28th November 2020
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An Introspective Journey With Creative Underdog, Aagam Kaur
The Dubai-based fashion creative, stylist, and model tells us why she is her own muse.

aagam kaur

With just a quick glimpse at Aagam Kaur’s Instagram, it’s apparent that this is a Gen-Zer who likes to get shit done. At only 20, she’s wasted no time in building an impressive portfolio in the Dubai fashion scene. She’s been featured in campaigns for global powerhouse brands like Nike and Farfetch and has created content for a local stand out labels that dig her refreshing and personal outlook on conceptual style. As she likes to say, she does a bit of everything; a multi-disciplinary fashion creative of sorts encompassing a list of interests and mediums that keeps growing – photography, styling, conceptual storytelling, digital and visual art. If there’s one theme that ties it all together, it’s her experimentation in self-portraiture. While her previous work depicts compact coming-of-age storylines that visually toy with the relatable concepts of teen love, innocence, and loneliness, in recent times, she’s come out with a bite, centering her work on fashion play.  What sticks out is the outright honesty in her work– she isn’t afraid to call herself her own muse – but what could seem at first as an overstep is simply this: in a generation that’s racked with anxieties and plaguing feelings of inadequacy, hammering down the idea that self-love is entirely justified hits home, and hard.

Most creatives today have difficulty describing the often multi-disciplinary work they do. In your own words, how would you describe yourself as an artist?

That’s the thing—the reason most people find it hard to describe themselves is that they don’t want to put themselves in a box or be limited to a certain field. Having titles always plays with one’s self-esteem, some embrace it while others stay away from it. It is something I struggle with too as I do not want to necessarily be tied to one thing, but at the same time, having too many labels can be seen as obnoxious.

I also believe so many emerging creatives are actually quite young and still in their “figuring out stage,” (hello, hi, it me). So adding on labels or titles right away may seem intimidating as it feels like you’ll be restricted by your label, even once you’ve outgrown it. The way I like to describe myself in this genre would be as a multidisciplinary artist because I’m someone who combines multiple interests with multiple mediums of expression. Usually, it revolves around fashion.

As an artist, do you feel free to fully express your vision?

Well, if I try to look at the big picture, yes, I definitely do feel free to express my vision, mainly because I prefer working solo, sticking to a one-woman team, who knows and executes it all. One of the main reasons I do self-portrait styling projects is because I have the freedom to move in any direction I choose, without having to compromise.

Take us through your creative process. Do you have a tried and tested method or do you create when inspiration strikes?

Wow … both actually. Well, I generally divide my creative inspirations into two, one for when I’m working on a commissioned project and the other for my own personal work. For commissioned projects, I cannot wait long for inspiration to strike as I have to work within deadlines, so I go through a tried and tested process.

I view my previous work, collect images, form a digital mood board, try different combinations to let my mind explore what’s before me and I leave it exactly as it is in order to revisit it my ideas the next day with a fresh mind, to eliminate or add anything. I then repeat this process until I’m closer to the deadline and finally satisfied with myself. For personal projects, I take long. Days, weeks, and even months. I hate forcing myself and don’t recommend anyone to do so either, it’ll make you hate what you do; I suggest taking your own time to gather inspiration and working your way forward from there.

The industry is notorious for unpaid work, or work paid in “exposure”, especially in the beginning. How did/do you manage to sustain yourself in order to create?

Well, this is subjective in a lot of ways. I agree that the industry is notorious for unpaid work, however, I also believe if you’re out there wanting to build long term relationships with your client or create your network, you shouldn’t mind your first gig being unpaid; doing so will build trust, and if your work is excellent, your second opportunity will most likely be paid. This comes from my personal experience. I’ve managed to build a genuine relationship with clients who value my worth and reach out with paid gigs.

Some say the artist is dead and that we live in the era of the creative entrepreneur. What do you think about that with regards to your own work?

I mean, we do live in the era of creative entrepreneurs for sure, but I have artist friends as well as creatives and I can’t agree with the statement that “the artist is dead.” Artists will be artists. Even though this may sound unrealistic, there are thousands of people who do not use social media and many artists out there do not want to fall into entrepreneurship, or even take up the required skill set. I think that it all varies on a case by case basis.

What’s your take on Instagram and Pinterest as sources of inspiration?

I absolutely enjoy Instagram and Pinterest as sources of inspiration, and I believe there’s nothing wrong with that. In the past, people would source magazines in order to do the same, and for today’s generation, social media has become our endless virtual magazine.

How much does recognition play a part in your work and industry?

Recognition plays a crucial role. It provides you with not only immense exposure but also acts as achievements within the industry, keeping you motivated and ensured that there’s talent being recognized, helping ease anxieties about our work, why we do what we do. It also builds trust between you and any brand you want to work with. It’s definitely something to be proud of no matter how small the recognition is. On the other hand, recognition shouldn’t be confused with validation; any achievement, not just in this industry but in life generally, shouldn’t require you to seek anyone’s validation towards your work. Your self-esteem should remain independent.

Where do you see yourself in the future? 

I see myself everywhere [laughs]. In every industry, not just fashion, juggling my way through it all and sustaining myself with multiple interests. You know, to keep life interesting.

An Introspective Journey With Creative Underdog, Aagam Kaur
The Dubai-based fashion creative, stylist, and model tells us why she is her own muse.

aagam kaur

With just a quick glimpse at Aagam Kaur’s Instagram, it’s apparent that this is a Gen-Zer who likes to get shit done. At only 20, she’s wasted no time in building an impressive portfolio in the Dubai fashion scene. She’s been featured in campaigns for global powerhouse brands like Nike and Farfetch and has created content for a local stand out labels that dig her refreshing and personal outlook on conceptual style. As she likes to say, she does a bit of everything; a multi-disciplinary fashion creative of sorts encompassing a list of interests and mediums that keeps growing – photography, styling, conceptual storytelling, digital and visual art. If there’s one theme that ties it all together, it’s her experimentation in self-portraiture. While her previous work depicts compact coming-of-age storylines that visually toy with the relatable concepts of teen love, innocence, and loneliness, in recent times, she’s come out with a bite, centering her work on fashion play.  What sticks out is the outright honesty in her work– she isn’t afraid to call herself her own muse – but what could seem at first as an overstep is simply this: in a generation that’s racked with anxieties and plaguing feelings of inadequacy, hammering down the idea that self-love is entirely justified hits home, and hard.

Most creatives today have difficulty describing the often multi-disciplinary work they do. In your own words, how would you describe yourself as an artist?

That’s the thing—the reason most people find it hard to describe themselves is that they don’t want to put themselves in a box or be limited to a certain field. Having titles always plays with one’s self-esteem, some embrace it while others stay away from it. It is something I struggle with too as I do not want to necessarily be tied to one thing, but at the same time, having too many labels can be seen as obnoxious.

I also believe so many emerging creatives are actually quite young and still in their “figuring out stage,” (hello, hi, it me). So adding on labels or titles right away may seem intimidating as it feels like you’ll be restricted by your label, even once you’ve outgrown it. The way I like to describe myself in this genre would be as a multidisciplinary artist because I’m someone who combines multiple interests with multiple mediums of expression. Usually, it revolves around fashion.

As an artist, do you feel free to fully express your vision?

Well, if I try to look at the big picture, yes, I definitely do feel free to express my vision, mainly because I prefer working solo, sticking to a one-woman team, who knows and executes it all. One of the main reasons I do self-portrait styling projects is because I have the freedom to move in any direction I choose, without having to compromise.

Take us through your creative process. Do you have a tried and tested method or do you create when inspiration strikes?

Wow … both actually. Well, I generally divide my creative inspirations into two, one for when I’m working on a commissioned project and the other for my own personal work. For commissioned projects, I cannot wait long for inspiration to strike as I have to work within deadlines, so I go through a tried and tested process.

I view my previous work, collect images, form a digital mood board, try different combinations to let my mind explore what’s before me and I leave it exactly as it is in order to revisit it my ideas the next day with a fresh mind, to eliminate or add anything. I then repeat this process until I’m closer to the deadline and finally satisfied with myself. For personal projects, I take long. Days, weeks, and even months. I hate forcing myself and don’t recommend anyone to do so either, it’ll make you hate what you do; I suggest taking your own time to gather inspiration and working your way forward from there.

The industry is notorious for unpaid work, or work paid in “exposure”, especially in the beginning. How did/do you manage to sustain yourself in order to create?

Well, this is subjective in a lot of ways. I agree that the industry is notorious for unpaid work, however, I also believe if you’re out there wanting to build long term relationships with your client or create your network, you shouldn’t mind your first gig being unpaid; doing so will build trust, and if your work is excellent, your second opportunity will most likely be paid. This comes from my personal experience. I’ve managed to build a genuine relationship with clients who value my worth and reach out with paid gigs.

Some say the artist is dead and that we live in the era of the creative entrepreneur. What do you think about that with regards to your own work?

I mean, we do live in the era of creative entrepreneurs for sure, but I have artist friends as well as creatives and I can’t agree with the statement that “the artist is dead.” Artists will be artists. Even though this may sound unrealistic, there are thousands of people who do not use social media and many artists out there do not want to fall into entrepreneurship, or even take up the required skill set. I think that it all varies on a case by case basis.

What’s your take on Instagram and Pinterest as sources of inspiration?

I absolutely enjoy Instagram and Pinterest as sources of inspiration, and I believe there’s nothing wrong with that. In the past, people would source magazines in order to do the same, and for today’s generation, social media has become our endless virtual magazine.

How much does recognition play a part in your work and industry?

Recognition plays a crucial role. It provides you with not only immense exposure but also acts as achievements within the industry, keeping you motivated and ensured that there’s talent being recognized, helping ease anxieties about our work, why we do what we do. It also builds trust between you and any brand you want to work with. It’s definitely something to be proud of no matter how small the recognition is. On the other hand, recognition shouldn’t be confused with validation; any achievement, not just in this industry but in life generally, shouldn’t require you to seek anyone’s validation towards your work. Your self-esteem should remain independent.

Where do you see yourself in the future? 

I see myself everywhere [laughs]. In every industry, not just fashion, juggling my way through it all and sustaining myself with multiple interests. You know, to keep life interesting.

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