with deep stone walls to keep us safe from explosions. After we all shared a meal with the thirty or more family members, I sat upright, cross-legged, with a sketchpad and pencil on my lap. Complete darkness around me; my family members propped against each other, surrounded by extensive stone walls, and rested on rugged grounds. 

 

Days and nights pass. Our underground bunker became our security as battles raged over our heads. On one of those many nondescript nights of waiting, I sat up in the darkness and began sketching--blindly pressing pencil to paper. I visualized images, and then I drew them. Only when the light of day allowed a glimpse did I discover what I had created by creeping on the deep, uneven steps where sunlight silently shone. These sketches, my morning discoveries, became my peaceful escape.

 

With our safety still threatened, we emigrated to Las Palmas de Gran Canaries. Family, friends, teachers, and classmates first recognized my talent. In 1982, I attended The British School of Gran Canaries, where my art teacher, John Leeke, saw potential in my sketches. With his years of encouragement, I majored in Graphic Design and minored in Painting and Drawing at Lebanese American University.

 

At age 21 and with two partners, I proudly established my first graphic agency, handling major local and global accounts. After exiting in 1999, I settled in Texas with my husband and started a beautiful family; my two daughters' creativity and love for exploration fueled much of my work. In 2005, I pursued Painting and Drawing through the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Significant influences on my work stem from the Fauvist and German Expressionism eras.

 

As an artist, I feel compelled to raise awareness in free societies about the complexities of children victimized because of war and inequality. 

 

Through art and creative education, I believe in helping elevate children out of the cycle of poverty into a world of exploration so that they, too, can write their story, complete with joy and boundless opportunities. My art is dedicated to that child whose future is still being shattered.


Click here for more about my upbringing. 

Artist in her studio.
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