I couldn’t be more excited right now! I just found out that my artwork “Hope Grows Everywhere” from my Bloom with Grace Collection was selected to be featured in the World of Women Museum in the Metaverse!
I have to be honest, I haven’t spent much time inside VR or surfing the Metaverse, as I am always traveling and I just love to illustrate and paint and spend time working and talking with women from all around the world. There are only so many hours in a day! As a proponent of web3 and an NFT artist who makes a living selling digital paintings, I have often wondered how much of our daily lives will eventually end up inside these virtual spaces… and though I am pretty tech savvy, I have never been one to play video games or “hang out” as my avatar.
That being said, once I got word that my artwork and the artworks of so many talented artists who inspire me were going to be on display inside The Sandbox within the World of Women WoWFund Museum, I couldn’t resist! I downloaded the software (which you can find here) and jumped inside! Take a look at my journey through the museum in this slideshow:
So this blog post isn’t meant to be a tutorial on how to get around inside The Sandbox or live in the Metaverse, I really wanted to talk about what “Belonging Week” and being part of World of Women’s Museum Exhibition means to me and what I think it means to oppressed women and people all around the world. I wanted to tell parts of my life story that relate to all of this and show people the power of living authentically and believing in our dreams. So, here it goes!
I was born into a wonderful family in northern Iran, and was lucky to always receive so much support from my parents to pursue my creative endeavors and was taught from a young age to strive for what I believed in. Life in Iran outside of my household was another story completely, though, and I faced constant adversity in the form of diminished rights and double standards simply for being a woman.
Growing up in an environment where an extremist regime dictates what you can wear, what you can be, how you are supposed to act, who you can spend time with, and controls so many other facets of your life, was disheartening and kept me in a continual state of fear, anger and disillusionment. There were many times that I felt like giving up and thought that my dreams of one day becoming an independent and strong creative woman was never going to be possible.
But as it turns out, these formative years played a major role in determining who I was going to grow up to be. The gift hidden inside these long years of torment was a small flame that took root in my soul and continued to grow and grow and find its way out into the world. What I gained by facing such debilitating odds as a young person was a conviction and determination to become more than they told me I could, to become the strong woman I knew I could be, to become great. Great for myself, great for my family and friends, and great for so many others around the world who faced similarly tragic situations.
I often wonder, if it weren’t for these dire circumstances, would I have chosen to focus my art and my time on inspiring women and standing up for Women’s Rights?
Would my art carry the significance and archetypal meaning it’s become known for if I did not struggle as I did?
Would I have chosen to “find a job” working for somebody else as a graphic designer like so many others in my graduating class from the University of Tabriz, instead of knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to work for myself and be my own boss?
I ask these questions to myself all the time, because I have found that personal reflection is one of the greatest tools every human can use. I also use these points to show women around the world how the difficulties they have faced are actually the seeds of their becoming, of becoming independent, of leading a life that has meaning, of becoming great.
When I originally shifted my career path from physical art to digital art and NFTs, I found out right away that most of the successful people in this space were men. This didn’t surprise me, I’ve seen it all my life. But I also knew that I needed to find other strong women to work with so that we could start to bring balance. That was when I discovered World of Women, which, at the time, had just launched. This amazing organization, lead by the artist Yam Karkai, was the most inspiring art project I had ever encountered. World of Women (WoW) quickly became the heart and soul of the entire NFT space and has inspired countless other women-lead projects and initiatives.
When I was selected as an artist that WoW wanted to work directly with in creating two official collaborative artworks, my career trajectory and my whole life changed. This was a pivotal moment for me, not only because of the sheer amount of publicity and social proof that it brought to my career, but because of what it meant to me inside. I have been recognized as a talented artist many times in my life, but this was meaningful on a much deeper level as it struck a chord with my core values and gave me a greater platform to inspire women around the world from.
As things in my career started to pick up, I found that my years of dedication to uplift women had become the catalyst that made my art sales and visibility climb. I was selected to be included on and even participate in featured exhibitions with Superrare for Women’s History Month. The GAIA artwork that I created as the Season 6 WoW collaboration set a record for highest grossing sale in the history of WoW’s collaborations. My collector base became more interested in my causes and gender equality and started to speak out and collect from more female artists. All of these things I mention not to brag or boast, but to showcase the true power of standing up for what you believe in and using your own life story to inspire and uplift others.
When I was told that my artwork “Hope Grows Everywhere” (which was purchased by the WoWFund), was going to featured prominently inside the World of Women Museum for their Belonging Week exhibition, I couldn’t have been more excited! As soon as the exhibition began, I was tagged in the Instagram Story of an amazing Iranian woman who came across my artwork while she was exploring the museum. I didn’t even know this woman, but she was exuberant that a Persian artist with such a strong message for women’s rights was so publicly being showcased, and in no time at all, her video had spread the word to so many others. This was all taking place without me having told a soul about the exhibition!
The lesson I have learned in all of this is that when you, your art, your career, your life, stand for something bigger than just yourself and your own advancement, you carry with you an ever growing momentum that sweeps you up like a wave and carries you to the places you’ve always dreamed of, in ways you often couldn’t have imagined. If you’ve made it this far in reading my blog post, thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and my story. I genuinely hope these words inspire you or help you in some way. If you want to talk about anything I’ve written here, or about your art or your life, please just reach out to me by filling out the contact form on this page or come find me on my Twitter or Instagram account!
Each of us has an important and unique story to tell, and the capacity to help others and shape this world into a better place. It all begins inside, and grows as we as people grow. #WAGMI