Elias Madan, a 21-year-old UCB graduate is a graphic designer and an artist venturing into the field of entrepreneurship by turning his passion and talent into a career. Elias is currently working on 2 projects, Triangulations Store, an art and apparel business selling his original designs on apparel and various other products. His second venture is ArtHub, a platform for Bahrain based artists to sell their designs and products.
As a part of our series showcasing Bahraini talent and exploring the ‘not-so-common’ career paths, we had a chat with Elias to learn more about him and his work.
So, what was your journey towards discovering what you loved and turning it into a career like?
My interest in design started quite early, when I was 14 I used to look at the large billboards and designs on the roads and thought ‘I want to make that’. From there, I went into studying graphic design. The idea for Triangulations came when I was trying to find my style and learning about artists like Dali and Picasso and their unique styles. Picasso’s geometric style was the inspiration for the triangles style of my art. Once I had established my style of art, then that led to creating my own brand and turning it into a business venture, Triangulations Store. Then while working on Triangulations Store, I had the idea of creating a platform for artists to market their products, which led to ArtHub.
How was it like getting started and the initial reaction you received?
Participating in the IGN Convention was my first ever step into being out there and the reaction was pleasantly surprising. I had not expected the kind of positive response that I got. Social media was another major aspect into growing my market base. I had also participated in various events and spaces like Malja, AlRiwaq, the Nest and had my work featured at places like Sonder. This gave me a lot of scope for exposure, networking and gauging the response towards my work. So far, it’s been quite positive and encouraging.
Where do you see yourself going in the near future?
I’d like to one day have a ArtHub store in a mall and be a creative hub for all design and art needs for both corporates and individuals. We provide servicing ranging from apparel to corporate branding and custom designs and art pieces.
What advice would you give to someone looking into getting started in the art space in Bahrain?
There is a lot of scope for the Bahraini art space to grow and there are so many opportunities coming up for artists. The most important thing for growing in this space is to create your network and connections since it quite a close knit community. You also need to brand yourself well, the more people know your work the more opportunities you get. Planning your direction and commitment are also very important. And finally, just start. You can start small and test your product and scope out the market. Also, don’t do it for the money, you have to have the passion for what you do.
Lastly, how do you stay motivated and inspired for the creative work that you do?
For me, I find creativity and inspiration from the environment around me. There is always someone doing better than you and you can see that and want to do better, that’s what keeps me motivated. But there’ll always be ‘Art blocks’ and I don’t think that there is any cure for that other than giving yourself a break and going back to your inspirations.