Age / Location / Passion
33 / Encinitas, CA / Climbing, Surfing, Horseback Riding
Also stoked about?
Photography, Art, Design, Jiu Jitsu, Diving
Favorite place to get outside?
The closest and most frequented places are: Beacons to surf or Mission Gorge to climb. I ride horses in Temecula, but if it’s not a time thing I love Joshua Tree. It’s becoming my second home.
Go to Gear?
my Sony Rx1
What’s your story?
I’m originally from Florida. My father is a Palestinian immigrant who met my mother during their years at a community college. It was a very mixed cultural upbringing I would say. As far back as I can remember, I was always active, outdoors, and into the arts. As a youngster, school was not my strong suit, so my mother combated it with nature, traditional arts and martial arts.
Looking back, I would say I was a heady kid who was obsessed with Native Americans. My parents humored me by helping me learn about the Timucua and Creek Indians. This has influenced my art, the way I think about the world, and sparked my interest for indigenous cultures. Particularly my own Palestinian culture.
My father being both an entrepreneur and an immigrant taught me to take risks, likely influencing my move to California. Today I hold an active lifestyle spending as much time in nature as possible. It is what allows me to be creative from a design perspective. It’s my fuel. I enjoy design and storytelling; photos, videos, and any artistic expression. Being outdoors absolutely invigorates my passion for art and life.
What’s something coming up this year that you’re stoked about?
I’m really happy to be traveling back to Palestine this Fall to check on the newest olive harvest for my olive oil company, Harvest Peace. I loved traveling there this past March, to meet the farmers and to see the beautiful landscape. It’s an intimate experience that I hold close to my heart.
Who inspires you?
Mother Nature. There’s so much to learn from her. It’s endless. Most of my photography and art has an element of the outdoors incorporated into it. When I think of being outdoors, my mind escapes to a creative place.
What’s a digital cowgirl?
I love to ride horses. Being a cowgirl isn’t just that, but that obviously has something to do with it. I enjoy roughing it when being outside. Growing up in Florida across from woods, I spent a lot of time outdoors. So, in that sense, I’m a cowgirl. The “Digital Cowgirl” is my moniker for making digital art inspired by my outdoor nature.
You often mix your passions for travel + the outdoors with cultural + social awareness issues and create conversation through your artwork + photography in the digital space. Can you tell us more about the why + how you do it?
It’s an organic process. I know most people want to hear that there is a step by step quantified process, but there isn’t. I can be spontaneous. I always have my camera on me, so when I see something that needs capturing, I’m on it. Not all my photos become mixed media art. Not all the photos I take even make it to my editing process. The ones that do obviously stood out to me to some capacity. I might reflect on the moment that I captured the photo and that’s where the meaning lies.
Conservation, social responsibility, and cultural relevance are all things that I find extremely important and they weigh on me. Naturally, they are going to inspire and creep into my creative process.
Why is what you’re doing important?
We all have unique experiences in life. What I’m currently doing is important within that aspect. It’s important because I make it important to my life. There’s a sense of reward that I receive from doing the things I do. I choose it.
What’s something happening right now that you feel not enough people know about or understand that you’re trying to convey through the work you create?
Going back to Harvest Peace, it becomes quite clear where my priorities are. I believe there’s a gap in perception as to what is happening in Palestine. The damage of the ongoing regional conflict is exactly why I started Harvest Peace. The occupation of land has been dwindling a vital resource that the farmers I’ve been working with once had, and that’s just one specific demographic of Palestinians amongst many more. I want to help educate, for those seeking the truth, objectively.
When you’re not working, making art or sleeping under the stars, what are you up to?
That honestly sums up most of my time. I am active in Jiu Jitsu and I do have a social life too. I have a very close group of friends. We’re usually doing something together either outdoors or just hanging in a creative place bouncing ideas off one another. I’ve been making it a priority to value my time, so I’m selective these days as to who I spend it with. I also spend a lot of my alone time not so alone but with my pet pig, Oxnard.
You recently released an olive oil, tell us more about Harvest Peace.
I launched an olive oil brand called Harvest Peace through Kickstarter, focused on giving back to a community of farmers from Palestine. It’s 100% certified organic olive oil and Fair Trade from Palestine. It’s a very personal project to me. Growing up hearing my father’s stories from a time long past sparked a desire in me from a very early age. I traveled to Palestine to see the thousand-year-old trees and to meet the farmers. Beautiful, remarkable, and heartbreaking. Regional conflict has destroyed most of what was once a flourishing landscape. Which is why Harvest Peace works on giving back to the area by replanting olive trees from a portion of the proceeds.
One Instagram account that you’re crazy about?
Go to local grab + go bites?
Ironsmith or GoodonYa
Thanks for sharing your story with us. Keep exploring + inspiring.
Stranded on Land