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open your eyes, travel

Finding Creativity: Iman Dadkhahi
Finding Creativity is a guest posting series where I invite people to explore how they find creativity in the world. In November 2008 we hear from creative professionals: industrial design, fashion design, writing and graphic design. Stay tuned.

I'm pleased to introduce Iman Dadkhahi who is based in Toronto, Canada. Thank you for joining us this week Iman. Please tell us, what is your design profession and the major focus of your work?
My focus is primarily in the textile and fashion industry. I design contemporary carpets, men’s and women’s wear. My educational background includes several degrees all related to fashion. I have a M.Sc. in fashion marketing from MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University), a fashion design diploma from IADT in Toronto and two business management degrees; one from George Brown College and the other from Strathclyde in Glasgow. After gaining work experience as a personal shopper, visual merchandiser, trend forecaster and textile designer, I realized my dream job would be to work as a fashion director, trend and color forecaster.

This is a recent carpet design that is in the W Studio showroom in Toronto, showing this Fall 2008. Below is an illustration of my recent men’s wear collection.

This women's wear piece is from my black and white Peace Collection. My inspiration for this collection were olive leaves.

When you look for inspiration where do you go to find it?
Life is full of beauty and inspiration, we just need to open our eyes and see it. We, as artists, need to be able to visualize the outcome of the inspiration in advance. I get my inspirations primarily from nature and architecture. For example, one day I was walking and I came across a field of dandelions. I immediately knew that I wanted to incorporate them into my designs. You can see the result below.

The carpet shown here will be in the W Studio showroom in Toronto in early 2009.

When you think of venturing out to find creativity in the world where do you think of going?
If I could go anywhere in the world for inspiration and creativity, I would go to the Middle East and to Europe. The Middle East is so rich in cultures and traditions, particularly in Iran and Egypt. Europe has amazing architecture and fashion which really inspires me and fills me with creativity (my favorite countries include France, Spain and England). The richness of the culture, history and arts in these countries, one can not help but feel influenced and be changed by these experiences.

What have you always wanted to redesign or recreate, and why?
I consider myself to be a “green person”. I care deeply about our mother planet and therefore I am a person who thinks, acts and lives green. If I had to recreate something in the textile and fashion industry, I would create more of a variety of green materials which are recyclable and friendly to our environment.

Name something we can do to expose ourselves to something outside of our worlds, outside of our bubbles and environment we inhabit?
I think travel is the best way to open our eyes and to expose ourselves to new experiences. Through traveling, we can socialize with people of other cultures. We are exposing ourselves to the traditions, cultures and arts of countries other than our own. Also, traveling allows us to see different aspects of politics which can be “inspiring” and “dirty” at the same time. Furthermore, through traveling you can see suffering and success. When you see suffering, it makes you immediately thankful of the blessings you have and when you see success, it elevates one’s standards and achievement goals.