Photography by Rukayat Giwa.
Meet Manal Abuzeid: a young gal fluttering about the West Coast in an attempt to firmly establish art and design as the basis and core of her life, her sole purpose of living (exaggerated, but nonetheless very true). She is a sophomore with an intended major in Architecture. Emerging from the depths of Saudi Arabia and residing in the US for just over a year now, Manal is this year's ABC Design Coordinator.
In a previous life, that which, realistically speaking, was a mere 3-4 years ago, her life comprised of endless hours of soccer (or football, as the rest of the world calls it). It was only in her sophomore year of high school that she discovered, what felt like, a superhuman talent that amplified to ridiculous proportions; art soon transformed from a hobby and required high school elective to an all-engulfing dimension of life. While completing the 2 year International Baccalaureate Visual Arts program, she slowly earned herself a reputation, a rep she hopes will travel across seas. Her approach to art is characterized by the fusion of a diverse and cultural living experience (consisting of attending an international school in Saudi Arabia with people from just about everywhere and travelling around the world to the likes of the Philippines, Greece, Egypt, and Lebanon) with the hip, the chic, the street, the urban, the loud, the unique, and the just plain weird. Graffiti, tattoos, and pop and abstract art are her domain in the vast and ever-expanding world of art.
Frankly speaking, she grows heavily attached to whatever art form her two hands manage to snap into being, be it a small doodle on the corner of a page of notes or a 6 foot long masterpiece. With this said, she hopes to place the designs on a pedestal of recognition, as opposed to perhaps ending up in a dirty gym clothes drawer, as an oversized pajama shirt, or discarded elsewhere (she is, however, a believer in freedom of choice, so do what may). She is confident that this year's Conference will successfully manage to stun the attendees, be it the mentally challenging workshops, emotionally touching keynote speakers, or, just maybe, aesthetically pleasing aspect of the Conference that be the designs.