Ahmed Aldoori X Schoolism Interview Summary
This week we take you through Ahmed Aldoori's personal journey. In his interview with Schoolism, he gives some fantastic insights on art education, building social media as an artist, mental health, and more.
Key Quotes & Insights
Ahmed: Health is like one of the most important aspects of creativity and I noticed that because of my sleep rhythm and lack of exercise. I’d feel drained and I would only get a few hours of work done and I wouldn’t even enjoy the art.
Ahmed: Accept what the obstacles are; that’s just the cards you are dealt with. And, if it’s something you can do something about it, just do it.
2:17 - Ahmed introduces himself.
4:21 - Bobby asks Ahmed whether or not he worries about making his designs functional.
7:12 - Ahmed explains his experience at ArtCenter.
7:40 - Ahmed:
When people ask me if they should go to ArtCenter I usually say no (...) There are so many different options like Brainstorm or CDA. All these other things are offering the same content (...) If you want that experience of being at a bootcamp and being around other people who are also suffering doing that much work... I guess? But I don’t think it’s worth that two hundred thousand dollar price tag.
10:10 - Bobby and Ahmed discuss learning post-professionally.
11:38 - Ahmed explains the importance teaching has made in his art journey
Building Social Media
14:00 Ahmed's secret sauce to success on Patreon and YouTube.
18:00 Ahmed and Bobby chat about their very first YouTube video.
19:30 - Bobby asks Ahmed how long he has started to focus his energy on Patreon rather than client work.
20:59 - Ahmed explains working as an independent content creator:
At first, I treated as “Oh Cool! I’m free and can do whatever I want; stay up to 5am” Big mistake. (...) Health is like one of the most important aspects of creativity and I noticed that because of my sleep rhythm and lack of exercise. I’d feel drained and I would only get a few hours of work done and I wouldn’t even enjoy the art. If you don’t have a routine or a healthy schedule and social life where you’re connecting with people, it’s a lot of suffering.
21:54 - Ahmed and Bobby discuss the detrimental effects of social media.
22:29 - Ahmed explains how he’s stepped away from social media and hopes that he can find a healthy way to return.
27:31 - Ahmed explains how he doesn’t think Patreon is for everyone.
I like the idea of artists being supported by fans, but it’s [Patreon] a different ball game.
32:22 - Bobby and Ahmed discuss identity and what it means to be a professional artist vs. content creator.
34:00 How did Bobby come up with LightBox Expo and Schoolism?
Motivation & Mental Health
38:57 - Bobby asks Ahmed where his motivation comes from.
39:27 - Ahmed explains how he feels like he procrastinates a lot. But, when there are group projects or group challenges, he gets things done faster.
42:19 - Bobby asks Ahmed what caused his mental health issues.
It was my whole life... I guess. I think that everyone has their own programming and the way they view the world, be it from friends and family or bullies at school. For me, the thing that I can point to is that whenever I would draw or paint, I would feel physical tightening up of the diaphragm, as if I was defensively holding up as if someone would strike. In a metaphorical way of course.
44:22 - Ahmed talks about how he struggled with introversion and feeling “different” growing up.
Art was my way to make friends because that was my saving strong suit, because I could show how cool I was. And I did get friends out of that (...) But, then it because like this currency, like I had to ensure that I did impressive art or I wouldn’t be accepted.
47:23 - Ahmed explains how he began to identify his own identity with how good of an artist he was. He explains how he would feel disappointed if his art wasn’t the best when compared to others.
50:21 - Ahmed and Bobby explore how small insecurities or experiences early in life shaped their artwork.
52:33 - Bobby explains how he would feel overwhelmed with social media if he were to be any less secure with himself.
53:36 - Ahmed compares art back in the day with art on the internet.
56:30 - Bobby:
There are some people out there where it’s like, everything they post is a complete home run, giant grand slam. They don't post every day. Like a series, if its a good enough series, they can go for without a season for a full year, year and a half.
57:45 - Ahmed on the best advice he would give to artists:
Everyone has their obstacles, whether it’s money, or skills, or they literally don’t have a hand... I don’t know what it might be. But, accept what the obstacles are, that’s just the cards you are dealt with. And, if it’s something you can do something about it, just do it. (...) The part that I’m really interested about for every student that I have is getting their heart and their mind in the right place (...) If you are destroyed or traumatized from your past, you’re not gonna be your fullest potential self. So my advice would be to be introspective, understand, and be objectively aware about what it is about you and try to be in control of that.