With a honed eye and innate artistic sensibility, Emirati artist and designer Yasmin Al Mulla bridges the gap between heritage and modernity across her creative disciplines.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

My morning routine is a revitalising start to each day. I begin by drinking 500ml of water to hydrate and refresh my body. After a refreshing shower and skincare routine, I savour a warm matcha while planning my day and checking messages. This ritual energises me, ensuring I’m ready to take on whatever the day brings before I head to the office.

What is your design philosophy and how do you approach it?

My design philosophy revolves around creating meaningful and impactful pieces that resonate with people on a personal level. I believe that design should not only be visually appealing, but also tell a story and evoke emotions. Drawing inspiration from the captivating culture of the UAE and the Middle East, my art creations seamlessly blend with the remarkable legacy of the brands I collaborate with. I make sure my work pays homage to the UAE while embracing and merging with the rich Emirati culture. Infused with a profound appreciation for the surrounding beauty and the intricate details found in traditional Emirati art and design, my vision encompasses a contemporary and artistic approach, resulting in elevated and luxurious art and fashion.

Where does your creative process as a fashion designer start?

My creative process as a fashion designer and artist starts with inspiration. This could come from nature, art, occasion, architecture, or personal experiences or anything in between. I sketch and brainstorm ideas, exploring different concepts and styles. Next, I research and develop my ideas, considering materials, techniques, and practicality.

Are you more intuitive or more analytical when designing? How do you balance the creative and commercial sides of the business, and do you feel more drawn to one over the other?

In my design process, creativity is key. I balance intuition and analysis, believing that thinking things through enhances creativity. When managing my two companies, YNM (the clothing label) and Yasmin Al Mulla Design Firm (the art firm), creativity is my focus. While the commercial side is important for business, I prioritise creativity as the driver of innovation and uniqueness.

Is it sometimes difficult to then translate those inspirations and ideas to a larger team?

Sometimes, translating inspirations and ideas to a larger team can be challenging. However, I never pay much attention to the difficulties as long as I have the passion and drive to pursue my vision.

Who do you look up to when it comes to aesthetics?

When it comes to aesthetics, I draw inspiration from a variety of sources, includ- ing nature, architecture, and cultural influences. I admire the way these elements effortlessly blend form and function, creating beauty and harmony in their own unique way.

Is travelling regularly also an important aspect of your creative process?

Absolutely, travelling regularly is an important aspect of my creative process. Experiencing new cultures, landscapes, and ways of life provides me with fresh perspectives and inspires new ideas.

Have you always been a creative soul in this way?

Yes, I have always been a creative soul. From a young age, I have been drawn to art, design, and expressing myself creatively in various forms. This passion has stayed with me throughout my life and continues to drive me in my work today.

How do you curate a creative environment for yourself – are there mindfulness tools and practices that help you fuel your creativity?

Creating a beautiful environment for my creativity is crucial. I achieve this by curating inspiring spaces in my home and office and surrounding myself with meaningful sources of inspiration and intriguing objects. Additionally, I use mindfulness techniques to enhance my creativity. Activities like working out and practising pilates, and yoga help me clear my mind, improve my focus, and access my inner creativity.

“I aim to bridge both cultures, creating connections that celebrate and honour the rich heritage of the UAE while embracing the global influences that inspire me”

You’ve had multiple inter-industry collaborations. What’s on the horizon for YNM and for yourself?

YNM (the clothing label) and Yasmin Al Mulla Design Firm (the art firm) are two different entities, and I am pleased with the direction each company is taking. YNM continues to innovate in the fashion industry, while Yasmin Al Mulla Design Firm focuses on bespoke creative projects. My ultimate goal with my collaborations has always been, and will continue to be, to connect the beauty of international brands with the legacy of my culture. I aim to bridge both cultures, creating connections that celebrate and honour the rich heritage of the UAE while embracing the global influences that inspire me.

This is The Creativity Issue – how do you push yourself out of your creative comfort zone?

In the world of creativity, artists often step beyond their boundaries to explore new mediums and techniques to expand their creative footprint.

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Images: Supplied