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Iman Hassan’s Diary: This Visual Artist Enjoys Teaching Arts and Crafts

The Creative Diary is a weekly newsletter exploring the juicy lives of people in various creative fields. Featuring an expressive account of a typical day in the life of the featured creative and a Rapid Cruise section where a series of random personal questions are attempted. It’s a fun and exciting ride you don’t want to miss.

After finding her style and being satisfactorily driven into a passionate job during the 2022 ASUU strike in her finals of studying fine arts, Iman Hassan doubles as a visual artist and a primary school teacher of arts and crafts.

Iman talks about the heartwarming reception accompanying coaching the kids and also shares an unconventional hack in disciplining erring students. Away from this is also Iman finding her style after periods of feeling unfulfilled as an artist.

African Time by Iman Hassan

A Day In The Life Of Iman Hassan

5 am – 9 am

I woke up by 5 am to pray. My mornings aren’t really interesting because I’m in my finals and I was affected by the ASUU strike. So during the strike, I was working as an art and crafts teacher in a Nursery and Primary school. 

I made breakfast with my mum from 6:30 am to 8 am. I spend the majority of my mornings in the kitchen. I don’t entirely enjoy the process, but I love food so it’s necessary. 

After cooking, I prepared for work. My work pretty much involves working with children so I ensure to prepare the arts and crafts materials days before I go to work since my job is part-time. 

9 am – 12 pm

I usually work with the children individually for safety. I don’t like them holding the scissors. The process is fun. I also think the kids enjoy it. They are always eager to see me. I have a bag where I keep their learning materials so once they see me approaching, they start screaming joyfully, “Miss Iman is here.” 

The Classroom

12 pm – 4 pm

I finished today’s class by 12 pm and headed home. I started a sketch when I got home, but I was too tired to complete it. I have a creative process I usually follow. First is to get a reference picture, figure out the colour choice and start my sketch, I wasn’t feeling the vibe so I just thought it was best to drop it. I’d rather work on it when I can enjoy the process. 

4 pm – 8 pm

I baked bread later in the evening.

At night, I watched movies with my sisters. We watched episodes of Victorious on ShowMax. 

Iman’s Bread

Rapid cruise with Iman Hassan

Do you have a favourite piece of work? Which and why?

The Portrait of an Iyalaje because it came out the way I wanted it. I was going for a Monalisa vintage vibe with a Nigerian Yoruba look. I executed it the exact way I pictured it in my head. 

The Portrait of an Iyalaje by Iman Hassan

What’s the best part of being an arts and crafts teacher?

The best part for me is seeing the children happy whenever we are going to make something in class. The excitement on their faces is heartwarming. 

What’s a hack you’ve mastered when it comes to working with children?

You don’t have to beat children to discipline them. I figured the kids enjoy the classes so when anyone misbehaves, I just make them watch for a while without participating. It gets to them and that’s enough. 

What’s a tweet that’s stuck in your head?

Someone tweeted once, “Still want to know what exactly Olowoeko did.” So I thought there was real drama. Like maybe someone said something to Olowoeko. So I was trying to find out who Olowoeko was and why the tweet was necessary. Only for me to discover it was what Rema was always saying in his songs. 

What’s your password?

Hahaha, I don’t have one.

What’s a secret you can share publicly?

I’m an open book.

Are you shy on camera?

Yes. I’m very shy on camera. I don’t know what to do with my face or my hands whenever I’m in front of a camera, especially when it’s someone else shooting me. I work better with selfies. 

Iman Hassan

What’s one thing that most people hate but you love?

Okay, so I’m just going to say this. I think Jollof rice can be eaten with Asaro (Jollof Yam). I mean, if you can eat them separately and enjoy them, then why not together?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I sleep too much. I would love to change that so that I can convert the hours I sleep into being productive. 

Which animal would you choose if you could be one for a day?

A mosquito so when someone claps, boom, that’s the end. 

What lessons have you learnt from being a visual artist?

One lesson is taking time to find your style. I had this period where I cried to my friends about how I’m a terrible artist, but ever since I found a style I’m comfortable with, I’ve taken pride in sharing my works. 

Irun Kiko by Iman Hassan

Shout out to your Top 10 visual artists.

These are some artists I look up to in terms of style:

Haneefah Adam @ms_hanie

Yinkore @yinkore_

Bolu Sowoolu @bolusowoolu

These are the artists that literally put me through drawing lessons and tutorials:

Olamide Ogunmadeko @ayocandraw

Ayomide @layziiartist

Mobolaji Esere @mse_artss

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