When I first stepped into the warehouse, a thought struck me so hard that I had to stop in the middle of all the wooden chairs and tables and simply take it in. It replayed in my head again and again; what does it feel like to be a designer? Personally, I’m more of a writer, a storyteller but not a designer.
But what does it feel like, to create something from nothing, into something tangible that your own two hands can hold? The feeling was fascinating and this place was full of it, to the brim! I look around at the furniture pieces on display, hung on the walls and on top of the shelves- the second story loft design, the small meeting area in the corner, the workshop at the back where two of the apprentices were working away.
It made me, as a writer, rethink why the hell did I write at cafes and not here, where the creating happened!
Helming oneself as a creative is a big jump for me- a leap of faith you’d have to have in your own ability that you decide that that label is more than appropriate to describe yourself. But here, I felt nothing but confidence when Ahmad asked me to write for him.
“Do you want me to write as a copywriter?” I asked him.
He shook his head no then answered. “No, as a writer, a storyteller. A woman.”
And that itself, was my first obstacle- to write about my experience here getting to know the team, how they met and what they did together and separately.
I felt the most inspired watching them work together, listening to them talk about past custom designs for their clientele to the background music playing in the background. The way these men worked together like gears would in a well-oiled machine. It was very clear to me, if I were to work here, I would also be part of this creative experience.
As the day wore on, I kept replaying the day’s events in my mind, the conversations I listened to, and this indescribable feeling that is so… freeing. Then came the realization that I’d been empowered in the simplest way, the way my previous places of opportunity and employment had left me behind, to write the way I want to, with no drafts to fill up and no formats to follow.
I could be authentically me in my writing of this experience, and have that be my selling point. The process of creating, seen through my eyes, as a writer and as a woman, the way I have never once been given any opportunity to in the past and I would take it, without a hint of hesitation and invest everything I have into it. Here’s to creating something out of nothing, with my own two hands.
Photos by Irfan Rosli (@_roniin)
Location: Urban Salvation Main Gallery