Five ways to get artistic in Dubai

Unleash your inner artist with photos, crafts, fashion and more


Want to develop your creative talent or learn a new skill? Caroline Fernandez seeks out arts workshops in town.

Following something of a cultural explosion across the city, with Art Dubai, Sikka, Gulf Photo Plus and Design Days events taking over entire neighbourhoods, it’s hard not to feel a whiff of creativity. The emirate’s arts scene is bursting with frivolity right now, with a host of unusual interactive courses sprouting up around town seeking to explore the fascinating sub-cultures of the city. Want the chance to express that suppressed artist?

Give some of these workshops a try – you never know where it might lead.

Perfect the art of printing
If you see yourself as a closet visual artist or designer, then you might want to try a small group monoprinting class, which lets you transfer ink to paper, fabric, wood and other materials. This form of printmaking doesn’t require a bulky printing press and is considered the most ‘painterly’ of all techniques because it lets you customise easy, unique prints rather than repeating the same print plate. The tutors at reMADE DXB will guide you on using Gelli plates and Plexiglas along with tools and materials to make beautiful prints that give you something tangible to show off when your next lot of visitors are over.
Dhs200. Next workshop Monday March 31, 9.30am-1.30pm. reMADE DXB, Objects & Elements, Al Quoz. (055 615 5711).

Ditch your inhibitions with improv
Keen on improving your public speaking skills? Or maybe you adore the spotlight and whipping up stories on the spot? Improv, popularised in TV shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway?, is a form of theatre where actors collaborate in the moment to set a scene. Dubai Courtyard Playhouse runs drop-in workshops where all levels learn the basics through theatre games and exercises. No one expects you to be a superstar, but the theatre has been known to throw hilarious shows where even newbies will get a chance to shine.
Dhs125 per session or Dhs400 per month. Workshops are held every Saturday afternoon. Courtyard Playhouse Theatre, Al Quoz, (050 986 1761).

Learn how to Photoshop
Get snap happy and then add the finishing touches yourself. Budding photographers can incorporate that glow of perfection that professionals have mastered by getting familiar with tools such as go-to photography software Adobe Photoshop. Gulf Photo Plus’ course sets you up with the hands-on, practical skills that let you manipulate photos you’ve taken with photo-finishing techniques using selection and retouching tools and exposure correction.
Dhs730. Next workshop Friday March 28, 10am-2.00pm. Gulf Photo Plus, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, (04 380 8545).

Create your own ornaments
Sculpting is a skill we attribute to Renaissance artists such as Donatello, but who says you can’t tap into some latent creative genius? We’re not making promises that you’ll change the art world, but there’s no harm in seeing what you’re capable of. Start getting your hands dirty with carving, shaping and modelling of simple figures and basic anatomy using ceramic clay. The Dubai International Art Centre offers a course for beginners and advanced students that includes step-by-step abstract and figurative projects.
Dhs1,340 for non-members, Dhs1,075 for members (not including materials) for eight weeks. Ongoing classes Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. Dubai International Art Centre, Jumeirah 1,
(04 344 4398).

Fashion drawing at London College of Fashion
We live in an era where closets are thrown open on Instagram and bloggers become fashion designers with front row runway seats. The fashion industry in particular has not only become more competitive but also more accessible. If you’ve got an idea of what people like wearing, try learning to sketch your own vision. London College of Fashion is hosting a short intensive course on how to draw a fashion figure, silhouettes, cuts and styles of garments and other details of sketching for fashion.
Dhs5,800 approx. Workshop starts Sunday May 25, 9.30am-4.00pm.Vida Hotel, Downtown Dubai, (050 915 0759/050 728 0905).

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