Written by Alexandra Abumuhor
Aside from singing and playing Piano, Jordanian artist Joanna Arida started drawing in 2010 and became a street artist in 2016. In 2020 she figured out that her passion lies in graphite drawing.
The 23-year-old began a modeling career in 2015 but her business really boomed out in 2018 where she started getting more modeling gigs.
Arida is currently Majoring in Architecture and Built Environment at the German Jordanian University in Amman, Jordan.
Albawaba Entertainment did an exclusive interview with Arida aiming to learn more about her and her future plans regarding her career.
Being Interested in Art, modeling, street art, and music, What made you want to Major in Architecture?
Growing up, I was obsessed with the scientific fields and was aspiring to become an astrophysicist. However, later on, my love for the artistic field grew as well. I chose architecture because it seemed like an appropriate intersection between both my love for the sciences and the arts. And so far, it seems like it’s the right combo!
Living in an Arab community, have you ever faced barriers when you decided you want to pursue a career in modeling, and how did your modeling enthusiasm start? did someone lead you into modeling or was it something you have always wanted to do?
Most of my hobbies and interests began as an imitation from my sister. I was very much interested in whatever she was into. If she was on the volleyball team, I wanted to play volley. If she started to model, I was doing that too, etcetera. The deeper I worked into the modeling scene, the more I realized how difficult and complicated of a field it was. It was more than just a few poses and that fascinated me. There was so much to learn and perfect! However, when it came to the fashion industry, I did face fat shaming, skinny shaming, acne shaming, height shaming, and all kinds of irrational shaming that you could think of! But I don’t think these issues are linked to the Arab community... they’re more of a global fashion industry issue. Regardless, I used these issues to grow a more self-loving and stronger person in me. Be proud of who you are, and not ashamed of how someone else sees you.
With all of the success, there had to be a supportive team around you, what was the support platforms that helped you develop your skills?
Regarding success, I think I’m still miles and miles away from where I want to be and from what I could learn. But I grew up with a beautiful supportive system from my family, especially my parents. Whenever I felt that I was incompetent, they were always there for me. Along the years, I was lucky enough to blessed with supportive friends as well; there’s this one friend, her name is Raghad, she was a huge support system for me when I felt like quitting architecture. So I owe that to her.
You started Street art in 2016, are you still doing street art till now or have you moved on to just graphite drawings?
I sometimes still go out and paint murals with my friends. But I feel like my strength in art lies in graphite drawings. Therefore, I’m gonna focus on it for the time being in order to excel in it. Then maybe I’ll move on to the next level.
Can you share with us your proudest achievements, whether it's from street art, modeling for a big company, sketches, or even playing music and singing?
Actually, I’ve always wanted to become more passionate about architecture. It’s a small achievement but I think that, currently, my proudest achievement is that I’m reading more books, watching seminars, and talking to experienced architects. I’m realizing that I’m slowly becoming the passionate student that I’ve always wanted to see in myself. Sounds silly but it’s a huge achievement for me.
You’re going to be traveling to cologne to work for an architectural firm soon, why did you choose an architecture company? and not something related to design or music?
Actually, I’m going there to work for six months because of the university. It’s an obligatory internship.
How do you combine your different experiences to find your own artistic signature in the architecture world?
I think in architecture (and art as well), signatures are ever-changing. And since I’m still an architecture student, I’m still experimenting and developing my creative signature. I don’t think I have an artistic signature yet.
Coming from Jordan, do you reflect Arabic culture in your work?
I hope so! I’m a Jordanian woman that’s proud of her culture and heritage. Therefore, I’m always attempting to introduce my culture into my own designs and work. Jordan is a country that is rich with its beautiful natural materials and I think we should celebrate that more often. I don’t think that I’ve necessarily reached that phase with the design yet but I will one day!
You are an extremely talented individual, you are achieving various interesting accomplishments at a very young age, which field of work do you see yourself focusing on in the future and why?
I have no clue! Every few years I find myself focusing on a certain field. I don’t think I can tell you where I’ll be in five years but what I can tell you is this: Da Vinci was a man of different skills, he was an artist, anatomist, sculptor, architect, engineer, and a natural philosopher. These days, we are confined to specialize in one or two things, but what if we can do much more than that! In 5 years, I strive to specialize in the field of art, architecture, and perhaps the fashion industry as well. But who knows where life’s events will take me.
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